Chest openers are associated with the anahata (heart) chakra. The physical opening of the chest helps encourage compassion and connection to others. Examples of chest-opening asanas include camel pose, bow pose and wheel pose.
Chest openers have a wide range of physical and energetic health benefits, including:
- Decreased back pain and shoulder tightness
- Lengthened spine
- Improved posture
- Increased lung capacity
- Stimulated pituitary, thyroid and pineal glands
- Activated heart chakra
- Improved mood
- Decreased feelings of loneliness and depression
A well-balanced yoga sequence will include some kind of chest opener. Some classes may even make chest opening a theme for the session.