Heart Openers

As I write this post three days before it goes out on the blog, this week has found me getting ready to start teaching classes on July 6 for Yoga in the Park at Pringle Nature Center.  (??!!)  There's a lot of work to do, and it's a lot of fun, and it's a little bit scary too.  Anything worth doing should be a little bit scary though, right? 

This is a good week for heart openers.  Hunched over my laptop for a lot of hours this week, I found it very helpful to stop and do some simple poses to open my chest and shoulders.  Ahhhhh.  These poses are also great to invoke confidence and courage.  Who couldn't use that, right?  

So, here are three Heart Opening Poses that are great for beginners.  If you have back issues, please resist unless your doctor says ok.

Standing Backbend

Stand in Mountain pose with feet pushing into the earth, knees lifted (but not locked), legs strong. Hands on low back, pressing hips forward gently.  Look forward (or up and back if that feels ok) as you gently arch your torso backward.  Keep within comfort and balance levels.

Sphinx Pose

Lie on floor with forearms flat and elbows underneath shoulders.  Inhale and lift chest off the floor.  Think of your neck being in one long line with your spine.  Your chin is level with the ground.  Press your legs into the ground, and drop your shoulders back.  When you pull forward with your hands, feel your chest rise forward and channel that great Sphinx of Egypt in your pose.

Supported Savasana

Lie on your back with a bolster, cushion, or rolled up towel underneath your upper back, shoulders, and head.  Place your arms out with your palms skyward.  Revel in the fact that this resting pose is doing something great for your chest and shoulders.  Try to stay in this pose for at least three minutes, breathing eveningly.  Did this pose bring you a sense of calm?  Savasana is the last pose of nearly every single yoga class everywhere, and it's one of the most important yoga poses.

I hope these ease some tension in your shoulders and chest.... and next time you need to feel confident at work, just lie down on the floor in Supported Savasana!


Next week:  Laughter Yoga:  weird trend or are they on to something?  A light-hearted look.