In this article: Discover the best yoga poses for the Heart chakra and their benefits!
Are your energy levels feeling a bit off? Are you unsure of how to quiet the inner turmoil and move forward with confidence?
Unlocking your heart chakra can be a transformative experience. It allows us to honor our emotions and connect more deeply with our highest selves.
Enter yoga — an ancient practice that helps open up blocked pathways in the body to create healing harmony.
From Ashtanga to Yin, there are countless poses designed to target each of the seven chakras, including the fourth: Anahata – the heart center.
Read on to discover ten simple yet powerful yoga poses for the heart chakra.
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Heart Chakra Characteristics
Nerve Plexus: Cardiac Plexus
Body Parts: Heart, Lungs, Arms, Hands
Physical Ailments: Heart Conditions, Lung Problems, Blood Pressure, Asthma/Allergies, Immune Disorders
Signs of a Heart Chakra Imbalance
The heart chakra is the energy center located in your chest and is responsible for love, compassion, and kindness.
When the heart chakra is imbalanced, you may experience feelings of hurt or anger, lack of forgiveness, and resentment.
You may also be oversensitive to criticism or rejection.
The exact things you’ll experience with a chakra imbalance depend on whether the chakra is overactive (excessive) or underactive (deficient).
Excessive Heart Chakra
With an excessive heart chakra imbalance, you may experience codependency, excessive jealousy, unrealistic expectations of others, harsh judgment, and a need for acceptance.
Deficient Heart Chakra
A deficient heart chakra may manifest itself as loneliness, shyness, depression, disconnectedness, difficulty to forgive others, and difficulty to experience empathy for others.
10 Best Yoga Poses For The Heart Chakra
Now that we know more about the fourth energy center and its function, let’s find out what are the best yoga poses for opening your heart chakra.
1. Supported Fish Pose – Matsyasana
This first pose is perfect for opening up the heart chakra. Physically, the Supported Fish Pose opens up the chest, throat, abdomen, and shoulders.
It is accessible to practitioners of different levels depending on the blocks you choose.
To get into this pose, start by sitting with your legs outstretched in front of you.
Using two blocks, prop one beneath your shoulder blades (horizontally) and one beneath your head (vertically).
Adjust the height of the blocks as necessary to accommodate what your body needs today.
This can also be done using a bolster or a few pillows.
You can do what you’d like with your legs, but I suggest taking them into a bound angle position – soles of the feet touching and knees splayed open wide.
Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly as you tune in to your breath and inner thoughts.
Sink into this pose for a few minutes as you physically open your front body in preparation for practice.
Feel the space created between your ribs and in your throat.
2. Cat/Cow Pose – Marjaryasana Bitilasana
When you practice this pose, you’ll be stretching out your spine and opening up your chest.
This allows more energy and life force to flow through the heart chakra, which helps to open and strengthen it.
In addition, the Cat/Cow pose can help soothe any anxiety or stress you may be feeling in your heart.
First, start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Place your wrists under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips.
Press your hands into the ground and round your back. Gaze down until you feel a stretch just behind the heart chakra.
Hold this position for a few breaths. Then, gently arch your back and look up to the ceiling, stretching the front of the heart chakra.
After a few breaths in this pose, slowly shift back into the tabletop position and repeat.
You can continue moving between these poses as many times as you’d like, paying attention to how they feel in your body and heart chakra.
3. Sphinx Pose – Salamba Bhujangasana
The Sphinx Pose is another powerful yoga pose that works to open and strengthen the heart chakra.
To do the Sphinx Pose, start by lying on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you.
Then, place your elbows on the floor and bring your forearms and hands so that they are parallel to each other.
From here, gently press into your forearms as you lift your upper body off of the ground, keeping your hips relaxed and down on the mat.
Your legs should be straight out behind you and pointed slightly outward.
This is a mostly-passive pose. You aren’t doing much except for a slight press into the earth with your forearms.
4. Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
The Upward Facing Dog pose is a powerful heart chakra-activating yoga posture that can help open and energize this important energy center.
In order to do the pose, you will need to start in an all-fours position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
From here, stretch your legs out straight behind you. Then, lower your hips while keeping your head and neck in line with your spine.
As you are doing this, you should feel a stretch in your abdomen and chest as well as in your shoulders.
Once you have reached the top of the pose, hold it for several breaths before slowly lowering yourself back down to your starting position.
Repeat the pose a few more times, focusing on working through any feelings of stiffness or tightness in your body as you do so.
This yoga posture is a great way to open up and energize the fourth chakra, helping you to connect with your feelings of love, compassion, and kindness for others.
5. Puppy Pose – Anahatasana
To get into the Puppy Pose, start in a tabletop position with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
Slowly and gently bring your forehead to the floor, arching your back up towards the ceiling as you do so.
As you relax into this pose, focus on releasing any tension from your body and mind.
This will help you to feel grounded, opening up the heart chakra and allowing loving energy to flow freely.
For those with a little more mobility, you can alternatively take your chest and chin to the floor.
If you feel any sharp sensation or pain from the compression of the neck, come out gently and put your forehead back on the earth.
The Puppy Pose has many benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, easing insomnia, and improving digestion.
Practicing this pose regularly can also help balance the heart chakra when needed.
6. Crescent Lunge – Ashta Chandrasana
To perform this yoga pose, begin in a lunging position with your right foot forward, knee bent at 90 degrees, left leg back and strong.
Then, reach your arms out straight above your head, and clasp your hands with the index fingers pointing up to the ceiling.
Press firmly into your feet as you allow your hips to shift forward.
As you do, your left thigh comes closer to the floor. If that feels comfortable, try taking the upper spine into a backbend.
Breathe into the pose as you envision the color green emanating from around your heart.
Repeat on the other side.
7. Dancer’s Pose – Natarajasana
Dancer’s Pose, or Natarajasana, is an advanced yoga pose that stretches and strengthens the muscles of the legs and lower body.
It also opens up the hips and helps to deepen the breath. This asana is associated with the heart chakra, as it both energizes and calms this center of our spiritual well-being.
Practicing this pose regularly can help you to balance your heart chakra and improve your emotional health.
To practice Dancer’s Pose, start by standing upright with your feet together and arms at your sides.
Bend your right knee and grab hold of the inner edge of your right foot with your right hand.
Gently kick into your hand with your foot as you tilt your torso forward.
You can do this pose with a strap as well to make it more accessible.
If you have a lot of mobility, try flipping the grip in order to take hold of your foot from above your head.
Repeat on the other side. Notice which side has more or less mobility, and which side may feel tighter.
8. Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bridge Pose is an easy pose and a great way to open your heart center.
This yoga pose involves lying on your back, then lifting your hips off the ground as you bring your hands underneath them.
Place your arms parallel to each other with your palms facing down, and press into your feet as you continue to lift your hips and open the front of the body.
As you hold this pose, imagine that you are opening your heart chakra and connecting with the energy of love and compassion.
Let go of any fears or limiting beliefs, and instead allow yourself to feel the power and strength that comes from knowing that you are a loving, caring person who is capable of giving and receiving love.
9. Wheel Pose – Urdhva Dhanurasana
After coming down from Bridge Pose, take your hands next to your ears, fingertips pointing towards your shoulders.
Make sure your feet are under your (bent) knees. Gradually press yourself up in the shape of an inverted bow.
Aim to straighten the arms as much as your mobility allows. Don’t allow your knees to splay open.
The chest and abdomen are stretched, increasing flexibility and strengthening the core.
By opening the heart chakra through this pose, you can feel a sense of unconditional love for yourself and others.
This helps to cultivate a more loving attitude in your life, improving relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and overall quality of life.
Practicing this pose regularly can also help to increase lung capacity, which is beneficial for overall health and wellness.
Wheel Pose promotes deep breathing by stretching the muscles of your chest and diaphragm.
This allows you to take in more oxygen with each breath, improving overall energy levels, mental clarity, and physical performance.
10. Reclined Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana
The Reclined Twist is our last pose for opening up the heart chakra. It stretches and opens up your chest, helping you feel more open and expressive.
It can also help relieve tension in the upper back and shoulders, which are often associated with feelings of stress and anxiety.
Plus, it’s a great pose to finish a sequence of heart openers as it allows the spine to neutralize.
Lay on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Keeping your shoulder blades on the earth, drop your knees to the right as you take your gaze left.
Keep both shoulders melting into the ground. If your knees are hovering in the air, try taking a block or blanket beneath them for support.
Extend your arms into a ‘t’ shape to open across the chest.
Repeat on the opposite side, taking your knees to the left and your gaze to the right to complete the twist.
You can stay in this pose as long as you like.
If your heart chakra is blocked, you may feel disconnected from others, experience jealousy or resentment, and have a general sense of unease.
Luckily, there are several yoga poses that can help release and unblock this important energy center.
The next time you’re feeling stuck in your emotions, try some of these ten yoga poses to open up your heart chakra.
Have you ever tried any of these yoga poses for the heart chakra? Let me know in the comments below!
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