Anahata Yoga (Heart Yoga) was developed by Ana Costa, a Brazilian born Yoga teacher. The modality was created in 2001, and is a combination of Hatha, Raja and Kriya Yoga, strongly inspired by the teachings of the Indian Guru Paramahansa Yogananda (the author of the famous book Autobiography of a Yogi, published in 1946).
The Indian Sanskrit word Anahata is a well-known term used to designate the 4th Chakra (counted from the base of the spine upwards to the head), which is called the Anahata Chakra or Heart Chakra. The word Anahata is translated in various ways, such as invincible, unbeaten, unstruck, infinite, boundless, clean, and pure, among others.
The Anahata Chakra is located along Sushumna Nadi, near the heart and the cardiac plexus, and is associated with properties like balance, openness, purity, love, compassion, charity, cleanliness, inner healing, calmness, and serenity.
The main focus of practicing Anahata Yoga is to open and connect to the Anahata Chakra, while furthermore adjusting bad posture, opening the chest, shoulders, and lungs in order to stimulate Vital Life Force (Prana) flowing freely in the body.
The Anahata Yoga practice consists of a flow of exercises, sitting and standing Yoga postures (Asanas), Pranayama breathing exercises, stretches, and brief meditations, usually accompanied by devotional or meditative music. It’s not a physically challenging form of Yoga practice, but a gentle set of exercises aimed at correct breathing, serenity, and calmness.