Green Chakra Yoga - Open Heart

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

Most people call the green chakra the heart chakra. The Sanskrit name, Anahata means unstuck, and this yoga sequence is all about ‘unsticking’ your heart energy.

Physiologically, heart openers expand your chest, ribs, throat, shoulders, and arms to allow your lungs to breathe deeply without constriction and your heart to pump blood throughout your body with fluid circulation. If you’ve been sitting over your screen for more hours than you’d like to admit, the movement in this video will help correct that hunchback posture you may be feeling. These stretches also support your thymus, a tiny organ that hosts the production of your antibodies that fight germs, bacteria, viruses, and foreign particles. This could come in real handy right now as our immune systems feel they could be under attack from COVID-19.

Metaphysically, opening your heart energy means expanding your love to include gratitude, compassion, and even forgiving yourself and others. This chakra is all about touch and the areas of the body that I call ‘the huggers.’ So bring in someone or something you love to hug, maybe a stuffed animal, maybe a favorite book, maybe a favorite person and share your love and gratitude for 20min today.

Practice compassion if that loved one is a 3 year old that doesn't listen to a word you say or a partner that just wants to watch you and make fun of your tight shoulders. They may take a few deep breaths or even feel inclined to stretch their arms back over their chair and in my book, that’s still yoga.

Yoga means union and doesn’t need to be so serious. As long as you feel a union of your breath, body, and mind, you’re doing it. You can share your yoga energy with others to broaden the acts of love and compassion in your community. For the heart chakra, this could involve gratitude in writing a simple ‘I am thankful for you’ note where someone can find it unexpectedly. For compassion, it could be sending a love letter to a family member that’s alone, sending some food to a shelter, or making donations to your local medical office that’s still working like crazy during our shelter in place.

The most difficult work in your heart chakra is ‘unsticking’ guilt and grief by trying to offer forgiveness. It can be small like me forgiving my son for not listening to my directions in this green yoga video, or forgiving myself for never straightening my legs all the way. Or it can be a deeper forgiving like me trying to let go of the fact that I gave my daughter antibiotics in her first year of life which is when we should never give a child antibiotics because their immune system is not fully developed.

We hold on to these mistakes as if we are defined by them, but sooner or later we just have to let go. We can learn from the mistake and allow it to become wisdom, which is why I focused my life on how to rebuild an immune system for my first child.

It’s times like these when a pandemic makes our internal problems seem so small in comparison to the fight that others around us struggle with every day. I’m not saying your internal problems are not valid, because the feeling is real and we need to honor those feelings. I’m just offering that yoga is a meditation and a practice of letting go. It’s not something I’ve perfected, but it’s something I practice every day even if it’s only 3 breaths focusing on my mind and body - and being in the moment.

If you’re ready to go for the whole 20min, check out my video, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the brief appearances from my children, Sierra (14y) and Lincoln (10y). I loved filming this video and I love that I have a way of sharing this with you when I can’t get to you right now to give you a hug.

So please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Then I can continue to get these videos to you and I have so much more to give. Until then…

The light within me shines to the light within you - which is the definition of the word…

…Namaste.

Your wellness muse,

Jessica