Yoga presents plenty of opportunity for opening the heart. Literally focusing your mind in the center of your chest activates the heart. In Buddhism they say that the true mind is in the heart center. Try putting your awareness there. You may even try gently placing one hand on your heart and place the other gently on top. Just smile to that place in your chest and notice what or if anything happens.
Here are 3 ways to open your heart:
1. Add cardio into your practice this month, to get the heart rate up. You can get some of my great cardio playlists in my Music Lounge. Cardiovascular work includes spinning, dancing, rollerblading, walking, jogging. This will increase your lung capacity, endurance, and will lift your spirits.
2. Sun salutes are not only celebrating the sun, but are very much the cardio aspect to the yoga practice. The breath oxygenates the blood and the heart pumps the blood to all the extremities, giving us that endorphin rush. Watch the video below for my breakdown of the Sun Salute. You can also buy my 3-pack of downloadable mini routines and get a free Sun Salute instructional.
3. Energize your practice with some stimulating Back Bends. Check the Yoga Poses of the Month and watch the following videos for some great heart-opening poses.
Although opening the heart can feel vulnerable (I often feel a creepy feeling when I do heart opening poses. Almost like a flutter in my chest), the alternative is to be stoic and rigid. Ultimately, the heart openers keep the spine supple and flexible, which the yogis and yoginis say is the key to youth.
Be like an actor this week and open your heart!