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