"The more you open your heart to others, the more your life becomes joyful." One who is open and balanced in their chest area and heart space is more open to freely give and receive love to others and have a more loving relationship with yourself. When we are depressed or closed off, our posture reflects it with a more hunched over and closed off posture.
More of us are increasingly spending hours upon hours every day staring at our mobile phones, with our heads bent, eyes down, and our posture like a croissant. This is a similar stance we adopt when we are sad, depressed, or disappointed. We make ourselves appear small because we are sad – yet it’s also true we can feel sad because we’re making ourselves appear small. Social psychologists call it embodied cognition. This basically means our mind influences our body, but our body – especially our stance – greatly influences our mind too.
Fortunately, embodied cognition works positively as well, which is essentially what yoga asanas are in their essence, ways to use our bodies, to make our minds feel a certain way. We put our bodies into strong, empowered, open-hearted confident shapes on the yoga postures, our minds will feel these qualities increase as well.
To bravely open your heart, these 5 common postures are powerful and can undo all the time staring down at our phones, have us standing proud, tall, and be open to giving and receiving love. It's recommended you spend at least 5 deep breaths in each of these poses to
Here are 5 yoga poses to make your heart happier:
This posture is simple and effective in opening your shoulders and chest while alleviating and lengthening your lower back. Keep your legs strong and neck long and let breath into the front of your heart.
Upward Facing Dog
This posture is a layer deeper than Cobra and more advanced. Note that Cobra is still powerful and to avoid Upward Facing Dog if you have any issues in your lower back. Otherwise, in this pose, keep your legs strong, heart-lifting, and breathe into the center of your chest.
This pose works against gravity, which means that even while you powerfully open your heart and shoulders, you also strengthen your back. Kick strongly and let your legs be the driving force in this posture.
This is a reset for all of the time we spend hunched over. Wheel pose not only lengthens and stretches your entire spine, but it is also a particularly wonderful pose to lengthen and open your neck.
Gravity helps open your heart in this posture, which means you can deeply open the space around your heart. Continue to lift your heart toward the sky, while you lengthen out of your lower back.
If you're feeling closed off or depressed, remember that you can work your body to help uplift your mind. Backbends in yoga open your heart and in turn, open you up to love more. Enjoy these five, as well as many other heart-chakra opening postures.
By Nicki Mateo
Nicki Mateo is an independent artist and author, who enjoys pushing boundaries, yoga and meditation, creative energy, and breaking down stereotypes.
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