One of my favorite things about when I first started doing yoga was hearing the way teachers would describe keeping your chest lifted and rotated forward as “open your heart”, interchangeable at times with “lift your heart”.
At first, it just seemed like warm, feel good terminology used to describe a physical movement and it always made me smile. But in time, I've grown to see much more meaning behind these words as well as the beauty and depth in the instruction.
Transcending The Physical
Triangle is one of my favorite poses but it's not always easy and there can be a tendency to let your chest fall toward your mat. Keeping your chest open and lifting your heart pulls your awareness to exactly what your body is doing.
Rotating your chest to hold a more open position physically can lend to feeling more open within as well. Over time, knowing you can maintain this kind of openness, balancing the effort with the ease, slowly extends to life off the mat as well.
It's A Reminder To Stay Open In Difficult Times
Acting with self awareness and an open heart in life's difficult moments can be extremely challenging. Just as when we are learning or practicing a difficult pose, our body may initially hunch over, shoulders scrunched up, leaving us with a strained look on our face. Remaining in the moment, relaxing our shoulders and face, breathing slowly and opening up can also strengthen our self confidence, enrich our souls and leave us feeling stronger and happier!
It Feels Good Inside And Out
Learning to live with an open heart has a very real effect on how we feel, emotionally and physically. It can make us feel lighter and happier, more even and at peace.
I'm continually amazed at how many positive ways yoga has touched my life and how I continue to learn from the practice. There is so much to learn and different ways to grow, this is just one of many that speaks deeply to me. The blessings of keeping an open heart is one of my favorite lessons so far. Which ones are yours?