Welcome to a Joyful You

an image

Open Your Heart to Yoga

Having back pain from being hunched over a desk all day long? Counteract those all-too-familiar postures by opening your heart to yoga. Come out of your past and into your potential. To truly open your heart is to break free from things that hold you back; to move fully forward into your future. One of the most beautiful aspects of yoga is the integration of the physical and the mental practice. Never is that integration more evident than in a heart-opening, back-bending practice. It is impossible to not feel the physical and mental effects of a solid, supportive backbend and heart-opener. Isn’t that juxtaposition beautiful in and of itself? You cannot talk about opening your heart without talking about bending your back. The mechanics of our bodies and our minds only allow us to move forward if we have first broken down and handled what’s behind us. Listed here are a few great heart-opening poses and benefits that they have.

Cow Pose is a pose that is often used to slowly and subtly warm up the spine and the body for the coming practice. This soft heart-opener gently nudges us towards openness and readiness for any pose, feeling, or challenge that might arise. Just like in life, having an open heart and being able to handle the past while staying open to future possibilities, is key to fulfillment and happiness.

Updog is one of yoga’s most well-known and iconic poses. It is seen in almost every class and thrown in the midst of almost every sequence. When you really start to examine the pose deeply, there is a lot more going on in a heart-opening updog than what first meets the eye. The beauty of the updog is in its opposing forces-in its ability to be both strong and open, both grounded and lifted. Much like the flow between cat and cow, the flow from a base-led downdog (hips and tail up), to a heart-led updog (heart forward, base down) is the epitome of the beauty that comes when opposites collide.

Supported Fish is quite possibly the most important pose for Americans living and working in an ever-more sedentary world. Most people spend their days hunched over a desk for their work, then hunched over a steering wheel for their commute, and then hunched over a phone or remote for their entertainment/relaxation at home. Herein lies the beauty of supported fish. Instead of closing off the heart, vulnerability and emotions, supported fish allows your heart and emotions to lay open to all the potential that lies ahead. Instead of hunching the back and shoulders to carry the weight of the world and handle the daily struggles of life, supported fish holds you up, supports your upper back, and supports your past. This support allows you to finally breathe as deeply as you were intended to, and as deeply as you can when your heart is both fully supported and fully open.

Heart-openers can be added to many different poses from lunges to folds, though it causes fear and anxiety in many. The key to overcoming this anxiety and falling in love with heart-openers is to enjoy the vulnerability. Heart-openers may look like vulnerability from the outside, but you can relax knowing that you will always be set up into a strong foundation first. Throughout your next practice, see how many poses you can add a heart-opener to. Can you open your heart just a little bit more in your cow? Can you ground down even more firmly to open your heart more in updog? Can you exhale deeply and unclench the lower back to let supported fish work its magic?

Open your heart to yoga with the help from Joy Yoga Center, and learn about the many physical and psychological benefits that it can have on you. Breathe deeply knowing you are supported and open to whatever beautiful possibilities may flow freely into your life.

Share this Article:

Back to Main Blog