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In honor of American Heart Month, we’re highlighting some of the yoga poses known as heart openers. This category of poses, which stretch the chest and the front of the shoulders, are thought to enhance compassion and our ability to connect to others. Why? They are literally opening the heart to the world around us, a stark contrast from the inward-facing, hunched position many of us spend hours in while sitting at a desk each day (they also feel amazing for this reason). Below you’ll find four heart-opening poses that will help you open your heart Chakra, releasing tension in your chest, shoulders and upper back, plus make you feel more compassionate and loving.  

Camel Pose
Kneel on a mat or soft surface with your knees hip-width apart. Roll your shoulders back and down, lift your chest and your gaze to the ceiling and reach for your heels with your hands. If you can reach your heels, hold onto them, if not just extend your hands toward the ground. Hold for three deep breaths.

Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Press your heels into the ground and your hips up to the ceiling. Reach for your heels with your hands, scooting your shoulder blades together to lift and open your heart. Hold for three deep breaths. 

Puppy Pose
Come onto all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Keeping your hips aligned over your knees and your tailbone pointed at the sky, walk your hands forward until you can rest your forehead, chin or chest on the floor. Hold for three deep breaths. 

Cactus Pose
Lift your arms to the sides, at shoulder height, and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Keep your upper arms horizontal, your forearms vertical, then spin your palms to face your head. Press your elbows back, but don’t let your belly or head pop forward. Inhale to extend your arms to the sky, and on your exhale, lower them to cactus. Staying for a full inhale and exhale before repeating.

To open your heart with our team of fabulous instructors, join us for one of our virtual yoga classes taking place Monday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s! In the meantime, to stay up-to-date with us, follow us Instagram or Facebook.

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