Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V90Tkss66ek. Don’t worry – it’s only just over seven minutes long.

Over-achiever? I see you. Takes one to know one. Watch the whole TedTalk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

Think of a time you have performed a task or engaged in a relationship wholeheartedly. What did it feel like? What were the risks? Was it worth it? Full-disclosure: this was actually my new year’s resolution. I have found this goal to be incredibly challenging in my daily life, but guess what? You can practice living wholeheartedly in yoga. Yup. And do please stop rolling your eyes – you can’t know until you try! So here, I have lovingly and (wholeheartedly) prepared a yoga sequence to practice putting forth your heart, opening up into the bright sun that is vulnerability, and breathing through the self-love that it takes to do such a thing. Here you go! Oh, and namaste. 😉

Camel Pose

Set up:

  • Stand on your knees with a block or towel between your inner thighs.
  • Squeeze the block or towel, and engage your core, glutes, and legs.
  • Place your palms on your low back, thumbs resting on your outer hips.

Practice:

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, and as you exhale, squeeze your elbows together and lift your heart up to the sky.
  • Keep squeezing your block to support your low back.
  • To deepen, bring your hands to your heels, but keep pressing up with your heart and squeezing the block. Do this if your back feels supported, without any sensation of pain.

Cobra Pose

Set up:

  • Lie on your mat with your forehead down and chin tucked.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, squeeze your legs together, and press your toenails into the ground.

Practice:

  • Inhale as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders away from the ground.
  • Be sure to keep your chin tucked down to maintain alignment in the spine.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together to feel the heart opening, and keep little to no weight in your hands.
  • Observe your body gently rock up and down with each full exhale and inhale.
  • Stay for 5-8 breaths

Forward Fold

Set up:

  • Set your feet about hips-width distance apart.
  • Bend your knees quite a lot.

Practice:

  • Exhale as you bow forward over your bent knees.
  • Slowly shake your head no and nod yes, releasing the muscles in your neck.
  • As you inhale, feel the back of your heart shining forward and out.
  • As you exhale, feel the comfort of drawing the front of your heart into your legs.

Bridge Pose

Set up:

  • Lie on your back with your feet on the ground, knees in the air, and heels more or less within reach of your fingertips.
  • Place a block or towel between your inner thighs and squeeze the block
  • Lift your hips high off of the ground, and shimmy your shoulder blades underneath your back, as if you are scooping/lifting your heart off of the ground.
  • Place your arms on the ground, with your palms facing up.

Practice:

  • Observe your heart lift and belly expand as you inhale – it’s right there in front of your nose! Feel expansive and open.
  • As you exhale, squeeze your heels toward your shoulders, and contract the under-side of the pose.

Written by Katy Kristoffersen