Open up Your Heart With Yoga
During a summer that has been so different than before, it’s important to focus on the positive things in our life. Wake up every day and list three things I am grateful for. I remind my boys that “all we have, is all we need.” We have our family, we have a roof over our head, we have food to eat and we can still see our friends and loved ones even if it’s via FaceTime.
I also like to focus on yoga poses that keep my heart open. Backbends are the “anti-depressants” of yoga. When we open up our physical heart center, we feel more open to giving and receiving love. How we carry our body can affect how we feel in our minds. Remember when you were a little kid and you could easily come up in to a wheel pose? It is one of those postures that immediately boosts your spirit!
Try these three yoga backbends that help to cultivate positivity, kindness, and love.
Bridge is a great place to start opening up the chest and feeling the back body support our heart center. Lie down with your feet flat on the mat hip width distance apart. Press down in your feet to lift your hips. Clasp your hands underneath you and lift your chest up towards the sky while keeping the back of the neck long. Stay and breathe for five deep breaths and feel the positive energy radiate through you.
After incorporating this pose into your daily yoga flow you are sure to feel lighter, more positive, and more open to kindness and love.
Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana is a backbend that requires building up your strength and flexibility to achieve it.
It opens the heart, chest, shoulders, and hips in a way that counteracts the typical modern-day sitting posture. Start in the same set up as half bridge, then place your hands alongside your ears fingers facing the shoulders. Prop the top of the head on the floor narrow your elbows and press yourself up! Hold five breaths, lower down and release.
This pose is great for anyone working in an office or sitting down all day. Doing this pose will allow you to open your heart and allow your body, mind, and spirit to feel alive in the present moment.
Wheel pose will allow you to really connect with yourself and find love, beauty and light in simple everyday activities.
This pose is a great way to surrender to your surroundings, open your heart, chest, quads, and hips.
Camel not only improves spinal flexibility, it is also great for stress relief. Your mood will get a boost as you strengthen your back muscles and improve your posture. Come on to your knees (feel free to add some padding like a folded towel), lift your chest and lengthen your tail bone towards the floor. Bring your hands back to your heels and work on back bending in the upper body. Hold five breaths come up carefully using your core muscles.
This pose is a great way to generate both gratefulness and mindfulness.
Try adding these poses in to your yoga routine a few times a week. I certainly notice a difference when I open my heart physically and spiritually.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!