What could be a better testimonial for the practice of hatha yoga than the blissful faces stepping out of a yoga studio… reflecting a radiant heart that had just been opened and filled with light and love.

How many of us have walked into a yoga class worn-out and anti-social and have transformed within an hour into an open-hearted, energized light-being…

Let me share today with you a few HEART OPENER yoga poses (asanas) that you can practice if only for 10 minutes a day to help you open up your heart when you feel low. These heart opener poses are: Seated Cat Cow, Easy Camel Pose, Reverse Warrior, Straight legged Fish Pose. Enjoy!

Seated Cat Cow

Sit straight. As you inhale, let your chest and heart expand. Try and get an even curve in your spine by drawing your shoulders back and filling the chest and heart with prana (breath). As you exhale, push the air away with your hands, drop your head and cave your belly and chest. Draw your navel in and up to empty and cleanse the base of your lungs. Do as many rounds as you like, experiencing a long steady inhalation and a balanced exhalation.

Easy Camel Pose

Stand up on your knees. Keep your legs at your hips’ width. Press your palms against your waist. Arch backwards. Let your head hang back a little. Open your chest. Draw your elbows and shoulder blades towards each other. Breathe deep

Reverse Warrior

From Warrior II pose bring the left hand down to rest on the left leg or on your lower back. Inhale the right arm up towards the ceiling, and reach the fingers away from each other. Look straight ahead or up at the ceiling. Keep the right knee bent, and the left leg straight with your heels pressing firmly into the mat. Sink the hips down toward the floor and relax the shoulders.

Fish Pose with straight legs

Sit straight. Straighten your legs. Softly go backwards on your elbows. Lift your chest and arch it as much as you can. Let your head hang backwards and lower the crown of your head on the mat. Breathe steadily across your chest. To protect your neck or upper back you can opt to have either a lower or higher support by rolling up a blanket.

Author: Karin Heller -Dani, Certified Power Yoga Instructor