Opening Your Heart Chakra

Sharon Stoffel, MS, LCSW, LPC

I love yoga. One of the concepts that my yoga teacher discusses is the idea of Chakras or energy centers.  One of these is the Heart Chakra. I have been focusing on this Chakra lately.

When we experience the death of a loved one, our Heart Chakra energy can become unbalanced, blocked or closed. This happens because we are hurting, we are in pain and we are afraid. We are afraid to become vulnerable to love, to the strong connection to another person. I think this is a natural response. There is no doubt that when my father died, I shut down.  Relationships in my life changed.  I believe my heart energy center was blocked, mainly out of fear of hurting more than I was already.

When do we know that our Heart Chakra needs balancing? We may experience physical symptoms, such as breathing issues, heart concerns, infections and chronic fatigue, just to name a few.  We may experience psychological symptoms, such as being overly critical of self and others, isolation, and lacking empathy.  We may become overly demanding of others, feeling like a victim and losing sense of personal boundaries.

It has taken many years, but I feel that the energy is flowing more freely now through my heart.  This happened for many reasons.  While the passing of time definitely helps this process, time alone does not heal our hearts and open us up to love.  Working on our bodies through some physical movement is important.  I choose to do yoga and to walk, but this can be done in any way that works for you. 

Movement and stretching of any type for whatever length of time will help.  Meditation or quiet time is also essential.  We often don’t take the time to listen to our thoughts and our thoughts definitely drive our behaviors and our relationships.  We must first become aware of what those thoughts are and then decide to change them.  A simple statement like “I open my Heart Chakra today” said many times throughout the day makes a difference.  Making a conscious effort every day to talk with someone whether it is a loved one or a person in the grocery store opens us up to that human connection which opens up our heart energy.

The death of a loved one may be the most difficult experience we have in our lives.  It is natural that we may take some time to withdraw and “shut down” while we heal.  It is also essential to find our way back to letting love in and letting it flow out of our Heart Chakra center.  Take some time today to move your body and still your mind to begin that healing process.

Want to learn even more? The Health Resource Center is offering a class on January 10, 2018 called Find Your Balance. For more information, visit

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