With Valentine’s Day coming up we’re feeling the love all around us.
I want to share with you some ways to use yoga poses, mudras and breathing techniques to open up your heart, help you listen to your hearts calling and invite more love into your life.
Best Heart Opening Yoga Poses:
Ustrasana (Camel pose) is one of the best poses to help you open your heart to giving and receiving love. It also helps us to be at peace with a sense of vulnerability and opening and shining our hearts out into the world.
How to: Kneel on the floor with your legs hip width apart. Press your shins and the tops of your feet down into the earth. Place your hands on the back of your hips. Inhale and slowly begin to lift your heart up from the breastbone and allow your hips to move forward. Draw your shoulder blades down the back as you begin to slowly move as far back as is comfortable. Only when you have practiced this half camel version and are comfortable with it can you then reach the hands down towards your heels. Lift from the breastbone allowing the head to head to drop gently backwards.
For an easier gentler (but just as powerful!) opening of the heart you can also practice Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
How to: Lie on your stomach and bring the palms of the hands down flat either side of the chest with the elbows in towards the body. Press gently into the toe nails and pubic bone and use an inhale to start to slowly lift the head and chest up off the floor. Keep the shoulders relaxed and lift as high as you can, maintaining a connection through the legs. Use an exhale to slowly release all the way back down.
Pranayama (breathing) into the heart:
Full yogic breathing will help you to feel whole and complete. Focus on your heart as you breath and feel your entire being filled with warmth and love.
How to: Lie or sit somewhere comfortably. Begin with the focussing on the belly breathing full deep breaths into the belly, then start to move the breath up into the front, side and back ribs and finally all the way up into the collar bone until you are breathing until the full body.
Mudras for connecting to the heart:
Abhaya Hridaya Mudra (courageous heart mudra) helps you to let go of fear and doubt and live from a fearless heart. This mudra takes you right into your heart space to seek your truth.
How to: Bring the hands in front of the heart, right hand closest to the heart, with the back of the hands together and palms facing away from each other. Gently interlace the little, ring and middle fingers and then bring index finger and thumbs together.
For a simpler (but just as effective) heart opening Gyan Mudra will help to open the heart at the same time as bringing peace, calm and awareness. Placing the mudra over the heart will amplify the effects.
How to: Bring the tip of the first finger and thumb of the right hand together with the other three fingers straight.
Affirmations for opening your heart:
An affirmation is a word or phrase repeated over and over again, allowing its meaning to seep into your subconscious and shift negative habits and patterns into positive ones.
My heart is open to giving and receiving love.
I lovingly accept myself as I am.
I give and receive love with an open heart.
I open my heart fully to living.
I am worthy of love.