Anahata is the fourth main energy centre in the body according to the chakra system. It is located in the centre of the chest and is all about love. When this energy centre is unbalanced we maybe closed emotionally, fearful or hold resentment towards others. When we connected to our heart chakra we can experience joy , happiness, compassion and unconditional love.
Imagine you are frightened of something and notice what happens to your body as you feel this emotion. You might start to close in on yourself, bring your shoulders forward into protection mode. Now imagine walking around like that all day! Its not fun. Now imagine a loved one coming towards you and opening your arms wide to embrace them, or lifting your chest up to the sky on a summers day to receive the healing energy of the sun. Opening up your chest invokes such a wonderful feeling within us and in our physical yoga practice backbends are the king(or Queen) for opening up the heart. Upward facing dog, cobra, camel and bow pose are just a few feel good poses that get the heart energy open and flowing!
Here are some other simple tips to help feel the L.O.V.E!!
Winter is well on its way and I'm sure like us, you will start to feel the urge to go into a weary and dreary hibernation mode. As it suggests in Patajali Yoga Sutras, when faced with not so positive states of the mind and body, it is best to do the opposite! When our shoulders are up by our ears with cold, chests and hearts closing, and the body is feeling heavy with the cold dampness of the rain........ the best energising, heating, heart opening, sun shining pose is a backbend!
Top Benefits of backbend
Backbends open the shoulders and chest, a regular practice can greatly improve your posture. If you work at a computer all day, you are more than lightly to be rounding your shoulders and curving forwards, a back bend will help counteract the harmful effects of this.
-Improve your breathing
Once our chest starts to open, there is more space created for our lungs, allowing for deeper breathing and thus more oxygen flow through the body.
- Improve your mood
Back bends get your blood pumping and heart racing, it warms and energises the whole body. In Yogic Philosophy our Chakras (energy centres) are located on the front of the spine, when we bend back, all of there energy centres are activated. In particular the Anahata Chakra (where we hold our emotions and give and receive love). This is we why often hear the term opening the heart.
So in these gloomy winter months or if your feeling in need of some feel good energy add some invigorating, energising backbends to your day!