Heart

Here are the thoughts for this week’s yoga classes:

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In our daily lives, we’ve trained our bodies to hide our hearts, slumped forward at the computer desk or behind the wheel.  Hiding, protecting, retreating.  On our yoga mats, we get to retrain our bodies and therefore affect our mind and how we view ourselves off our mat.  In most yoga poses, the heart is asked to be lifted up high to the sky, collarbone wide, shoulders relaxed back and low, navel gently tucked in and up, ribcage high up off the waistline, breath slow and smooth.  Over time, we begin to feel comfortable in deeper heart-opening poses where the heart is exposed in such a new-to-us way.  Comfort in vulnerability.  Vulnerability converting to openness.  Openness exhibiting as deeper connection to ourselves and to those around us….

And then it hits us on an emotional off-the-mat level.  Then it has crept into every aspect of our lives.  Then we live and love fully alive….

“The moment that you feel that just possibly you’re walking down the street naked, expressing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself, that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

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Practice finding comfort in vulnerability, of learning to keep the heart at the forefront of your body, and therefore forefront of your self-image, interactions, and decisions.

At home, try standing back bends.  Stand tall, keep weight in heels, lift toes.  Take hands interlocked to tailbone or sacrum and press downward to lengthen the low back.  Keeping weight in heels, begin to arch the upper spine to the ceiling.  Roll shoulders down away from ears.  Scoop heart upward more using shoulder blades coming together underneath the back of the heart.  Keep the neck in a gentle unkinked arch that matches the arch of your spine.  Hold for a few slow breaths, come back up to standing, release arms, and hang in a forward fold with arms dangling to release the spine.

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