Heart chakra meditation is one style of meditation popular with yoga practitioners or those studying the theory of chakras within the body. According to this theory, there are seven different energy centers throughout the body known as the chakras, which correspond to different areas of life. Working to align the chakras, or meditating on one specific one, such as the heart chakra meditation, can theoretically offer specific benefits in certain areas of life. Meditating on the heart chakra may help relieve feelings of stress, pain, or anxiety, and increase feelings of love and compassion for oneself and others. Some believe it may also help to draw positivity and love into an individual's life.
Even under the heading of heart chakra meditation, there are a number of different types of meditation that can be performed. Some people choose to focus on the breath, visually directing the breath into and out of the heart chakra, visualizing sending peace and love with every out-breath. Others will place the hands over the heart, and visualize sending energy this way, and will then extend the hands at the end of the meditation to release this positive energy. Some choose to direct this energy to someone in particular, while some will simply send it out to the universe. Visualizing this energy as light is often helpful for people as well.
It is not necessary to have meditated before to attempt heart chakra meditation, but it might be helpful simply for learning to clear the mind and to focus the breath. With practice, however, anyone can become good at meditation, and many people find it to be a great way to relieve stress and feel more centered. Another option for people who are new to meditation is to attempt a guided meditation practice. There are many free videos to be found online, or DVDs or CDs can be purchased as well. This will provide guided instruction to help keep the mind focused.
When meditating, it is necessary to be in a comfortable yet alert position, to prevent falling asleep. Instructors generally recommend sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting upright in a straight-backed chair if sitting on the floor is uncomfortable. The spine should be in a neutral position, typically with the hands folded in the lap or resting on the knees unless they are placed in front of the chest for the heart chakra meditation.