6 Yoga exercises to open your heart to love and self-acceptance | Health - Hindustan Times

6 Yoga exercises to open your heart to love and self-acceptance

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Sep 14, 2023 10:14 AM IST

Try these Yoga asanas to clear and balance the Heart chakra, making it easier to be open to love and experience feelings of love toward themselves and others.

According to fitness experts, heart-opening Yoga poses are essential for improving both emotional and physical well-being and these poses are particularly beneficial for individuals who spend long hours sitting at desks or working on computers, as they help counteract the rounded posture that often results from such activities. Read on as we explore some straightforward heart-opening Yoga poses that can be practiced by beginners and advanced practitioners alike as these poses not only improve posture but also have a range of other benefits, including boosting lung power, promoting flexibility and releasing emotional blockages.

6 Yoga exercises to open your heart to love and self-acceptance (Photo by Lior Shapira on Unsplash)
6 Yoga exercises to open your heart to love and self-acceptance (Photo by Lior Shapira on Unsplash)

Physical Well-being

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared, “Yoga's heart-opening poses offer a wide range of benefits, from improving posture and flexibility to enhancing lung capacity and emotional well-being. They help counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting and can be incorporated into your yoga practice to promote physical and emotional health.”

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Emotional Well-being

He added, “One of the significant advantages of heart-opening poses is the impact they have on the Heart chakra. The Heart chakra, also known as Anahata, is the energy center located at the heart region. It is associated with love, compassion, and emotional balance. When this chakra is blocked or imbalanced, it can result in emotional issues and difficulties in forming healthy relationships. Heart-opening poses help clear and balance the Heart chakra, making it easier for individuals to be open to love and experience feelings of love toward themselves and others.”

He suggested the following Yoga asanas:

  • One of the fundamental heart-opening poses is Bhujangasana, also known as Cobra Pose. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your palms placed under your shoulders. Keep your feet apart, with your toes on the ground. Inhale and lift your head, shoulders, and torso up at a 30-degree angle. Ensure your navel stays down, your shoulders are broad, and your head is slightly raised upwards. Slowly exhale and bring your torso down. Bhujangasana is an excellent pose for gently opening the heart and stretching the chest.
  • Another effective heart opener is Sarpasana or Snake Pose. Begin by lying on your stomach and interlocking your palms behind you. Inhale and lift your torso, up to your navel, while keeping your feet on the ground. Exhale to release from the pose. Sarpasana provides a deep stretch to the chest and helps improve flexibility in the spine.
  • Ustrasana or Camel Pose, is another heart-opening asana that can be added to your practice. To perform Ustrasana: Kneel down on the yoga mat and lift both hands up. Place your right palm on the right heel and gently bend back.Exhale and come back to the initial pose.Repeat the same steps on the other side.
  • Adomukhi Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose, is a foundational yoga pose that also provides chest opening benefits. To get into this pose: Place your palms under your shoulders and knees under hips.Straighten your knees with your arms kept straight, forming an inverted 'V' shape.
  • Chakrasana, commonly known as Wheel Pose, is an advanced heart-opening pose that requires flexibility and strength. To perform Chakrasana: Lie on your back and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head. Inhale and lift your entire body up to form an arch.
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose, is an accessible heart opener that can be practiced by individuals of all levels. Here's how to do it: Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor, roughly hip-distance apart. Align your heels underneath your knees. Rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing the floor. Slightly lift your chest off the mat and draw your shoulder blades together.As you inhale, press evenly into your feet and shoulders, lifting your hips off the floor.

It's essential to understand that our physical bodies and mental well-being are interconnected and by incorporating heart-opening poses into your Yoga practice, you can create a harmonious balance between your physical and emotional states. These poses not only provide physical benefits but also allow you to dive deep within yourself, opening your heart to love and self-acceptance.

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