LOVE YOUR HEART, BODY, AND SOUL
This February, we are celebrating the season of the heart. Many may spend time with their partners and loved ones while some may opt to do it alone. The joy of the season comes from the act of giving love as well as receiving love in return, but oftentimes we forget to love ourselves first. For those who just feel like something’s missing, doing yoga is one way that would help you feel complete.
The Anahata or the Heart Chakra is your center for self-love, acceptance, giving and receiving. When this energy center is balanced, you will feel openhearted and ready for true connections with yourself and the people around you.
Here are some yoga poses dedicated to this chakra that would lead you to have a healthy heart in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense.
Anjali Mudra or The Salutation Seal
Stimulate your heart energy by drawing together your palms at the heart like in a prayer position. Begin to lightly tap the sternum with the thumbs. Let it be a rhythmic and gentle tap. As you are tapping keep the spine long and the heart open. Practicing Anjali Mudra is an excellent way to induce a meditative state of awareness. May be done at the beginning and end of your exercise.
Balasana or The Child’s Pose
Allow your knees to spread to a comfortable distance apart. Reach your arms toward the front of your mat. Spread your fingers nice and wide and begin to open up. Take deep inhales up into the center of your chest. Inhale and walk your hands a little bit further forward and exhale and let your heart soften and surrender down to your mat.
Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose
This is another heart opener that also stimulates the digestive and reproductive systems as well as strengthens the lungs. Start by lying prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back and spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders while hugging the elbows back into your body. While inhaling, straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, while maintaining a connection through your pubis to your legs. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds while breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhaling breath.
Dhanurasana or The Bow Pose
When executed properly, this pose looks like an archer’s bow that makes your body ready to take aim. Lie on your belly and reach back with your hands to take hold of your ankles. The torso and legs represents the body of the bow while your arms is the string. Be sure not to stop breathing while you stay in this pose then release as you exhale.
Adho mukha śvānāsana or The Downward-Facing Dog
Have your hands and knees on the floor. Then lift your knees and push the hips toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhaling breath and rest in Child’s Pose.
Urdvha Mukha Svanasana or The Upward-Facing Dog
Lie on your belly and feel the back of your body soften down into the front of your body. Extend your legs back then bring your hands under your shoulders and begin to peel the heart up off of the floor. Lift a reasonable amount with elbows bent and pubic bone on the floor and then pause. Then, pressing the tops of the feet and hands straight down, begin to lift the heart higher, allow the hips and thighs to come off the floor until the only points of contact are the hands and feet. Curl the upper spine in and up as you pull the upper arm bones back to open the heart.
This heart-opening pose is perfect for Valentine’s Day. When you are open and available, you are present to truly give and receive love. From Downward-Facing Dog, step the right foot between the hands and raise the upper body toward the ceiling. Reach both arms overhead and hook the thumbs as you move into a backbend. Come back to center and release hands to the floor, stepping back into high Plank and then back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Ustrasana or The Camel Pose
Camel is an upper-spine backbend that comes from narrowing in the belly and widening in the chest. Kneel on the floor with your knees at hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Start to curl up and back as you reach one hand and then the other to touch its corresponding foot. Once in the pose, reach the thighs down as you lift the back of the ribcage up. Finally drop your head back gently as long as it doesn’t cause neck pain. When you finish, sit on your heels, close your eyes, and enjoy the rush of being alive in an open-hearted body.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
While lying on your back, bring your heels to your sitting position with your arms by your sides as you lift your hips up toward the sky. Tuck your upper arm bones in toward center to help open your chest. Hold this pose for 5 breathes then rest. This pose is part of your warm down.
Savasana or Corpse Pose
After doing your poses and cooling down, just lie back in Savasana or like a corpse. While you are resting, consciously soften around the heart space, letting your attention linger for a moment or two. Then release all thoughts and relax as you drift into a quiet and restful repose.
Every chakra has equal value, meaning one chakra cannot operate optimally without the others in equal measure. Now that you have strengthened your heart chakra, it’s time to develop the rest of your chakras to achieve a sense of completeness, a higher feeling of self, or Nirvana.
For a complete guide to opening the seven chakras through yoga, watch Model Yoga Season 3 at these times http://www.fashionone.com/schedule
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