Heart Opening Poses


Has anyone ever told you to live with an open heart? Well, whatever do you think this means but, in yoga, we do heart opening poses as a doorway to our vulnerabilities. These poses allow you to be exposed. There will be nothing standing between the heart and the rest of the world, only allowing the beating hearts to be unguarded and blissful for the moment.

Read below to learn the following yoga poses that will help you open your heart and balance the heart chakra, the energy center for emotion, compassion, and love.

Different Heart Opening Poses You Can Easily Do

Camel Pose

Let’s begin with a pose that has been branded to be the mother of all the heart opening poses. Camel pose allows you to open the entire front of your body at the same time challenging your core strength and improving your spinal, shoulder and hip flexibility. But I have to warn you, this is a deep backbend, so do not practice this pose if you have neck or back injury. This pose is also contraindicated if you are currently suffering from high blood pressure or a migraine.

Here’s how to do it:

Begin the Camel Pose by kneeling on the mat and placing your hands at the back of your pelvis, your fingers should be pointing to the floor. Make sure that your shoulders and our knees are of the same line while the soles of your feet should be facing upwards.

Now breathe in and do your best to draw the tailbone in towards the pubic bone. At this point, you should feel the pull at your navel. While you are doing this, arch your back and then gently side your palms over your feet as you straighten your arms.

Keep the neck in a neutral position so you will not end up with a strained neck

Try to hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute before coming out.

If you are just a beginner, you might find it hard to reach your feet with your hands without causing any strain in your neck or back. I suggest you elevate your heels by tucking your toes under. If you still find it difficult, try using a wooden block next to each ankle that your hands will reach towards. Or, try doing one side at a time.

Wheel Pose

Are you sitting on your desk 8 hours a day or even more, then this pose is a great goal to work towards to counter all of the forward slouching that often occurs at desk jobs. This will open your chest and will help you correct or improve your posture. Moreover, it will help you develop flexibility and mobility in your hip flexors and spine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back; if you find it a little uncomfortable, you can bend the knees so the soles of your feet are on the floor and they will be closer to the buttocks. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
  • Then, place your hands behind the shoulders and make sure the fingers are opened up and are pointing towards the shoulders.
  • If you are still feeling comfortable with this position, do your best to balance your weight on all 4  limbs. Then, slowly press your palms and feet down and start lifting your whole body off the mat.
  • Your head should now be hanging gently and your neck should be long. Work to maintain a comfortable breath.
  • Try to stay in this pose for 60 seconds or as long as you can. Break the pose by bending your legs and arms and slowly lowering your back on the ground.

Cobra Pose

If you are just new to yoga, cobra pose is definitely a beginner-friendly backbend.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Roll your shoulders open and down the back, making sure to keep them away from the ears.
  • Lift your chest away from the floor as you breathe deeply; do not press into your hands.
  • Breathe out while bringing your forehead back to the floor.
  • Repeat these steps on your next two breathes. This means that you breathe in when you lift up and breathe out as you lower down.
  • If you do this pose correctly, you will find your spine resembles the shape of a snake coiling off the floor. You can hold this pose for longer periods, which can make it very invigorating. In addition to being heart opening, it can also help you wake up and strengthen the muscles in your back. You will know since you will start noticing that you are lifting up a bit higher every time you do the steps.

Tree Pose

What’s great about Tree Pose is that it challenges your balance and can become a heart opener if you choose.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand still and place your arms to your body’s side.
  • Now, begin to slowly bend your right knee and the position your right foot on the side of the left calf or high up on the inner thigh. The sole should be firmly placed pressing into the standing leg while the standing leg presses back towards the right foot. Once you find yourself stable in this position, inhale and look for your balance.
  • Breathe in and slowly take your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers. As you extend your spine long, allow your bound hands to lower a bit towards the floor. To help you keep your balance, look straight on any distant object and try holding your gaze.
  • Remember that your body has to be strong yet elastic. Breathe in deeply and soften your body as you exhale.
  • Slowly bring the hands down on your sides, inhale the spine upright, and release the right leg so you will come back to the initial standing position as you did at the start of the practice. Repeat this cycle with your left leg.

Final Thought

So there you have it, the easy-to-do heart opening poses you can do anytime and anywhere that will help you expand your rib cage and chest.