As passionate people who feel all the feels, we know the importance of treating our hearts with TLC. We also know that keeping our emotional pulse in rhythm requires attention to both our minds and bodies. Yoga is great for tying the two together, and you don’t have to be a die-hard yogi to benefit in a big way. Lifestyle blogger, Lauren Gores of You & Lu, teamed up with yoga instructor, Molly Mitchell-Hardt, to craft a sequence of simple yoga stretches to help us open our hearts. Take a deep breath and give yourself a little mind-body loving with these five moves… 

An open heart leads to new experiences, new relationships, new feelings and, ultimately, a happier life. While keeping an open heart is often something we mentally practice, we can also physically create it through yoga.

Stretching the muscles in your chest and shoulders pushes you to release emotions, giving both your mind and body a chance to connect. Yoga instructor Molly Mitchell-Hardt encourages us to practice five stretches that will keep our hearts open. Roll out your mats a few days a week – from home or work – to help produce an openness your heart’s been longing for.

5 Yoga Stretches For An Open Heart:

Note: Begin and end your session with a few minutes of meditation.

CAT + COW | Begin on all fours. While taking deep breaths in and out, round out your shoulders and tuck in your neck. Then arch your back and come to a neutral spine.  Repeat for ten breaths.

SUNBIRD REACH | Remain on all fours – this time using one arm to reach for the opposite leg. Pull your leg upwards to the sky, while keeping your chest open and outward. Hold for ten breaths.

BOW POSE | Begin lying flat on your stomach. Reach for your feet and grab hold of your ankles. Keep your chest open, while arching your back. Hold for five breaths.

CAMEL POSE | Start by kneeling on your mat, with your feet perpendicular to the mat. Slowly arch your neck toward the sky, while pushing your chest outward. Reach for your ankles and take several deep breaths. Hold for ten breaths.

STANDING BOW POSE | Begin standing. Using your core as a source of balance, reach for one of your legs with the same-side arm. Pull your leg upwards toward the sky, while reaching outward with the opposite arm to help with balance.  Hold this position for five to ten breaths, depending on skill level. Switch sides.

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