Nizha Periaswamy

The common reasons cited by people to take up yoga include losing weight, staying fit, or reducing stress.

But how many of you know that yoga can also help heal your relationships, by opening up your heart chakra?

It is human nature to be often plagued by negative emotions, such as grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred towards others, among others.

In yoga, it is believed that the blockage of the fourth chakra - the anahata chakra, which is located near the heart, can interfere in attaining happiness and cordial relationships.

Such blockage makes humans hold a grudge against something or someone, and have been the reason for many relationships to fail. It can also cause people to feel lonely, being overly critical and suspicious.

Besides, the anahata chakra blockage can also cause health conditions such as poor oxygen circulation, heart troubles, as well as respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Since the anahata chakra is ruled by "air", deep breathing or pranayama practice can be used to cure such conditions. Asanas (poses) that open the chest and shoulders, such as uttrasana (camel pose), chakrasana (wheel pose), and backbends, are helpful as well.

The colour green is also associated with this chakra. Colour your room green, or have green items, such as plants around you. For self healing, imagine you are inhaling fresh air and hold it inside your heart during pranayama or dyana (meditation).

Reciting the "yam" mantra repeatedly during meditation also helps relieve the blockage and open up the heart chakra.

Letting go of anger, fear, and grudge in our daily lives will also help open up the heart chakra.

Smile at people you meet daily. Hug your family, hold their hand when interacting and look into their eyes.

Repeatedly performing these asanas, exercises, dyana and mantra will make you a forgiving, compassionate, and positive person.

This, in turn, will mend your broken relationships and build it back, stronger.

To learn more about the effects of chakra blockage and how to open them, contact a qualified yoga instructor, or join meditation classes.

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.

Photo source: FB Yoginizha Yatra