Seven Postures for the Heart

Our hearts are the largest organ in our bodies-pumping blood to thousands of vessels per minute. It’s the fuel for our entire existence and could also be known as the most emotionally connected part of our body. Our hearts are paired with our sorrow and our love, making it not only prone to physical impairments, but emotional effects as well. To keep our heart in check, we can balance our emotions and physical strains through the practice of yoga. The following postures are most beneficial for opening the heart space, unblocking the anahata chakra, and improving our bodies'central circulation.

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1. Reverse Table Top

Step one: Sitting on your mat, bend your knees and plant your feet near your sitting bones. Then, rest your palms flat on your mat, near your hips.

Step Two:Gently press your palms into the mat and lift your hips up into the air, parallel to your knees. Breathe and hold for thirty seconds, repeating for at least three sets.

*For an extra challenge, straighten out your legs, modifying to reverse plank. *

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2. Camel Pose

Step one: Place your knees onto the mat, sitting upright with your hips and shoulders in line.

Step Two: Place hands on either side of your hips at the base of your spine. Elbows tucked in, pressing your shoulders together.

Step Three: Slowly arch back, pressing your hips forward and resting the weight into your palms. Stay for five cycles of breath, repeating three sets or more.

*For an added challenge, release your palms from your hips and grab onto your ankles as you bend back.*

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3. Legs on the Wall Pose

Step One: Lie on your back and push your sitting your bones up against a wall.

Step Two: Straighten out your legs vertically, resting them against the wall. Stay for 10-15 minutes to get the full affect. As you steady your breath and rest here, your blood will circulate through your body and straight into your heart.

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4. Fish Pose

Step One: Lie your back flat on your mat and rest your arms by your sides, palms up.

Step Two: Slowly arch your upper spine, lifting your rib cage off of the floor.

Step Three: Bend your neck and allow the crown of the head to connect to the floor. Stay for five rounds of deep breath, repeating three rounds or more.

*For a deeper challenge, place the legs and feet in lotus pose.*

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5. Bridge Pose

Step One: Lie on your back, flat on your mat. Bend your knees and place your feet near your sitting bones. Rest your arms by your sides, palms face down.

Step Two: Slowly raise your hips into the air, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Stay for five cycles of breath, repeating three rounds or more.

*For a challenge, place your hands near your shoulders with your elbows up towards the ceiling. Press your palms into the floor and slowly extend your arms straight, as you raise your hips.*

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6. Cobra Pose

Step One: Lie on your stomach, flat on your mat. Place your elbows near your rib cage, in line with your shoulders.

Step Two: Slowly raise your rib cage off of the mat, arching in your spine. Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you gaze up towards the ceiling. Stay for five rounds of breath, repeating three sets or more.

*For a challenge, fully extend your elbows and bend both knees, reaching your toes towards the crown of your head.*

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7. Bow Pose

Step One: Lie on your stomach, flat on your mat. Place your arms straight out in front of you.

Step Two: Bend your right knee and point your toes, reaching your heel towards your bum.

Step Three: Reach back with your right arm and grab your ankle.

Step Four: Raise your rib cage off of the mat and lift your left arm into the air. Gaze towards your fingertips and hold for three cycles of breath. Repeat three sets or more, on each side.

*For an advanced challenge, Reach both arms back to grab onto both ankles. Push your ankles against your palms, as your arch your rib cage off of the floor.*

It’s amazing how connected our mind and body is. If we can be conscious of the relationship between the two, we can heal ourselves from the outside-in and the inside-out. The heart is a delicate matter, both physically and internally and deserves to be treated with care. Using these postures on a consistent basis will help heal our hearts and in turn, balance our inner and outer worlds.