With the start of a new year and Valentine’s Day well on its way, it’s natural to feel a strong desire to seek out connections with other people now perhaps more than ever—even if the task seems daunting and you fear the potential risks of vulnerability, awkwardness, disappointment, and even rejection that come with getting close to someone (and letting them get close to you too).
The heart chakra is the energy center that governs your sense of love, compassion, and beauty. Signs of a blocked heart chakra include relationships that feel draining, shyness, loneliness, difficulty forgiving, and difficulty empathizing with others.
By learning to heal and open your heart chakra, you’ll slowly begin to radiate more love, compassion, and beauty from the inside out—in addition to attracting these energetic qualities back to you from the people you surround yourself with.
Here are some things you can do to start clearing those blockages and opening your heart chakra, just in time for the eventual arrival of spring!
1. Accept your emotions, express them, and them let go.
At the root of a blocked heart chakra is emotional repression, so if you want to learn to love freely and openly, you have to get in touch with your emotions—including the ones you don’t want to feel. Once you’ve accepted that you’re feeling a certain way, try exploring and expressing them in some of the following ways:
- Journaling or writing a letter to yourself
- Talking out loud to yourself (and you can even cry, scream, or punch a pillow if you need to)
- Drawing, painting, or doodling
- Listening to music
- Creating art
It may take many bouts of emotional expression to fully get everything out, but beware of clinging to your emotions and getting stuck in a never-ending cycle of emotional turmoil rather than choosing to let them go. If the way you’re feeling and expressing yourself starts to feel more like a bad habit than a natural healing process, it’s time to consciously choose to put your emotions behind you so you can move forward.
2. Show your love to yourself, another person, animal, or Mother Nature in one small way every single day.
Small daily actions account for big changes over time. If you can strive to take just one small action every day that’s an expression of love, it can become a habit that has the power to completely transform your heart energy center for the better.
Here are a few suggested small daily actions you could take:
- Hug your partner/spouse or tell them something you love about them
- Call your mom or other relative
- Check in with an old friend over Facebook or text message to see how they’re doing (and maybe ask to meet and catch up)
- Play with your dog or take him/her for a nice long walk
- Put a bird feeder out in a safe area of your yard
- Pick up one piece of trash in any public place and bring it to the trash or recycle bin
3. Practice chest opening yoga poses.
When it comes to healing and opening your heart chakra, don’t forget to integrate it with your yoga practice! Since the heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, chest opening poses are ideal for opening and strengthening this energy center.
Poses you’ll want to incorporate into your practice include:
- Sphinx pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
- Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
- Upward facing dog pose (Urdhva mukha svanasana)
- Cow pose (Bitilasana)
- Fish pose (Matsyasana)
- Locust pose (Salabhasana)
- Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
- Camel pose (Ustrasana)
- Upward bow pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)