3 Powerful Breathing Meditations for Opening and Healing Your Heart

HJ: The combination of breath and meditation produces a powerful healing response in the body and with conscious focus, we can direct these energies to the heart center.  We have a tendency to stay in the mind with meditation, especially given that it is typically presented as an exercise for the mental faculties.  However, meditation can be heart centered as well and it is perhaps here that even deeper levels of healing occur.  The power of the intellectual mind is balanced and complemented by our emotional nature and these creative meditations will help you maintain it as well as develop your inherent intuitional capacity which is typically felt more frequently than ‘thought’.

– Truth

Heart Meditations

By Vaidya Atreya Smith | Atreya

These meditations or exercises can be very helpful in daily life. The heart meditation exists in various traditions throughout the world to help promote peace, love a harmony in the world. It is very good to do when we feel bad vibes coming to us from other people or when we work in service oriented jobs that tend to make us negative towards others.

The law of karma says that what we project on to others is what we are projecting on to ourselves – as we are all the same Self (pure consciousness, paratman or substratum). Instead of ’protecting’ ourselves from other people or ’bad vibes’ it is far better to give love to all living beings. This is the message of my teacher.

The first two exercises are taken from Prana: The Secret of Yogic Healing and use both visualization and breathing to activate the conscious prana (chitshakti) in ourselves and others. Pranic breathing should be done first before trying the Heart Meditation. I have now added a more advanced technique (5 June 2000) please follow the instructions carefully as this method is very strong and potentially deranging to the energetic system of the body – done correctly it transforms the person. May these exercises help all of humanity as they have helped me.


Prana breathing or the ’complete breath’, uses the full capacity of the lungs. Thereby, giving us greater quantities of prana to utilize for ourselves, for others or for meditations. The heart meditation uses the complete breath to send prana out through the heart chakra and hands.

  1. place the hands on the lower abdomen, just below the navel.
  2. inhale breath through the nose (both nostrils) into the lower abdomen, the hands should move slightly out, as the diaphragm is pushing the organs in the abdominal region down and slightly out.
  3. now the lower abdomen is full of air, continue the breathe in an upward motion to the upper chest.
  4. stop when the upper chest is full of breath for a second or two.
  5. exhale slowly from the chest out through the nose.
  6. stop for several seconds with empty lungs before inhaling a new breath.
  7. repeat this cycle as necessary. This constitutes one breathing cycle.


This meditation opens the circuits from the second chakra up to the fourth chakra and then from the fourth out through the arms to the hands and beyond. These are all the circuits used in transmitting prana, so I recommend doing this exercise for five to ten minuets per day. Do not do this exercise more than ten minutes per day. It is very strong and a teacher should be present to watch the progress if it is done for longer than ten minutes per day.

This exercise also will heal any illness related to the second, third and fourth chakras over a period of time. Any chronic problems in the shoulders and arms will be helped or cured by this technique as well. For simple illness this method will give immediate results, for more complicated problems, give yourself at least three months. This exercise affects the first, second, third and fourth bodies, clearing old energetic impressions out of the subtle bodies.

Although this looks the same as prana breathing it is not. With this meditation we give the energy out; in prana breathing we collect the prana for ourselves.


  1. place the hands on the lower abdomen, just below the navel;
  2. inhale into the lower abdomen, the hands should move slightly out, as the diaphragm is pushing the organs in the abdominal region down and slightly out;
  3. now the lower abdomen is full of air, continue to breathe in an upward motion to the heart area;
  4. stop when the heart area is full of breath for a second or two;
  5. exhale slowly from the heart out through the arms, hands and nose;
  6. during the exhalation, move the hands and arms away from the chest in a horizontal motion. Imagine the prana carrying love or compassion out from your heart into the whole universe;
  7. stop for a second or two, then repeat for five to ten minutes.
  8. now add a golden color of light to your breathing cycle – in other words now add visualization to the breathing. Seeing the breath/prana as a golden light – like a golden liquid honey – will give you a way to focus the mind better. This golden light heals all disease and is warmer than white light which is better to promote clarity of mind – hence, use golden light to heal yourself and all of humanity. Follow the movement of the breath/golden light with your hands; starting at the lower abdomen, rising to the heart, then from the heart move the hands out in a horizontal motion as the light/prana leave your hands and then slowly lower your hands down to the lower abdomen to repeat. (see diagram)
    As the hands follow the breath, so too the prana will follow the breath. On the inward breath imagine the prana carrying fresh vitality to the body along with universal golden light; on the outward breath, imagine the prana carrying golden love, golden light to the whole universe.


Please follow the instructions carefully!

This exercise uses pranic breathing as a basis. The main difference is that instead of projecting the prana out through the heart and hands we direct it upwards to the crown of the head. Then we allow the prana to flow out the crown and down over the energetic body (pranamaya kosa).

IF YOU FEEL LIGHTHEADED FROM THIS EXERCISE STOP DOING IT IMMEDIATELY- instead do the above exercises for another 3 to 6 months and then try again. 
This technique is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR VATA CONSTITUTION PEOPLE or people with strong VATA imbalances – do the HEART MEDITATION instead of this one.

  1. place the hands on the lower abdomen, just below the navel;
  2. inhale into the lower abdomen, the hands should move slightly out, as the diaphragm is pushing the organs in the abdominal region down and slightly out;
  3. now the lower abdomen is full of air, continue to breathe in an upward motion to the top of the head;
  4. while doing this keep your eyes half closed and unfocused – yet centered on the space between your eyebrows. With a little practice you will find a place that does not put stress on the eyes – this may be a little higher or a little lower on the space between the eyebrows;
  5. while breathing in imagine that you are breathing in white colored prana or air – as you breath in the white light moves inward to your abdomen and then upwards to your heart and then further until it reaches the top of your head;
  6. now let the prana / white light flow out of the top of your head like a fountain – see it as a shower of white light that surrounds your body and as it is falling it cleanses you of all impurities;
  7. repeat
  8. when this becomes comfortable add a slight pause of several seconds between the incoming and outgoing breaths
  9. DO THIS FOR FIVE (5) MINUTES ONLY PER DAY! Morning time is the best time, but it can be done in the evening after work as well

This exercise purifies the mind, emotions and body of impurities. Do it for three months to have results. Doing this exercise for longer than 5 minutes will generally derange the nadi (meridian) system and/or the mental stability. It is most suited to kapha and pitta types of people. If done for five minutes per day the results will be very clear and not cause any problems. This method can activate a cleansing reaction of the mind and body – be aware! Do not use any kind of drug while you are doing this method either as it is to purify you not to make you have some ’strong experience’.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti! (Om Peace, Peace, Peace!)

Vaidya Atreya Smith is the author of six books on Ayurvedic and Yogic healing and has been practicing and teaching Ayurveda for many years. He teaches throughout Europe at affilliated schools. He is the director of the European Institute of Vedic Studies which offers a number of trainings and courses on Ayurveda.  Visit her website: Atreya

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