Updated: Jun 3, 2022
Heart openers in yoga are poses that open up your chest. Strengthening and stretching your chest, back and shoulders. Helping to better your posture and your breathing!
Try one right now - take a deep breath in through your nose, lift your chest up and roll your shoulders down and back then exhale fully. Can you notice a difference to your posture and breathing already?
There are many amazing benefits to practicing heart openers.
· Increases flexibility
· Boosts energy
· Helps to relieve depression
· Reduces stress and anxiety
· Helps to release blocked emotions
My favourite way to energise my body in the morning or even when I have a spare few minutes in the afternoon is with a couple of full wheel poses - as an energy booster there’s nothing quite like it, way better than a cup of coffee! Also, by including heart openers in your practice you may experience more openness to love, compassion, increased self-confidence and a boost to your self-esteem!
Some heart opening poses you could try are -
· Half Camel or Full Camel
· Floor Bow.
· Low Bridge
· Full Wheel
Heart openers could also be very beneficial to you if you spend a lot of time sitting for your work. When we sit with our shoulders and back hunched forward, we can create tightness and tension in our shoulders, back and chest, which may create problems with your posture. Heart openers are an excellent way to release tension and revive your posture all in just a few minutes on your breaks which will leave you feeling refreshed and re-energised. Try a couple of heart opening poses next time you hit an afternoon slump and experience the benefits for yourself.
I've found over time, with consistent practice I've become way more open both on my mat and off. In yoga they say your mat mirrors your life. The way show up in your practice is the way you show up in your life. This is one of the things I love so much about yoga because when you really begin to pay attention you might notice things about yourself you never knew. When I first began practicing yoga, I refused to use any props - even though it would have supported me in my practice. Instead of accepting a bit of a helping hand in the form of a yoga block I chose to struggle through certain poses. In noticing this I learned that I also find it hard to accept support in my life off the mat. Seeing vulnerability as a sign of weakness. Now I'm way more open to accepting support as well as offering it to others.
Yoga has taught me that there is true strength in vulnerability. It takes courage to open your heart and be vulnerable and there is no better place to cultivate that inner strength and courage than on your mat in your practice!