Happy Holiday Heart Openers

As we come around to the end of another year, we can’t help but reflect on what’s happened and where we are today. What have we done to close ourselves up and what have we done to open up? As humans, we are given the gift of choice. The problem lies in not understanding from where we are choosing. For example, are you choosing from a place of emotion and attachment, or are you choosing from reason and objectivity? It would behoove you to know that in order to determine the course of your life. Here are some tips below to help you on your Holiday Heart Opening Journey!

Emotional Benefits:
1. Makes you open the opportunities that come your way.
2. Makes you consciously vulnerable which is actually a strength instead of a weakness.

How to Open your Heart Emotionally:
1. Make a list of the people you’ll be seeing this holiday season.
2. From that list who do you need to open up to more and connect from a deeper place.
Hint: the person you have the most resistance to opening up to is probably the person you need to do it with.
3. From that list, who do you need to forgive or ask for their forgiveness?

Physical Benefits:
1. Stretches your shoulders, chest, neck and spine.
2. Strengthen your back and core. Depending on the back bend, you’re also strengthening your arms and legs.
3. Helps reverse the aging process of the spine by resisting the way gravity pulls your body forward from sitting in chairs, driving, texting, etc.

How to Open your Heart Physically:
1. Crescent Moon Leaning Back

Come to hands and knees and place your right foot between your hands. Point the left foot back and lift your torso. Lift your arms over your head and lean way back creating a back bend with your spine. Hold for 5 breaths and switch sides.

2. Ustrasana: Camel Pose

Come to kneeling and place your hands on your hips. Push your hips forward and arch back dropping your head back. If you reach your ankles with your hands place them there and lift the sternum. Make sure to not drop back. Take 5 deep breaths. Inhale come up and place your hands in prayer on your forehead. Do 2 more rounds.

3. Raja Kapotasana: King Pigeon Pose Bent Leg

Come to all fours and please your right knee behind your right wrist. Angle your right ankle towards your left wrist. Slide your left leg back and then bend the left leg to catch it with your left hand. If you can clasp the foot into your elbow and arch back go ahead. Otherwise stay where you body permits but make sure you’re arching back and creating a backbend with your spine. Make your shoulders parallel to the front of your mat. Hold for 5 breaths and change sides.

4. Supta Baddha Konasana: Reclined Butterfly Pose

Lie on your back and place the soles of your feet together. Let the knees fall out for a butterfly position. Place your arms into cactus elbows so that your chest stays open. Relax your hips and heart here as much as you can. Surrender entirely. Take 20 deep breaths here. Stay as long as you like.

Close the sequence with your hands in prayer and saying Namaste to yourself.

Spiritual Benefits:
You’ll feel connected to everyone and everything which means you won’t be able to harm anyone or anything because you’ll feel identified with them. Yey! 🙂

Rina Jakubowicz

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