In 2021 I am creating a different theme for each month, for my classes. Each class will, as always, be a full body flow, but with a little extra focus on our monthly theme. These are for my in person classes in Poole, when permitted, and on-line. My online members library will be able search on our monthly tag of heartopenings or backbends
For January our focus will be Heart Openings.
So - what are ‘heart openings’? Quite simply they are back bends, but, to keep the balance and also ‘open’ the back of our hearts we also need to include forward bends to round/open the back of our rib cage. So expect lots of ribcage movement as we get our thoracic spine moving.
In Yoga heart openings can lead to improved connection to our heart & mind, energetically balancing ourselves allowing us to be more compassionate & to give more compassion. Leading to greater peace & harmony with ourselves & to others. We have our Heart Chakra, Anahata, (green). Heart openings can also lead to a greater sense of relaxation & peace as our posture improves. Our breath moves deeper into our lungs & works on our parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system & slowing our heart rate, moving us out of a shallow breath & our sympathetic nervous system (fight & flight).
Here is a simple heart meditation that you can do anytime. 5 minutes is a good amount of time, but maybe start at 1 minute & then with practice build your time up. If one day your mind just wanders - don’t worry, try again, & the next time & it might be easier. Meditation, like anything, takes practice.
Heart Openers in the Movement & Exercise World
In the movement world we see heart openings as mainly backbends or back extensions but to get back extension we need to mobilise our spine in all its directions so we need to include forward bends (flexion) side bends & rotations. In other words thoracic mobility. Improved thoracic mobility will also lead to improved breathing & posture.
Taking your practice off your mat
Ways to carry your heart openings with you during your day to day life:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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