Open Heart Yoga: what can yoga do for your heart?
“Open heart yoga poses” is an expression you have probably heard before if you have been practicing for a while. It refers most of the times to back bends or chest opening asanas, which require the opening of the chest area of our bodies.
Although this expression is used to refer to a physical movement, it goes way beyond and deeper than that. These poses have an effect on our emotional capacities of love, care, acceptance, and gratitude.
If you want to learn more about why is important to work with this poses, the meaning of opening your heart and what it can bring to your life, we are going to share some insights about it. Keep on reading.
Why is open heart yoga so important?
Through life, we face a countless number of delusions and hard times that end up in the development of a shield around our emotions. With time, that armor starts to get physical and is usual to see people closing their chest area more and more over time, sometimes even creating an excessive curvature on the dorsal.
The chest is also the location of the heart chakra (Anahata Chakra) and its health depends on the circulation of energy to be in balance.
If the physical and emotional shield becomes too strong, it can have a strong impact in people’s relationships and daily life. People that go through traumas can develop extreme blockages that can be worked out through yoga.
Yoga attempts to remove blockages we have that don’t allow us to understand ourselves more deeply, and truly relating to others. Heart-opening yoga asanas are one of the most effective ways to do it.
It’s important to recognize that, in different levels, everyone faces these challenges and working the energy in the trusting and loving levels are extremely important for a balanced life.
5 Asanas for opening your heart
Also called the cow pose, start with this simple asana and bring focus to opening your dorsal. It’s the perfect first step to go on this journey to meet with your center of love again!
This lying open heart yoga position is great to prepare deeper backbends. It forces you to learn how to use your core muscles as well as your back musculature and how to not be dependent on your arms.
This asana, where you perform the form of a bow or arch is great to start digging deep into backbends. It’s not as easy as it might look, and you need to pay attention to protect your knees (always keep the big toes together). It will improve your energy and will to achieve new goals in life.
Ustrasana requires a higher control of your core and legs’ muscles and is especially important to learn all the steps carefully in order to protect your lower back. Ustrasana is a strong emotional asana, that pushes your trust and confidence in yourself. Work on it progressively.
The hardest one of them all requires strength and flexibility and can take some time to master. Don’t jump right into it and if you have physical limitations, ask a teacher for help. At the same time, it’s also one of the strongest heart open yoga asanas in what concerns to its emotional effect, since it requires a total exposure of your chest in a position that is so different from our regular movements.
Some people, with strong emotional blockages, can have breakdowns when doing Urdhva Dhanurasana. It might be important to be surrounded by someone who trusts you and can provide a safe place where you can feel free to let go of those emotions.
There are many other backbends that can be part of your open heart yoga practice, and you can explore over time. Remember to take it slowly and to give yourself time to face a new challenge only when you are ready, and not all at the same time.
Once more we can learn how much yoga can do for our life in so many different and vital levels!
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