Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and lift your chest toward the sky. Feel the great liberation in your chest and enjoy the power of opening your heart. We don’t always think of our chest and heart as something to work out or exercise, but it can be a life-changing workout.
Physically opening your heart and chest can improve your posture, relieve neck and shoulder pain, and improve your breathing. The increasing amount of time we spend driving, texting and typing on the computer in our modern lives has us tightening the muscles around our chest while constantly pulling our arms forward. This causes the chest to collapse on itself, constricting the lungs and heart while pulling the muscles in the neck and upper body. Using yoga to consciously open this area counteracts the activities of our hectic everyday life.
On a more energetic level, opening up this area of your body opens you up to the world around you. You feel more present and connected to those around you. Chanting from the Heart Throat Chakra makes you speak more lovingly and feel more whole. Many of us have past traumas or deep emotions in our chests and hearts. By physically opening up this space, our body releases these old tensions and we can start over.
Who Should Do Happy Yoga?
Who Should Do Happy Yoga?
The simple answer here is everyone. Everyone can benefit from being more open to the world around us and letting go of the stress that presses into our upper body.
But generalities aside, anyone with prolonged arm extension or chest adduction will greatly benefit from these exercises.
If you have trouble maintaining good posture, an open approach is key for you. Do you have a hunched back, do you suffer from “forward leaning syndrome”, or do you constantly work on your computer or phone? Do you drive further to work? Incorporate these practices into your daily life to counteract these activities and keep your heart open.
Have you ever been emotionally traumatized, but despite your best efforts to deal with it, something lingers? Do you feel chest tightness or shortness of breath when excited? Do you have difficulty connecting with others, even close friends or family, or do you feel like you belong in this world? These types of yoga poses will change your everyday life. Opening up will release these blocks, ease your fears and help you connect more authentically with the world around you. Open your heart and breathe life into it.
happy meeting intention
happy meeting intention
It is good practice to have an intention for each yoga session. This focuses and draws attention to what you choose to devote your practice to. This may be even stronger when performing a heart opening sequence. Here are some things to consider when conducting an open heart session:
Letting go: Because these poses help release trapped emotions or trauma, this is a great place to let go and move on. Breathe deeply as you do these exercises, and imagine those stuck sensations dissolving and leaving your body with each exhale.
Open to Acceptance: When you don’t feel like you’re opening up to all that life has to offer, these opening poses will help you open up and invest in it. Consider dedicating your practice to a full lived experience.
Communication: The heart, lungs, throat and entire chest are involved in the communication process. Our desires and feelings originate in our heart, and through our lungs and throat chakra, we find our voice and speak it out loud. If you’re having trouble communicating with a particular person, or you’re having trouble speaking up for yourself, that might be a good intention for this exercise. Also, if you find yourself communicating, but often through angry, frustrated, or unkind words, use this exercise to open your heart to communicate with more empathy.
Sphinx is a great way to start opening up. It’s gentle and supportive, making it easy to adjust to practice.
– Start by lying face down on a mat with your arms at your sides and your legs together. During this stretch, you rotate your thighs inward to support your back by rolling your outer thighs toward the floor.
– While lying flat on the floor, point your toes toward the wall behind you and work your leg muscles.
– Move your arms so that your elbows are under your shoulders and your forearms are straight in front of you.
– Inhale and lift your chest and head into Sphinx pose. Keeping your glutes and legs tight (but not clenched), gently draw your abs toward your spine. Exhale after taking 5-10 breaths, slowly return the chest to its original position, turn the head to one side and rest on the floor, and rest a few times. Repeat 2-3 times.
Similar to Sphinx Pose, Cobra Pose is a great way to gently open the heart. Giving yourself extra time to breathe fully in this pose can also help with breathing problems or sore chest muscles.
– Lie face down on the mat with legs together and feet pointing toward the wall behind you, flat on the floor.
– Place hands under shoulders and spread fingers apart to create a stable starting point. As you inhale, straighten your arms and lift your chest while placing your legs and pubic bone firmly on the floor.
– Draw the shoulder blades toward the spine to further open the chest.
– Rest here for 5-10 breaths. As you exhale, relax and gently lower your back to the floor, tilt your face to one side and rest a few times. Repeat 2-3 times.
This pose includes a nice powerful backbend to open up the entire chest,