These heart-opening yoga poses are related to Chapter One of my first book (Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes). You can get that book for free on my resources page under Wellness, here.
In the heart and chest areas, we tend to store sadness and grief. Stretching to open these areas can liberate underlying emotions and help you let them go.
Yoga is much less expensive than therapy!
Try spending a few moments every day in some heart-opening poses to maximize gratitude for life.
- Camel. This pose creates space in the lungs and chest and can help with respiratory ailments. Because this pose is energizing, I avoid it before bedtime. See the first photo below.
These step-by-step instructions for Camel from Yoga Journal are great. Don't over-do it on this pose, please!
- Modified low lunge. This pose opens the hips and, as a bonus, the chest. Most people lift their arms straight up into the air (as described in these step by step instructions from Yoga Journal for low lunge), but I like to put my arms into what I call “goalpost” or “cactus positions”. See the second photo below. This positioning of the arms helps with opening the chest and lungs.
- Supported bridge. You can follow Yoga Journal's step by step instructions for bridge pose if you like. I feel that yoga should also be about relaxing into the pose and letting go. So for you type-A folks, more restorative poses, such as the supported bridge (a variation of bridge where you put a block under you for support), will likely be the most difficult for you. See the third photo below.
2) Modified Low Lunge
See all yoga poses related to Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes