Yoga Poses That Teach You Love By Opening The Heart
Has anyone ever told you to open up your heart? Whether the answer is yes or no, we should all make conscious efforts to intermittently practice how to love. Life can be bananas at times, but that doesn’t rid us of our moral obligation to be good neighbors – to be mindful of the wants and feelings of others. Besides, opening your heart can guide you to better horizons and opportunities. You can never go wrong with following your heart, and yoga is a great stepping stone to get you to the point of love.
Stress less, love more
According to Randi Gunther Ph.D., stress can bury love. Here’s an excerpt from her article: “Some people first feel their stress through losing their ability to smell or taste. Whether odors are lush or irritating, the loss of the capacity to sense them can be a clue to when a person is overloaded. A partner who hasn’t showered all day may smell sexy to you if you’re relaxed and open. That same aroma that felt warm and familiar before can now be offensive.” She continues to explain how we lose other senses under stress; because in those states, we’re only focused on solving the immediate problem ahead.
Furthermore, Gunther advised that intuition can be significantly diminished by sex and that prolonged stress depletes a relationship of its most important components: present time with deep attentiveness, and the ability to live in one another’s heart. The solution? Getting back in touch with your senses. How? Yoga is one approach.
Yoga poses that teach you love
Shocking to many, yoga can help you teach yourself to tackle many problems, such as your fear of intimacy so that you can break away from your past. However, romance isn’t the only form of love. We have a moral obligation to be good neighbors – to be mindful of the wants and feelings of others.
Fish pose (matsyasana)
If you have neck and shoulder pain, the Fish Pose can do wonders for you. This pose stretches the front of your body, specifically the thoracic and cervical spine, as well as your chest, abs, hip flexors, neck, and back. During the stretch, your chest opens so you can breathe deeper – allowing you to release your toxins.
From a chakra perspective, Fish has a lot of potential because it stimulates two important areas that are hard to reach. First is the vishudda (throat) chakra, which relates to communication and self-expression. This is often summarized as “speaking your truth,” so if this area is blocked it means you keep things bottled inside that would be better let out. There aren’t that many yoga poses where the throat is opened as it is in Fish.
Here are step-by-step fish pose instructions.
Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
According to CNY Healing Arts, you will become more alert in both body and mind as you perform Bridge Pose. This can be a great pose for reconnecting with your senses. Similarly to Fish Pose, Bridge Pose will assist in chest, neck, spine, and hip stretching. On top of that, it will strengthen your back, buttocks, and hamstrings, while also improving your blood circulation. CNY Healing Arts also lists stress alleviation and assistance with mild depression as a benefit of Bridge Pose. However, the list goes on. Bridge Pose can also:
- Calm the brain and central nervous system
- Stimulate the lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs
- Improve digestion
- Help relieve symptoms of menopause
- Reduce backache and headache
- Reduce fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia
- Rejuvenate tired legs
- Relieve symptoms of asthma and high blood pressure
- Be therapeutic for hypertension, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
If you find it difficult to hold the lift in your pelvis, slide a block or bolster beneath your sacrum and rest the pelvis on it for support. In contrast, if you are looking to deepen the stretch, lift your heels off the floor once in Bridge Pose and push your tailbone up towards the pubis. Once the tailbone is lifted, stretch the heels back to the floor.
Here are step-by-step Bridge Pose instructions.
Cat/Cow (Chakravakasana) – kid-friendly!
There’s no rule that says yoga must be done alone – sometimes it takes two to destress. Besides, yoga is extremely beneficial for children as it helps them improve memory and cognitive functioning, social relationships, sleep, strength stress, anxiety, their overall mood, and more. Besides, it’s important to raise strong kids physically and mentally. In the U.S. last year, 1 in 5 students report being bullied and 41% expect it to happen again. In other words, yoga is a great stress reliever for students in between handling school affairs.
The Cat/Cow Pose can help undo stiffness in your pelvis, back, shoulder, or neck that stem from unconscious tendencies to protect yourself by increasing rigidity in your body.
When doing Cat/Cow, decrease the tension in your body and encourage rib expansion and spinal mobilization. This helps reprogram your nervous system. Making a fist and bearing your weight on it rather than your wrist can help relieve the tension in your hands and forearms. This is especially important if you’re using a keyboard all day or take care of a baby.
Here are step-by-step Cat/Cow instructions.
Does stress equate to love?
Absolutely not. But can stress influence love? Absolutely. Yoga works best when you tap into a meditative state during stretches. During these times, let your mind roam to freely reflect on whatever it is your subconscious is thinking about. Remember to breathe deeply during your poses to release whatever it is you are holding inside, and remember to practice love often. With persistence, you can achieve success.
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