Anahatasana
(Melting Heart)

Benefits:
  • A nice backbend for the upper and middle back
  • Will also open shoulders
  • Softens the heart.

Contra-indications:
  • If you have a bad neck, this could strain it.
  • Be aware of any tingling in the hands or fingers! This is often a sign that a nerve is being compressed, and if we continue to compress it we may permanently damage it. If you feel tingling, adjust the arm and hand positions, or skip the pose entirely.

Getting Into the Pose:
  • On your hands and knees, walk your hands forward, allowing your chest to drop toward the floor. Keep your hips right above your knees. If possible, keep your hands shoulder width apart

Alternatives & Options:
  • If shoulder pain prevents the arms from going overhead, move them further apart.
  • If you're flexible, you can bring the chin to the floor and look ahead, but this could strain the neck.
  • If knees are uncomfortable here, place a blanket underneath them.
  • Toes can be tucked under
  • Chest can be rested on a bolster (allowing the body to relax).
  • You can do this pose with just one arm forward at a time, resting the head upon the other forearm.

Coming Out of the Pose:
  • Either move back into Child's Pose or slide forward onto your belly.

Counter poses:
  • Lying on your stomach or in Child's Pose can be nice here. Since this posture is a backbend, Child's Pose is a better choice for a counterpose because it is a mild forward fold.

Meridians & Organs Affected:
  • Compression along the spine stimulates the Urinary Bladder lines.
  • If you feel the stretch in the chest, then your Stomach and Spleen lines are stimulated.
  • This posture can juice up the arm meridians, especially the Heart and Lung lines.

Joints Affected:
  • Nice compression for the upper back
  • Mildly stresses the lower spine
  • Shoulder/Humerus joint.

Recommended Hold Times:
  • Three to five minutes
  • If resting your chin on floor, the hold may need to be shorter. Carefully watch the sensations in the neck.

Similar Yang Asanas:
  • Half Down Dog (aka Puppy Dog).

Other Notes:
  • It is nice to do this pose after a series of lower back bends.
  • Can be used as a gentle warm up to deeper back bends.
  • If you feel pinching in the back of the shoulders, you may be reaching a compression point. Abducting the arms (moving them farther apart) may release this.



(Go back to list of asanas)







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