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Heart Chakra – 5 Yogasanas To Embrace The World

The heart chakra is located near the centre of the breastbone or sternum. The physical organs and parts of the body linked to this chakra are characterized by their actions of expansion and contraction, drawing in an pushing away.

The Physical Attributes

The heart, with its rhythmic expansion and contraction, in the powerful muscular pump that sends oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. By its movement, the diaphragm, the powerful muscle below the lungs, creates changes in pressure, allowing us to breathe in fresh air. As the diaphragm contracts, the outbreath expels carbon dioxide from the body. The lungs are composed of tree-like air ducts that bring air into contact with the bloodstream. The blood picks up oxygen from the air, releasing back into it carbon dioxide and other waste products as it returns from its journey through the body.

These processes of expansion, interchange and contraction are reflected in our relationship with the world. The heart chakra regulates our interaction, making sure that we become neither too involved nor too remote from the world around us. The relationship is in constant motion: if it stays stationary all balance is lost. Reaching out and physically touching helps us to gather information. As we gather information we respond and begin to relate.
The action of the arms can be one of enfolding, enclosing, embracing and absorption. Equally, the arms can defend, push away and protect. The degree to which we keep the physical balance between what is outside us and our inner being is often reflected in the way we hold our upper torso and arms. Tension and rigidity suggest stasis and defensiveness. A relaxed stance and flowing movement not only shows ease with the world, it reduces the stress levels on the heart and lungs.

Gomukhasana (Cow-Face pose)

This posture extends the muscles and cavities of the chest and stretches and arms. If your hands do not meet at first, ease into the pose by holding a 25-30cm/10-12in length of cane or wood.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Awaken to the power of unconditional love within you through compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Sphinx Pose

This gentle backbend opens your chest, helping you to feel the receptiveness associated with the heart chakra.

Marjaryasana (Cat Pose)

This arching pose helps to soften and release tense muscles in the neck and back that keep you from letting your heart open.

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

This deep backbend opens the intercostals muscles between the ribs, creating more physical space in your heart center.

Last but not the least, regular practice of nasal breating can help to open up the heart chakra.

Sukh-Purvak Pranayama (Complete Joy Breath)

This breathing exercise calms and cools, allowing you to be more open in your heart. Begin in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) or Padmanasana (Lotus Pose). Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril for three Oms. Then use the little finger of your right hand to close your left nostril. Hold your breath for six Oms. Then release your right thumb and exhale for six Oms. Repeat on the other side.

Note that the heart chakra is a bridge between the body and the spirit.

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