Heart-Opening Yoga for Valentine’s Day
by Mollie Ewing, RYT
February is the perfect time to practice heart opening poses in honor of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. Heart opening poses exercise the fourth chakra, Anahata, also known as the heart chakra. There are seven chakras, or energy centers, through which your prana, or life force, flow through your body. The fourth chakra is located in your chest (think heart, lungs, thoracic spine) and from your shoulders down through your hands. When this chakra is open and energy is free-flowing you are able to express compassion, empathy, joy, and you can easily give and receive love.
My husband and I were on holiday in Venice Beach, Ca recently. While walking to breakfast one morning I saw the words “Kindness Is Magic” spray painted on the sidewalk. I love this! It has been a personal theme of sorts for me ever since. I believe that kindness is magic. These words make me think of Anahata. When this chakra balanced, we can spread kindness to our loved ones, ourselves, and even strangers. Whether you smile at a stranger in passing, leave a love note for your honey, or treat yourself to the massage you’ve been putting off – a simple act of kindness is an easy way to brighten your day and maybe someone else’s as well. One reason kindness is so magical is because it is contagious. The receiver of a simple act of kindness is often inspired to spread the love, paying it forward by giving a simple act of kindness to someone else. February is the perfect time of year to embrace your fourth chakra and celebrate simple acts of kindness.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite yoga poses to balance your heart chakra. For more fertility-friendly yoga and community join me for our drop-in Fertility Friendly Yoga Flow class on Thursdays in the River North location. Click here to register!
Start by laying on your back. Lay your arms, palms face down, alongside your body. Press the soles of your feet into the mat at hip width distance. Walk your heels towards your glutes until you can brush your heels with your fingertips. Inhale, float your hips up toward the ceiling. LIft your sternum toward your chin and gently pull your chin away from your chest. Option to interlace your fingers at the base of your spine to find greater heights with your hips and a deeper chest opening.
Favorite Heart Opening Partner Pose:
Start by standing face to face with your partner with your arms extended in front of you and your palms pressing into one another. Release your palms and come to Mountain Pose- stand tall, feet together, arms lifted overhead. Shift your weight into your left foot and kick your right foot up toward your glutes. Bring your right hand back to grab the big toe side of your right foot. Find your balance. Inhale, slowly kick your foot into your hand to propel your chest forward. Finally reach your left arm forward and up as you press your palm into your partner’s palm for Partner Dancer’s Pose.