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Yoga postures to support Heart Coherence

Yoga is a powerful tool for achieving physical, mental, and emotional balance. One of the many benefits of yoga is its ability to promote heart coherence, which is a state of synchronisation between the heart and brain. When our heart and brain are in sync, we experience improved overall well-being, reduced stress, and enhanced cognitive performance. Here are some postures that can promote an open heart and, in conjunction with meditation and breath work, can support reaching a state of heart coherence.

Here are a few suggested yoga postures to support the opening of the heart and heart coherence; however, there are many variations.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

Mountain Pose is a foundational yoga posture that can help promote heart coherence by grounding and centring the body. To practice Mountain Pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Engage your leg muscles and lift your kneecaps, drawing your tailbone down towards the floor. Lengthen through your spine and reach the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Bring your hands to your heart center and take a few deep breaths, focusing on the rise and fall of your chest.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II).

Warrior II is a standing yoga posture that can help promote heart coherence by opening up the chest and lungs. To practice Warrior II, start in Mountain Pose and step your left foot back, turning your left toes out to a 45-degree angle. Bend your right knee over your ankle and extend your arms out to the sides, palms facing down. Gaze over your right fingertips and breathe deeply, feeling the expansion of your chest with each inhale.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana):

This pose is another heart-opener that can help you access your emotions. Kneel on the ground with your hips over your knees, then reach back to place your hands on your lower back and gently arch your back.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana).

Bridge Pose is a gentle backbend that can help promote heart coherence by stretching the chest and shoulders. To practice Bridge Pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Press your feet into the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling, interlacing your hands underneath your lower back. Keep your chin tucked towards your chest (not like me in this photo smiling for the camera!) and breathe deeply, feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulders.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana).

Fish Pose is a gentle backbend that can help promote heart coherence by opening up the chest and throat. To practice Fish Pose, lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides. Lift your chest towards the ceiling and place the top of your head on the floor, arching your upper back. Bring your palms together at your heart center and breathe deeply, feeling the expansion of your chest and throat.

Child's Pose (Balasana).

Child's Pose is a gentle forward fold that can help promote heart coherence by calming the nervous system. To practice Child's Pose, kneel on the floor with your toes touching and your knees hip-width apart. Lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the floor and breathe deeply, feeling the calming effect on your body and mind.

Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana):

This pose helps open the chest and heart centre, allowing you to access your emotions more easily. Start in a tabletop position and then lower your chest down towards the ground, stretching your arms forward or in prayer above your head. Using blocks under the elbows can intensify and expand this stretch.

Remember, yoga is a personal practice, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different poses and practices until you find what feels best for you.

Benefits of Heart Openers in Yoga?

  • Physical: Increase mobility of the ribcage and thus increase breath intake, increase thoracic spine flexibility, a stretch of the chest and shoulders

  • Mental: Decrease stress and tension in the mind, open-mindedness, general relaxation

  • Emotional: Increase comfort in vulnerability, cultivate compassion and empathy, bringing more love and acceptance into all relationships

  • Social: Increase tolerance, understanding, non-judgment

  • Spiritual: Opening into 4th chakra, Anahata

Learn about Heart Coherence here.

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