Anahatasana: Yoga for the Heart

By Atul Vyas

The fourth chakra or heart chakra is the center of the entire chakra system. It connects the three lower physical and emotional centers to the three higher mental and spiritual centers or the chakras of the body.

It is situated in the chest, at the center of the sternum. The sanskrit name of this chakra is ‘Anahata’. Its symbol is a hexagon, which clearly illustrates how the energies of the three lower and three higher chakras mutually permeate each other. Its reining element is Air or the ‘vayu tatwa’.

This fourth chakra represents an individual’s capacity to connect to universal love, energy and to feel compassion. Feeling love in a pure universal way, which greatly enhances the ability to connect to spirit. By feeling love, a person transcends all negativity. Love is the energy that makes life beautiful and worthwhile.

On the other hand, grief of losing a loved one, the sadness of being unloved and the hurt of losing a close relationship can be stored in the fourth chakra. It is not healthy to hold on to grief, sadness and hurt for an extended period of time, because by doing so the ability to love and be loved is blocked, and there remains a pain at the fourth chakra, possibly manifesting as physical heart and lung difficulties.

Any heart difficulty, irregular heart beat, clogged arteries and tightness in diaphragm are the symptoms of the fourth chakra or ‘anahat’ chakra imbalance. There are many yogic interventions to balance the fourth chakra and one of them is Anahatasana or the Uttana shishosana also known as the extended puppy pose. It resembles ‘ardha-namaskar’, Hindus perform in temples.

Technique
· Sit in a table pose with knees hip width apart and then extend the hands forward keeping the hips elevated above the knees and thighs straight up perpendicular to floor
· Lower the forehead towards the floor between hands breathing normally
· Perform it with a sense of surrender
· After ten seconds raise the head and bring hands below shoulders and come out of pose

Benefits
· Balances heart chakra
· Promotes deep peace
· Melts heart as blood flows to heart with support of gravity
· Softens back
· Opens shoulders

Note of Caution
Those having shoulder injuries should avoid this asana.

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Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of Pinterest and Image provided

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