Heart opening yoga for the holidays

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by Kali Ray Torres, Yoga Instructor

azfamily.com

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 13 at 8:01 AM

Take a break from your holiday "To do" list with this series of heart opening yoga postures. An open heart is a happy heart and a happy heart will elevate your spirit to shine your brightest this holiday and every day! Practicing postures that open your heart will leave you feeling heart centered, coming from a loving space, even when things don't happen as expected. So the turkey isn't fully cooked, or you forgot a key ingredient, what is one to do but take a deep breath and surrender to grace. Taking a moment to focus our energy at the heart sends the powerful energy of love into our every day actions. We begin to see with love and compassion, patience and playfulness. Back bending is a great practice to support feeling open and free in our hearts, enabling the prana, or life force energy to flow more freely in the chest. Taking slow deep breaths while back bending oxygenates the blood and helps to release anxiety, tension and stress. There's no pressure to perform here, simply a willingness to show up and open up to the greatness that is already within. Heart openers make me smile and give me the extra boost when I have to "go the extra mile" in challenging situations. We've all been there, in those moments that may be unexpected, when we are tested to go the distance and stay present, versus react. Responding with slow deep breaths allows us to be mindful in our actions and clean in communicating free of fear. The simplicity of an upward facing dog could be just what you need to keep your grinning all the way through this busy time of year.
 
• Upward Facing Dog: Urdvah Mukha Svanasana
 
• Locust: Salambhasana
 
• Bound Hero: Virasana

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