Valentine’s Day Yoga – How To Do Heart Openers

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 Valentine’s Day Yoga – How To Do Heart Openers

By Tali Koziol

“Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”

-Mitch Albom

yoga heart openers

Tali’s Heart Opener How-To:

“Open your heart.” If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard these words. But what does it mean?

In yoga we move towards physical and energetic alignment. We bring our bodies closer to bio-mechanical neutral to relieve aches and pains from our lives and activities. We bring our energy centers, or Chakras, into alignment and openness so we can experience emotions freely and fully while keeping them from spiraling into overwhelm. Whether you’re aiming to just feel better physically, to optimize your emotional energy or both, heart opening poses are for you.

valentine's day yoga

The physical benefits of heart opening come from expanding the chest, the muscles in front of the heart. In our day-to-day activities like typing, reading, cycling, and even climbing, we have a tendency to hunch forward. Shoulders move up towards ears and pectoral muscles shorten. Long-term, this can affect posture, back muscles, and our core. Heart-openers give length back to these areas and get the shoulders back where they belong and can help stabilize and strengthen our core muscles.

The energetic benefits give our heart chakra the opportunity to let energy optimally flow which affects our experience with love, compassion, service to others, and spiritual healing. The beauty of the heart chakra is that it not only affects our ability to give love and compassion, but to receive it as well. In the times in our lives when we feel alone or lost we may not feel compelled to open the heart–it may feel too vulnerable. However, these are the times that opening the heart is the most important because it allows us to take in all the love around us that we may otherwise not notice or receive. Keeping the heart chakra open energetically allows the flow of give and receive to keep us connected and in healthy balance with the people and experiences we hold dear.

Backbends are often thought of as “the” heart opener—and they do work. However, you don’t have to be super bendy or strong to receive the benefits of heart openers. Here are a few simple poses you can do to help keep the heart chakra in balance and receive the physical benefits too!

Chest Flying Pose: Sit in Easy Pose (legs crossed in a comfortable seat, prop hips up on a blanket for a more comfortable seat). Bring your arms out to the side, palms down. As you exhale bring your arms forward until they almost meet. On an inhale, bring your arms back to the side. Find a comfortable rhythm and continue for one to five minutes. This makes room for your heart and heart center to grow and thrive.

Cat-Cow Pose: Get onto the floor on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are directly in line with your hips and your hands are in line with your shoulders. Exhale while tilting your head down between your arms and rounding your back and shoulders (like a cat that’s arched its back). Then, inhale, and slowly move into a reverse arch (cow) rounding your stomach toward the floor while bringing your head up through your arms into a backward tilt that pulls your chest upward. Repeat several times. This feels great any time of the day.

Sphinx Pose: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you. Rotate your thighs inward. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders and your forearms parallel to each other. On an inhale, keep lengthening through your tailbone as you lift your head and torso off the floor. Lightly draw your belly away from the floor, rounding it toward your lower back. Stay for five to 10 breaths, then release. Repeat one to two more times if you like. You should feel a great lengthening in the abdominals and lower back.

Try to incorporate these into your day. Some people prefer to do the poses in the morning, others at night, sometimes both! You can do these poses daily and keep a journal of how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. These subtle poses could have a world of impact!


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