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Heart Opener

by Milissa on February 13, 2011

in Yoga

This weekend I taught Tot Yoga and had a table with information about Tree of Life Yoga at a family-friendly event—Lake Hiawatha Heart Wamer—sponsored by businesses in the Standish-Erickson, Nokomis and Longfellow neighborhoods. What a fun event in a fantastic community!

I’d like to share a heart-opening warm-up I offered to people who attended. This is one we do in class often, especially during the winter months, to counter all the hunching of the shoulders we Minnesotans do to protect ourselves from the wintry winds. It’s also a great counterpose to slumpasana, that unconscious pose many of us find ourselves in as we go about the day—at the keyboard, driving, talking on the phone, washing dishes, watching TV.

Heart Opener with Strap

Place the middle of a 6’ yoga strap across the middle of the shoulder blades. Wrap the strap around the sides of the ribcage (under the armpits). Toss an end over each shoulder without crossing in front. Smooth out strap.


Cross the ends of the strap behind your back (x marks the spot behind the heart center). In each hand, hold one piece of the strap, palms forward. Start with elbows bent.

Draw the hands down and slightly out from the body. The heart center opens and       lifts, as the shoulder blades hug the spine and the sternum ascends.

Stand in tadasana (mountain pose). Breathe . . . Aaaah! Breathe some more.

May all beings be happy, may all be healthy, may all live with grace and ease and open-heartedness. Especially you…Happy Valentine’s Day!

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