It's February - Open Your Heart

It's February - Open Your Heart

February is heart month. Here’s a tip for metaphorically opening your heart and improving your posture.

Your physical openness supports your mental openness and vice versa - a natural feedback loop that continually magnifies your well being. With this in mind, here's an easy exercise that you can practice just about anywhere to help you to stand straighter and feel better.

Start by standing tall in front of a mirror, your arms relaxed at your sides. Roll your arms inward, palms facing back. Notice how this rounds your shoulders and collapses your chest. Now rotate your arms outward, palms facing away from your body. Initiating the movement from your upper arms, feel how your chest expands and your shoulders drop naturally. To deepen the heart opening, gently press your shoulder blades forward, as if hugging yourself.

This simple rotation can dramatically improve your posture. Practice rolling your arms out, widening your chest, and drawing your shoulder blades down and forward. It might feel awkward at first, but if you stick with it, muscle memory will soon take over and it'll become second nature.

To incorporate this awareness into your yoga practice, mimic the arm positions you encounter in class: arms reaching out in front (cat, cow), reaching up (wheel, warrior I), reaching back (half wheel, camel) and reaching sideways (triangle, warrior II). Experiment with inward and outward rolls of your arms as you hold them in these different directions. When you're ready, start practicing the full postures, feeling how readily your heart opens with external rotation. This can be a game changer - especially in backbends.

This technique isn't just for yoga - use it in pilates, weight training or any other activity that involves your arms. You can even do it while waiting for the subway.

So simple, so powerful!

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