Monday, August 1, 2011

Open Your Heart!

Opening my heart is truly one of my life's goals. I am a big thinker and planner, and I try to do a lot within my own head. The truth is in my heart. When I explore ways of sharing myself, I do not always know what the outcome is. This can be challenging... to trust. I tend to be a perfectionist, and I don't like to look bad, so often times I stay shut off. Safe. Part of why we love actors so much is because they are sharing the intimacy of their hearts. We all have similar feelings, just different triggers. Opening your heart can sometimes be messy, but that is the fun of it.

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!

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