If you feel a tightness in your heart, whether it be physically, emotionally, or energetically, use this Yin Yoga practice to release the tension.
I always turn back to, and need to remind myself of the statement, “The only way out is through.”
These poses will physically open your shoulders, chest, and upper back. Hold each one for 3-5 minutes.
1. Child’s Pose with Side Bend – This variation will allow you to stretch into the side of the heart and the rib cage. From kneeling, bring the big toes together and take the knees wide as you like. Walk your hands to the left, crawling the right fingers as far forward as you can for a lateral stretch. Fold down, pressing the hips to the heels. Take time here to consider in what ways you need to open your heart. Lift up slightly, walk hands to the other side, and melt down again.
2. Sphinx – Slide onto the belly, stretching the legs out behind you. Bring the forearms down on the mat, with elbows under the shoulders. Open the chest, pulling the heart forward. Feel an expansion in this area. Ask where your tension is physically, mentally, and emotionally?
3. Swan with Thread the Needle – Press up to table top. Bring your right knee behind your right wrist. Stretch the left leg back behind you. Prop the hips up as needed. Fold straight down, or incorporate the twist. Thread the left arm underneath you, then bringing the left shoulder and ear to the floor. Press the right hand into the floor, bring it on to the low back, or reach for the foot.
4. Melting Heart – Press back to table top. Keep the hips over the knees. Walk your hands out in front of you, softening down. Bring the chin or the forehead down to the floor, whichever feels better for you. Soften the space around your heart. Relax your shoulders. With every exhale, bring your chest a little closer to the floor. While you hold here, ask what knots need untangling around your heart?
Walk back to table top, then take Swan with Thread the Needle on the other side.
5. Laying Chest Opener – Lay down on your belly. Reach the left arm out to the side, keeping it straight or bending the elbow. Keep the elbow roughly in line with the shoulder. Press the palm flat on the floor. Pressing into the right hand, roll onto the left ear, left shoulder, and left hip. Bend your knees if you like, or step the right foot back behind you. Keep pushing into the right hand or bring it to the back. Let the head be heavy. While here, ask how you can open your heart to others, while still having boundaries.
If you would prefer to leave the worrying to me and simply be passive on your mat, practice along with me in the video below.