The heart. The single most important and powerful organ in the body. A closed heart can lead to all sorts of physical and emotional problems. But when the heart is open, the possibilities are endless. We become more accepting, humble, genuine, our joys become greater and our sorrows bearable, not to mention all the physical benefits that come from having an open heart. So if you’re looking to open up your heart a little more, you’ve come to the right place. Several studies show how yoga can help the heart, through both the mind and the physical body.
This week’s featured classes invite you to open your heart to possibility, to forgiveness and change this holiday season.
You can use our new Search Feature to search through all of our Yoga for the Heart classes on your own. To get you started without searching, we’re highlighting six classes in a variety of styles, levels and durations that are designed to help open the heart.
- Open Your Heart to the Holidays with Dice Iida-Klein: It’s that time of the season…time to open your heart to the holidays. Dedicated to heart openers, this class uses backbends to open our hearts and upper backs. Through a steady flow, we open the psoas, hip flexors, hamstrings, upper back and chest. Variations of backbends are introduced during the flow, but we peak our practice with scorpion pose both in handstand and forearm balance. Then we try the inverted scorpion or “hollow-back”scorpion made famous by Dharma Mittra yogis! Enjoy!
- Heroic Hearts with Noah: This steady and focused class builds heat and opening in headstand, handstand, forearm balance, and standing poses to culminate in a progression to headstand drop overs (Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana from Sirsasana I). We explore using the pause (in every moment) to turn inside, in order to respond most appropriately to the moment.
- Power to the Heart with Kia Miller: Enjoy this wonderful healing class for the heart, that promotes a heart centered consciousness. Class includes a chant meditation that activates the higher centers of the brain leaving your feeling lifted and lighter. The more we align our physical and subtle bodies the stronger the inward pull and our ability to walk with grace in the most ungraceful of times.
- Healthy Ego, Humble Heart with Steven Espinosa:Our practice of yoga as a way of cultivating a healthy ego while maintaining a humble heart. Gentle warm up leading into a vigorous standing pose series with primary focus on lower body stability to create upper body flexibility. Includes hip opener with Eka Pada Raja Kopatasana (Pidgeon), backbending with Danurasana (Bow) and concluding with spinal twisting. Also includes a brief explanation of front and back body expansion as it relates to the theme of healthy ego and humble heart.
- Power of the Heart with Backends with Sianna Sherman: Progressive backbends exploring symmetrical and asymmetrical variations to tap into the power of the heart and free up contracted energies. Blanket support for supta virasana may be needed.
Core Heart Opener with Jo Tastula: Welcome back to your yoga mat from your holidays, travel, or just too much work and re-enter with this sweet core strengthening/heart opening flow. Lie back in a supported heart opener and begin to realign the energies of the body and the mind. Abdominal core work kicks off our strengthening practice followed by a simple warm up of backbends to Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). Forward bends (Uttanasana), Crane/Crow (Bakhasana), Plank Variations (Vasistasana) and Warrior 2 Flow sequence (Virabhadrasana) bring suppleness to the spine and strength to the arms and core. Our peek posture is Half Moon Sugar Cane (Ardha Chandra Chapasana). With the body nicely heated we move into backbends Locust (Salabhasana), Bow (Dhanurasana), Bridge (Setu Bandhasana) and Upward Bow (Urdhva Dhanurasana). Marinate with the heart energy in a finishing hip opener of your choice!