Heart opening yoga poses are one of my favorite ways to challenge myself...to let shit go...to open myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to the pose, but also to whatever life is currently throwing at me. These experiences are another one of the MANY reasons why I love to practice. This practice is not just about being present on the mat, but also present in LIFE.
Have you noticed how heart opening poses are hard? How they change the way we breathe? How they force us out of our comfort zone? How they even make us agitated and discouraged? Raise your hand if you have experienced these frustrating moments...ME!
*My “oh crap I hate this pose” moment: When I raise myself up into wheel and I let out a grunt, the practice is kicking my butt and so is life. It feels like there is an elephant on my chest and everything feels heavy and the move well just flat out sucks. The first thing that comes to mind when I get up into wheel is I immediately want to come down. I want to throw in the towel and just be done.
But have you also noticed, that when you allow yourself to LET GO...to breathe...to open yourself to the unknown...to be a little fearless...to take a chance...the heart opening pose allows you to fully OPEN and it all feels effortless.
*My “YES!!! FREAKING GO FOR IT pose” moment: Landing in Half Moon pose and feeling grounded, strong, open, and happy is yoga bliss. When I feel these things and all that other mushy gushy stuff, this pose is effortless and yes, just makes me SMILE.
Yes these heart opening poses also require practice, strength, and balance, but they also offer much more than that and I hope you will be able to feel mental and emotional benefits someday soon. In the meantime, here are my 5 favorite heart opening poses. Each one presents its own challenge to me in my practice. What I truly love about these poses is that there is ALWAYS room to grow in both the physical practice, but yes also the mental and emotional. So let it go...Open your heart...Open your mind...Breathe...
What is your favorite heart opening yoga pose?
Do heart-opening yoga poses challenge you?