It’s common to have energetic blocks around the heart chakra. Our hearts go through a lot of wear and tear and mindful routines like this one from yogi, Kait Hurley help to get energy flowing freely and open up a deeper sense of connection and intuition.
Want to lead from your heart and connect deeper with your intuition? These seven heart-opening yoga poses along with my short loving-kindness meditation will help you do just that. Get ready to feel the love and to flood your body with major compassion for yourself and everyone around you — because when our hearts are open, we’re less judgmental, more connected and we see things for how they really are instead of getting swept up in our emotions and reactions to stress. Enjoy!
Set it up: Come to an all-fours position so your shoulders are stacked over your wrists and your hips are over your knees. Push the tops of your feet and shins into the mat to lift your low belly and lengthen your low back.
Add the movement: Inhale. Lift your tailbone and shine your heart forward. Exhale. Scoop your belly, puff up the space between your shoulder blades, and tuck your chin.
Take it deeper: Focus on lengthening your heart forward and pulling your tailbone back as you find cow pose. This counteraction of reaching your heart and tailbone away from each other will help you maintain a stronger connection with your core and also help you avoid dumping into your low back.
Anjaneyasana with a Backbend
Set it up: From all-fours, place your right foot forward so your knee is stacked over your ankle. Lift your shoulders over your hips.
Add the movement: Inhale, reach your arms high to the sky. Exhale gently, push your hips forward, float your heart up and cactus the arms so your elbows are pulling down towards your hips and in toward the sides of your waist.
Take it deeper: Press your front foot, your back shin and top of your back foot into the mat and — without moving — energetically drive them away from each other. This will create a stronger, more stable foundation and help you balance.
Halfway Split with Shining Heart Forward
Set it up: From anjaneyasana with your right foot forward, exhale, extend your right leg long and sweep your arms back behind you.
Take it deeper: Dig your right heel into your mat, then drag your right hip back to deepen the stretch. Instead of focusing on drawing your belly closer to your thighs, keep your chest lifted and gently squeeze your shoulder blades towards one another as you shine your heart open.
Set it up: From halfway split, curl your back toes and launch forward so you’re balancing on one leg. Stretch your arms behind you.
Take it deeper: Root all four corners of your standing foot down and reach through your back heel to find more length in your body. Square your hips off, and hug your low belly in tighter. Your shoulder blades gently squeeze in and descend towards your hips. Your heart shines forward. I like to imagine my collar bones widening and spreading apart in this posture.
Reverse Warrior with Bent Elbow
Set it up: From warrior II, step your feet out wider than your hips. Turn your right toes out so your heel is in line with the arch of your left foot. Bend your right knee over your right ankle, and stretch your arms out wide to shoulder height. Inhale, reach your right arm up and back for reverse warrior.
Add the movement: Exhale, bend your right elbow so your right hand is reaching down towards your shoulder blades. Breathe in, lift your right elbow up and back so you get a deeper stretch through the side body.
Take it deeper: Press into the outer edges of your feet to turn on your glutes more. Allow your tailbone to drop down towards the floor and then zip up through the low belly. As you inhale and reach your elbow up and back, imagine space between your ribs. Then breathe a little bigger.
Triangle with a Half Bind
Set it up: From reverse warrior with a bent elbow, extend your front leg long and pull your hips back behind you as you fly your arms at six and 12 on a clock.
Add the movement: Take your arm that’s reaching high to the sky and wrap it back behind you towards your opposite thigh.
Take it deeper: Scoop your belly and get longer through both sides of your waist. Roll the top of your shoulder back to open your heart more. Gaze towards the sky.
Go back and repeat poses one through six on the other side of your body so you’re balanced. Finish with the loving-kindness meditation below.
Easy Pose with Hands Over Heart
Set it up: Take an easy cross-legged position. Stack your palms over your heart. Your sitz bones are grounding down, Have the intention of drawing your belly button back towards your spine and up underneath your rib cage. Shoulders are relaxed, stacked over the hips.
Take it deeper: Practice compassion for yourself with a short loving-kindness meditation. To start, guide your attention towards your breath. Once you feel steady and you’re present with the wavelike rhythm of breath, welcome into your mind’s eye an image of you. It could be a felt sense of you, a photograph or how you looked in the mirror earlier today. Then silently repeat these phrases to yourself:
May I be at ease.
May I be content.
May I be joyful.
May I feel safe and secure.
Repeat this set of phrases two times. Then let go of the image or felt sense of you and simply rest in the heart. Allow yourself to rest in the source of love and kindness.
Have you tried yoga nidra? Discover this ultra-soothing ancient practice here.