Open your heart. Follow your heart. Heart of Gold.
The heart symbolizes love, but what exactly is an open heart? In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at the yogic practice of “heart opening,” and how incorporating heart openers into our practice can lead to pure love and a blissful state.
What are heart openers and what can I expect from a heart opening flow?
Heart openers offer many benefits. Physiologically, we give our heart centers space to stretch and relax. Deeper breathing and a sense of calm are two physical benefits from these poses.
Heart openers are a great way to practice not judging ourselves. The poses physically open us up and also create a spiritual space for us to be any way we are meant to be. This openness can lead to many surprises on and off the mat.
Heart openers can be done at every level of yoga and are very accessible. Examples include:
On the belly: cobra, locust, bow.
On the back: fish, bridge, and wheel.
Upright: camel, upward facing dog, mountain.
Using blocks, bolsters, and binds, we can modify many traditional yoga shapes into heart openers.
A chair yoga class is another gentle and extremely rewarding way to explore new levels of heart openers such as dancer, tree, and warrior I.
A good heart opening practice is energizing and freeing. When we open the heart, we become more mindful of our own truths. We experience ourselves the way we are, free from expectation. With that loving acceptance of ourselves in the moment, with our guards down, it is then possible to spread our love to the world.
Why should I go to a Heart Opening yoga class?
Let’s look at this question from a different point of view and ask, “what do I want to open my heart up to?”
The heart center symbolically holds our strongest energy for love and compassion both for ourselves and others. Opening our hearts involves being ok with feeling vulnerable.
The journey to our true selves starts with optimism. When we show up to practice yoga, we intuitively want to embrace a wellness lifestyle. We want to be loving, kind, peaceful, calm, and happy people. But sometimes it’s a journey to get to a place of comfortably being and breathing on our mats.
Heart openers are an incredibly effective way to practice mindfulness and experience growth.
Judgement comes in many forms, from measuring ourselves up to expectations, to outright criticism of ourselves and others. A heart opening practice brings us out of a stagnant place into the present positive moment with our body and breath flowing.
The journey of heart opening may be met with resistance. Being vulnerable sometimes hurts. By devoting ourselves to a consistent practice, we hope to create an environment in our bodies and minds that encourages and supports an open heart that we can lovingly share with the world.
Come join us for a heart opening class and see where the journey takes us.