With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many of us have love on the brain. Surrounded by roses, chocolate, and candy hearts, we lose sight of what this holiday is really about.
Valentine’s Day encompasses all types of love: the love you feel for a significant other, your friends, your family . . . and let’s not forget self-love!!
Caught up in the busyness of our day-to-day lives, we forget to make ourselves a priority. Self-love means prioritizing your happiness and wellbeing and taking care of your mind and body. Yoga is a great way to take care of both.
Here Are 5 Heart Opening Yoga Poses to Try This Valentine’s Day:
Activate your Heart Chakra, the place for love, relationships and emotional balance. These heart opener poses are a great way to activate, align, and balance your Heart Chakra.
1. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
As a deep backbend, this is the ultimate heart opening yoga pose. Camel Pose creates space in the chest and heart center, and also improves hip, spinal, and shoulder flexibility.
Let’s try it:
- Kneel on your mat with your knees slightly wider than your hips
- Press your shins and toenails into the mat
- Place your palms (fingers pointing down) on your lower back
- Lean back gradually, going as far as you feel comfortable and keeping your heart lifted towards where the wall meets the ceiling
- If you’re ready to progress to the next level, reach back and grab your heels
- Stay here for three to five deep breaths
- To come out of the pose, place your hands on your lower back and gently lift back to center, then return to kneeling
- Take a moment here to breathe and reset before moving into your next pose
- Option to take Childs Pose as a counter stretch
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra Pose is the perfect backbend for beginners. When you remain in this pose for several breaths, you will feel your chest expand and your heart open up. Cobra is also great for your spine and helps improve posture.
Let’s try it:
- Lie on your stomach with your hands planted beneath your shoulders
- Squeeze your elbows to your side body and press the tops of your feet and thighs into the mat
- Inhale deeply, and with your exhale, lift your chest off the mat
- Keep your gaze forward with your elbows slightly bent and your shoulder blades squeezing together
- Inhale and exhale three to five times, then slowly return to lying on your stomach
3. Reverse Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)
Along with opening the heart, this pose is a wonderful stretch for the entire front body, from the shoulders and chest all the way to your ankles! With all the physical space Reverse Plank Pose creates in the body, it also leads to a more open mind and heart.
Let’s try it:
- Start seated on your mat with your feet hip-distance and legs extended long
- Plant your palms beneath your shoulders with your fingers facing your feet
- Press your hips high as you straighten your legs and lift your body off the mat
- Keep your entire body strong and engaged
- For the final expression, drop your head back and send your gaze to the ceiling
- Stay for three to five breaths, then slowly lower your seat down to the mat
- Option to take a seated forward fold as a counter stretch
4. Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Great for full-body strengthening and mobility, Wheel Pose expands your chest and stretches the intercostal muscles that we use for breathing. Wheel is one of the biggest heart openers, so this is your opportunity to really open up and let all the love in.
Let’s try it:
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted on the mat hip-width distance apart
- Plant your palms next to your ears with your elbows bent and your fingers pointing toward your heels
- Press your feet and hands into the mat to lift your body into a wheel shape
- Slowly inhale and exhale for three to five breaths as you hold this pose
- To release, lower down slowly until the crown of your head is touching the mat, and then lie flat on your back
5. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Another excellent heart opening yoga pose, Bow Pose is a rejuvenating backbend. Bow Pose strengthens your back muscles, increases circulation, improves digestion and posture and also stretches the entire front body.
Let’s try it:
- Lie with your stomach on your yoga mat
- Bend your knees – keeping them hip-width apart – and reach back to grab the outer ankles with your hands
- Press your pelvis into the mat as you rest your forehead to mat and exhale
- On your next inhale, kick into your hands to lift your head, chest and thighs off the mat while sliding your shoulder blades down your back
- Take three to five deep breaths here and then slowly release back down
Bow Pose is especially beneficial to calm the mind. If you’re feeling stressed, Hit the Reset Button With These 7 Self-Care Rituals to Refresh and Revitalize Mind + Body
Give Yourself the Gift of Wellness This Valentine’s Day and Practice These Heart Openers!
Along with physically opening your heart and stretching the muscles in your chest, these heart opening yoga poses offer an incredible emotional release and bring you into a more peaceful state.
After doing these exercises, you’ll feel healthier both physically and mentally . . . ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a happy, healthy Heart Chakra!
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