6 Heart-Opening Yoga Poses To Help Bring Love Into Your Life
If you feel like you're ready for love but haven't found it, your body language may be giving off a different signal. Often, we subconsciously protect our fragile hearts by slightly hunching forward, crossing our arms over our chests, and lowering our gaze.
To invite love into your life, you’ll need to open your heart. That can be a really hard thing to do with your mind, but guess what? Through yoga, you start on the inside with your body — and that’s the first step to making it happen.
Here are six of the easiest heart-opening poses to best prepare yourself to receive love. To increase your love-attracting energy, repeat the words “I am worthy of love” as you breathe deeply and evenly in each pose.
1. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
This is the quintessential heart-opener and can also be done as a supported resting pose using blocks. Lie on your back with your feet together. Tuck your hands under your seat. Press down into your elbows to lift your heart. Arch your spine.
Rest the top of your head on the floor if possible. Breathe deeply and stretch open your lungs. If you have two blocks, place one on the lowest setting between your shoulder blades and the second block under your head on the second-to-highest setting. You should be completely supported and relaxed.
2. Reverse Table (Ardha Purvottanasana)
Start seated with your knees bent and your hands on the floor pointed toward your feet. Press your hips up high so that you don’t see your knees anymore. Drop your head, and look up at the stars or look forward. Exhale completely, then inhale deeply while you flex your thighs and press your hips up. Feel free to move gently with your breath, relaxing on the exhale and pressing upward to open your heart with each inhale.
3. Crescent Moon Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Begin on your knees, then step one foot forward so that your front leg is at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your front foot and slide the other foot back so your legs are wide apart. Put your hands on your front knee and straighten your arms so your spine curves like a crescent moon. If it feels comfortable, reach your arms up and lean back a little. Relax your shoulders. When you inhale, lengthen your spine. When you exhale, reach up and back. Be sure to spend an equal amount of time with your nondominant foot in front — that side needs love too!
4. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Begin on your knees. Tilt your head back and lift your chest upward. Press your hands on your lower back for support with your fingertips facing up. Keep your hips over your knees. Your toes can be tucked or untucked. Press your hands down to lengthen your spine and tilt your sacrum forward, and use your inhale to lift your heart toward the sky. If you’re feeling flexible, reach toward your feet, but keep your hips over your knees.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
For those of us who struggle with a full backbend, bridge pose is the perfect answer to getting your spine to arch. Lie on your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are on the ground. Reach your hands toward your heels and try to grab them while using your legs to lift your hips toward the sky. Keep your knees in line like two train tracks, and curve your back like a bridge. If it feels nice, clasp your hands together underneath you and wiggle your shoulder blades together to really maximize the space in your chest.
6. Standing Star Pose (Utthita Tadasana)
This simple and joyous pose is a wonderful reminder that you are made of stardust, that you are a shining light, and that you are absolutely worthy of love. Stand with your legs wide apart and your feet firmly planted in the earth. Stretch your arms wide or up toward the sky. Make yourself look like a big letter “X.” Breathe deeply and imagine you are a big star in the sky, part of a beautiful constellation, a web of stars. Be the star that you are!
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K. Mae Copham is a visual artist, RYT-200 yoga instructor, and the creator of Yoga Teddy Bear. She is based in NYC. Yoga Teddy Bear invites you to soften your yoga and approach your practice with an attitude of playfulness and joy, whether you're five or 95 years young. The project consists of story books, asana books, coloring books, stickers, yoga mats, animations and more featuring the Yoga Teddy Bear character and friends based on yoga poses.