I find the use of the phrase “heart openers” instead of “backbends” to be so beautiful, and well, heart-warming. This family of yoga poses help you open and balance the heart chakra, as well as relieve tension in the body and blocked emotions. Let’s be honest, all of us on this planet living through a global pandemic together are definitely carrying some tension, as well as both physical and emotional stress. But we can’t let these stressful feelings cut us off from the beauty of life and the joy of love and human connection.
"The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart." ~Buddha
In heart opening poses we are exposed; we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing stands between our hearts and the rest of the world, not our crossed arms nor our computer screens. When we throw our arms wide open, we allow our hearts a moment of unguarded bliss.
The heart is our energy center for love, empathy, and healthy emotional expression.
When the Heart Chakra is closed off, we can experience a struggle to both give and accept love, as well as the capacity to emotionally relate to others, and show our true selves.
Through practicing poses that extend and expand, we give the chest more mobility and space, letting some of the tension we hold there just slip away. We encourage improved circulation of blood, oxygen, and prana, and that tough armor we build up around our hearts starts to crack. The effects can be both immediate and long-term.
Backbends can sometimes be challenging, but the heart opening effects can be enjoyed by any body when approached properly. Yoga blocks such as our Centered cork block can be an invaluable tool whether you’re an experienced “heart-opener” looking to deepen your poses, or brand new to the poses and looking for some extra stability.
Our eco-friendly cork blocks are made of high-quality sustainable cork which will support you no matter which asana you choose to explore.
The Best Thing: They come from the Earth; they go back into the Earth! The block is 100% biodegradable, so by buying it you aren't increasing your carbon footprint. It’s important to extend all that heart power to the Earth as well!
Today, pause and take a moment to think about your own heart. Has it been feeling open or closed off? Are you aware of holding any tension in your chest?
Let’s all collectively take steps towards a more heart-centered approach to both our yoga practice, and how we approach life. Then just watch as the positivity creates ripples both on the mat and off!
- By Kasey Edgerton