This past year has been very difficult for the world, much more so than usual. With the new COVID-19 variants, people are feeling more anxious and uncertain about the future.
Ayurvedic experts suggest focusing on your chakras – the body’s energy centers – as a means to manage stress and get rid of negative energy.
How do they play a role in your physical and emotional wellbeing? Your chakras play a role in your physical and emotional wellbeing by helping to maintain balance in times of turbulence.
Which one has the biggest impact on maintaining balance in times of turbulence? The one with the biggest impact on maintaining balance in times of turbulence is the root chakra.
The heart chakra is the most important emotional energy center. It is located at the center of the chest and between the shoulder blades in the back. The heart chakra is considered the energetic bridge between the physical and spiritual realms.
The heart chakra is generally seen as the root of how we love, serve, give, and receive. It also plays a vital role in processing our energy and lifting our thoughts and behaviors towards compassion, empathy, and kindness.
A balanced heart chakra is necessary for positive human connection, which is especially important during times of trauma. This chakra is important to keep unblocked during any stressful time because it sits at the midline of the body and controls the balance and enlightenment of the system.
A Damaged Heart Chakra
Some of the most common life experiences that affect the heart chakra negatively are experiencing physical or emotional abuse as a child, being raised by an emotionally cold or narcissistic parent, being denied the affection and love of a grown up, adopting unhealthy societal beliefs surrounding love, and developing self-destructive habits that block the giving and receiving of love.
How to Open and Heal Your Heart Chakra
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest and is associated with the color green. When this chakra is open, you will feel love, compassion, and joy. You will also feel a sense of peace and calm. If your heart chakra is blocked, you may feel depressed, anxious, or angry.
There are several ways to open and heal your heart chakra. You can do this through meditation, yoga, or even simply by spending time in nature.
One way to open your heart chakra is to meditate on the color green. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Visualize the color green filling your chest. Breathe deeply and let the green energy fill your entire body.
You can also do some specific yoga poses to open your heart chakra. Camel pose and bridge pose are two good poses to start with.
Finally, spending time in nature can also help to open and heal your heart chakra. Spend time walking in the woods, lying in the grass, or swimming in a lake. Let the energy of nature surround you and fill you with peace and love.
Yoga poses can help open up your chakras.
1. Eagle Arms
Place your right elbow under your left and hook your hands together, then drop your shoulders. This will open the back of the space associated with the heart chakra.
To do this pose, wrap your right elbow under your left, and hold the position for a few seconds. Then switch your arms, so your left elbow is under your right. You can do this pose with your lower body in any position.
To release your shoulders even more, lift your elbows up so they are in line with your shoulders.
2. Locust Pose
On your yoga mat, lie down on your stomach with your legs and hips grounded. Use your spine to lift your trunk up into extension. Then, tuck your pelvis under and press through your heels as you exhale. Send your tailbone toward the floor and your pubic bone toward your navel. Finally, inhale and sweep your arms up and overhead, stretching from your wrists to your shoulders.
Do not push off the floor with your hands or arms; instead, use your legs to slowly raise your body and create an extension in your spine. This is often called the Superman pose.
3. Camel Pose
Start in a kneeling position, with the knees and feet aligned and hip-width apart. inhaling and lifting the ribs away from the hips, creating space between each joint of the spine.
Tilt your pelvis forward, then exhale and stretch your arms back, placing your palms on the soles of your feet with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Rotate your shoulders inward and let your head fall back gently.
Stay in the position for five deep breaths before slowly releasing one vertebra at a time.
4. Half or Full Bind
You can practice binds while sitting with one leg bent, or standing in a side angle position.
The author suggests that, in order to create a half-bind, you should sweep your top arm behind you and reach for the top of your bent thigh.
To do a full bind reach your other arm underneath your thigh and connect it with your other hand. When your hands are locked together pull your hands apart and rotate your chest upward.
5. Cobra Pose
Lie on your stomach, pointing your toes and aligning your legs hip-width apart. Engage your thighs and soften your glutes.
Breathe in as you raise your ribcage up and off your hips, coming up onto your elbows. Position your elbows on the ground slightly in front of your shoulders and lengthen your neck.
Focus on extending your sternum and arms, and breathing deeply for five breaths in your final pose.
6. Chest Expansion
Interlace your fingers behind your back and press your grip towards the floor to expand your heart space. You can also do this by maintaining your grip and bending forward at the waist while in a forward fold.
7. Fish or Supported Fish
To do a supported fish pose, lie on your back with a yoga block, bolster, or book under your shoulders to lift your chest.
Start from a seated position with your legs extended in front of you then lower yourself onto your forearms. Walk your palms behind your glutes, point your fingers towards your glutes, and lower onto your forearms. Kiss your shoulder blades together and allow your head to tilt up and back.
If you are feeling dizzy and unsteady, you can prop your head up on a block to help.
8. Puppy Pose
Start in a tabletop pose, which is when your hands and legs are shoulder- and hip-width apart while you are on your hands and knees.
Do a supported forward bend, slowly walk your hands forward until your chest is close to the ground. Lift your ribs away from your hips, and place your forehead or sternum on the ground, depending on which is more accessible and comfortable for you. Remain in the pose for five deep breaths, keeping your eyes closed.
Heart Chakra Healing Practices
1. Go Forest Bathing
The color green is associated with the heart chakra, so spending time in nature can help to open your heart. “Forest bathing” is a term that originated in Japan, and it has many proven benefits.
If you don’t live near a forest, you can still encourage heart chakra healing by visiting your local park, woodland, or bushland. If you live in a city with no nature, try getting a pot plant or indoor shrubs.
2. Do a Loving-Kindness Meditation
A balanced heart is beautiful. It dissolves the illusion of separateness and shares loving kindness with others. If your heart chakra feels congested, the loving kindness meditation may help.
Find a quiet place to sit down and focus on your breath. Relax your chest area and send positive energy to yourself.
Choose four different types of people to direct loving energy towards. This can include a loved one, a person close to you, a neutral person (like an acquaintance), and an enemy or hostile person.
You might find it helpful to visualize loving energy or to say a mantra such as “I radiate love to you” while you are doing this meditation.
3. Establish Clear Personal Boundaries
Why do you allow others to overstep your boundaries? When do you say “yes” when you really want to say “no”?
What are some things that people ask from you that you don’t feel comfortable with? In what ways do you feel anxious or ungrounded? It’s important to learn how to set boundaries and communicate to others where your limits are.
Practice assertiveness and take care of yourself.
4. Use the Following Herbs
Some herbs that can help open and clear the heart chakra are rose, astragalus, holy basil, hawthorn, nettle, hops, and angelica.
5. Practice Empathy by Asking “What if?”
The mind can easily come to judgmental, harsh, and unloving conclusions about others.
If you’re finding yourself getting angry at someone, try asking yourself “What if?” For example, if someone is being rude to you, ask yourself “What if that person just lost their job?”
If you have difficulty getting along with somebody, think about whether their difficulties could stem from a childhood trauma. Everyone has a story, and difficulties in relating to others may be a result of that story.
6. Hug More
Humans are social creatures that need physical contact to remain healthy. Oxytocin also called the love hormone, calms down the whole body, is released when hugging and is a natural antidepressant.
Make an effort to hug the people you care about more often. If you don’t have anyone to hug, express self-love by hugging yourself.
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7. Show Self-Love by Giving Yourself the Permission to Feel
One way we harm ourselves unknowingly is by avoiding our emotions. We should not try to control our emotions, repress them, or ignore them. They are part of what makes us human, and we should accept them.
It’s okay to feel unhappy, angry, sad, bored, or jealous. Sit down, take a deep breath, and let these feelings pass through you.
8. Allow Yourself to Receive Love
People often ignore or downplay expressions of love from others because they have low self-esteem or are afraid. Instead of denying affection or compliments, try accepting them graciously.
You may feel a little awkward at first, but this simple change in behavior could lead to you being more open-hearted.
9. Meditate with the Following Crystals
Use crystals to help you balance your energy. Try meditating or carrying crystals such as jade, malachite, rose quartz, emerald, rhodonite, prehnite, ruby, green fluorite, and chrysocolla.
10. Be Thankful and Show Gratitude
One way to heal your heart chakra is by acknowledging all the blessings you have.
Think about all of the things you love about your life and say thank you to each one of them. You can say a prayer of gratitude if that feels appropriate.
11. Do Shadow Work
If our heart chakra is closed, it means that we’re holding a lot of negative energy in our unconscious minds.
This is the part of you that contains all the aspects of your personality that you have rejected or denied. This includes your negative thoughts and feelings, as well as any habits or behaviours that are considered socially unacceptable. Accessing and embracing the parts of yourself that you keep hidden away can lead to a more open heart.
12. Cleanse the Heart Chakra with Essential Oils
To use essential oils to heal your chakras, you can either put them into an oil diffuser, rub them on your wrist in a diluted form, or wear them in a diffusing pendant. Some good oils to use for healing your chakras are marjoram, rose, ylang ylang, lavender, neroli, and angelica.
Make sure to identify any chakra blockages you may have, and choose a healing modality accordingly. Experiment with each one for a couple of weeks to see how you feel.