Open your heart chakra pranayama

February 1, 2018

Yoga postures, or asanas, are often the first thing people learn when they start yoga. Depending upon the style of yoga you are learning you could also have the pleasure of learning pranayama.

Prana means life force energy, or energy of the universe. It is the energy of magnetism. Whatever energy you set, is what you get. Click To Tweet

The word Pranayama comes from two words, prana and ayama. Prana stands for the vital energy that is present within each one of us. It can be more easily understood as the breath. Ayama, on the other hand, stands for stretching, extending, regulating, or managing. Thus, pranayama can be defined as stretching, extending, regulating, or directing the breath.

Pranayama is regulation of this life force. Pranayama was used by ancient Yogis thousands of years ago. All Pranayama techniques can profoundly influence our state of being. If we breathe and get the body into balance we can overcome stress and achieve amazing outer and inner feats. This is how individuals who practice the yoga asanas are able to bring their bodies into poses that seem to defy gravity Another wonderful thing breath can do is balance our emotions.

Pranayama practices manipulate the breath in a number of ways. Extending or shortening the lengths of exhalation and inhalation, suspending the breath, or breathing at a manner that is modified impacts the whole person. The effects of these practices on body and the mind can be profound, altering energy and the mood inside the body. Breathing practices are along with mantras and mudras to achieve results. Quality of Prana is responsible for the quality of our emotions. When you don’t have enough you tend to carry negative tendencies. Through increasing Prana, an intelligent healing energy, you can heal past trauma. It will rewire your brain and support new neuronal paths that can restore and sustain emotional

In yoga, pranayama practices are used as part of asana practice. Ashtanga yogis learn Ujjayi pranayama, sometimes called Conqueror’s Breath or Ocean Breath, to help boost the flow of prana within the body. Ujjayi can be very helpful for novices, since the audible nature of the breathing can be a fantastic indicator of how a practice is going. If a yogi ceases ujjayi pranayama it might mean that they’re straining too hard at a pose, and forgetting to breath. Maintaining ujjayi through a vinyasa practice not only keeps the flow of prana moving, but additionally shows that there isn’t an excess of mental or physical strain.

The Bikram sequence starts with a pranayama, and ending with a different pranayama. The sequence starts with Standing Deep Breathing, which can be good for the lungs and nerve system. The sequence ends with the more vigorous Kapalbhati, which can be an energizing breathing practice which detoxifies the body and enhances oxygenation. Both of these Pranayama methods are integral to the Bikram sequence, and always has to be done in Bikram yoga.

Open your heart with Pranayama

This exercise is aimed at opening your heart chakra and expanding yourself with love, it is called Vyana Vayu.

Vyana Vayu is one of the 5 dynamic currents. Vyana Vayu is the energy of expansion, moving simultaneously in all directions. It is all-encompassing. It is the interwoven matrix of life, the web of the connection, what is known in Eastern mythology as “Indra’s net.” The energy of vyana pervades the entire body and is the bridge that leads from the physical to the ethereal realms. It is connected to the element of water.

  1.  Sit in a comfortable position, sit tall with a straight spine (pillow or folded blanket underneath sit bones, if it helps)
  2. Bring your hands into Anjali mudra (prayer position) into heart centre. Think of something you love about yourself, someone you love, or an experience you love or would love. This will start to open your heart energy.
  3. Inhale through your nose as you open your arms out to the side like giving a big hug. As you do this, imagine a colour of your choice, swirling from your heart and spiralling out through your fingertips and all around you.
  4. As you exhale, bring the arms back in and hands to prayer position to heart centre and with them bring in the love and light.
  5. Continue for 10-15 rounds, feeling light and love surround you.


This pranayama will open the heart, help strengthen lungs and circulation, and ease and calm the mind. It also helps reduce stress and depression and, overall, makes you feel wonderful!

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