This month, we turn to the fourth fundamental right of yoga: the right to love. In yoga philosophy, the right to love is housed in the heart chakra, a crossroads in the body that connects the upper and lower chakras. This energetic center represents the human capacity for compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance, both for ourselves and for others. Anahata — the Sanskrit name for the heart chakra—translates to “unstruck” or “unhurt,” a reminder that the right to love is not about the absence of pain, but rather our ability to heal from past injuries.
Through the yoga practice, we engage with the right to love by opening our heart chakras and letting go of the things that cause us pain. The poses that access this right tend to be those that make us feel vulnerable — wheel, camel, and dancer’s, for example. Yet through heart-opening poses, we counteract the common habit of slouching that closes off our front body and dare to express new ways of being.
As we move into this month heart first, we invite you to consider where the love is in your practice. Simply showing up on your mat can be a much-needed act of self-love, as your yoga practice provides you the space to tune out the noise around you and turn into yourself. Not only is this act beneficial to your overall well-being, but it also radiates outward, helping you show up for your loved ones as well.