Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Yin Yoga’

Yoga 101: Relaxing Heart Openers

Our modern posture has gone from homo-erectus to “homo-hunchy-textus” with most of us spending time hunched over a computer or slouching over our cell phones. The result is a caving inward of the chest, and a sinking of the heart – which can manifest in both the physical and energetic realms.

As Valentines Day approaches, what better time to cultivate an open, loving heart?


HeartCentered 2

And what more delicious way than with an indulgent Restorative or Yin heart opening asana? Restorative and Yin yoga styles ask us to find a shape and to stay… and breath…. and give in to gravity… and let the shapes do their work. We hold these postures for a few minutes each, rather than just a few breaths, and with that decadent time the nervous system resets, fascia and connective tissue releases and patterns of constriction, tension or resistance slowly begin to melt.


Heart opening shapes support the health and vibrance of the heart chakra,  Anahata Chakra in Sanskrit.

Anahata is the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy… it is the center of your deep bonds with other beings, your sense of caring and compassion, your feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect…. The “way of the heart” or the “path of the heart” is living your life from this energy center of love.
-Read more at Chakra Anatomy



So – make a playlist of a few of your favorite relaxing, romantic songs, light a candle or two, and relax into any or all of these supported heart openers.


  • Use a couch pillow or a blanket for this soft supportive version. Legs can be in butterfly shape or stretched out long.
  • Create this Supported Fish Pose by placing a yoga block, small pillow or even a stack of books right under your shoulder girdle. If your head doesn't rest on the floor, place a blanket below so you're fully supported.
  • Mountain Brook is an indulgent and relaxing posture. Place a low rolled-up blanket under the shoulder girdle and a pillow under your knees. Relax and feel the energy gently flow....
  • When relaxing in mountain brook, try to have the shoulders resting on the floor - maybe this means taking only a very small blanket or even just a towel rolled up under the shoulder girdle.


Finish with some reclining twists and a forward bend, and then let your heart lead the way…