Too much time at the keyboard, behind the wheel, and too much stress in our lives can cause our bodies to become closed and tight, especially in the chest. Heart opening yoga poses can help keep your shoulders lifted and your heart space open. There are many different heart opening yoga poses offering gentle and deep stretches into the heart center. Warming up is always a great idea, but if you don’t have the time or space you can still practice this gentle heart opening pose while listening to your body, finding your edge, and then breathing into it.
This relaxing back bend will open your chest, neck, shoulders, and abs. It will also increase flexibility in your spine and will make you feel centered and full of energy!
Simply come to a kneeling position and sit back onto your feet (if knees are a problem for you this can be done with legs crossed or extended out in front of your body and placing your hands on a firm lifted surface such as a yoga block). Reach back with both palms flat onto the surface behind you, fingers pointed backwards drawing your shoulder blades toward each other and down the back. Pressing down through your palms, lift through the heart center and gently drop the head back; as if you were laying it back into a soft pillow. Breathe into the heart space and hold for 1-2 minutes. Once complete come to child’s pose if time and space permit, resting there for 1-2 minutes, as you allow the body to get heavy and bring the awareness to the breath.
Rise up feeling refreshed and renewed for the tasks ahead and remember to smile and thank yourself for a taking a moment to get centered and recharged!
About the Author
Overcoming breast cancer 6 years ago, Hope turned to yoga as therapy to help her heal. After her practice lifted her mentally, physically and emotionally she experienced a heartfelt calling to share the healing qualities of yoga with others. She founded Hope’s Yoga and began sharing her experiences and her passion for yoga and healthy living through teaching, writing and speaking. Hope’s practice centers on sharing the heart of yoga and its healing qualities with students at all capabilities including those experiencing cancer. Hope can also be found experimenting in her kitchen with her latest healthy recipe or sipping on her latest healing tea blend and offers classes on healthy eating in conjunction with Whole Foods Market. A regular contributor at MindBodyGreen and her own blog Hope was selected by Best Self Atlanta Magazine as one of Atlanta’s “Over 40 and Fabulous for 2015” and as one of the “Best of Atlanta 2014” by Atlanta Magazine. Her work with cancer survivors and the cancer community was recently featured in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. To learn more please visit her website at www.hopesyoga.com.