6 Easy Yoga Poses That'll Open Your Heart To Love This Valentine's Day
While I really don't think it's the biggest deal to be single on Valentine's Day, I've definitely had my fair share of heartbreak during the holiday.
I totally understand the pain of losing someone you care about and how hard it can be to open yourself up to dating again, especially when you want nothing to do with love or relationships.
People hurt you, and you kind of just get used to being alone.
But, you don't need Valentine's Day to remind you of that.
And if you've been single for a really long time, it makes sense to just be comfortable where you are. So, you don't take risks or really make an effort to meet new people.
Angela Leigh, one of Pure Yoga's most famous instructors, wants to change that.
She got into yoga about eight years ago, and she tells Elite Daily,
I became more kind and compassionate. Yoga allows you the opportunity to self-assess and develop an empathy side of yourself that maybe goes dormant. The yoga practice inspires and challenges you to dig in a little deeper in order to find your true self.
To help you find love this Valentine's Day – whether you're single, struggling in a relationship or recovering from a breakup – Leigh has created a series of poses that'll open your heart.
Here they are:
1. Puppy pose
Puppy pose is a great place to start the sequence. It is a less intense variation of downward-facing dog.
This spinal-extension pose allows space for the neck to breathe, and it helps the back and core to essentially "turn on" and heat up.
It also sets the arms up for the next sequence of spinal mobility.
2. Spirit finger cobra pose
From your belly, send your arms outside your mat and tent your hands on your fingertips.
On an inhale, lift your ribs, heart and head. On your exhale, lower everything down, and tiptoe your fingertips wider.
Inhale a little deeper and lift a little higher, exhale lower and repeat, expanding each cycle of breath.
3. Down dog split with a flair
Push through your hands and lift your hips. On an inhale, send your right leg back, roll your hip open and bend your knee.
Make circles from the hip, knee and ankle. Explore the motion in your body with your breath.
Keeping moving and opening the lower right leg. Then, repeat on the left side.
4. Soft lunge with a twist
From down dog, step your right foot forward and set your left knee down. Melt your hips to the floor and send your arms up.
Inhale and lengthen through the sides of your body. Upon the exhale, bring your palms to touch.
Inhale and hinge your body forward, and as you exhale, place your left elbow outside the right thigh.
Continue to breathe in and out, lengthening on the inhale and expanding on the exhale.
Unravel the twist, and step to down dog. Repeat on the left side.
5. Dancing camel
Now that the spine is warm and the hip flexors are ready, you can add movement and flow with the backbend.
Sit on your heels. Place your right hand behind the right foot and inhale. Push into your right hand as you exhale, and lift the hips and left arm to frame your face.
Stay for the inhale. As you exhale, unwind to sit down.
Prepare for the other side, and continue the flow of your breath. You may place a blanket under the knees if this movement is sensitive to your knee joints.
6. Supported heart opener
Angela refers to this pose as the "love yourself" pose.
Elevate the back of your heart with a rolled up blanket or blocks for more of an opening.
Bend your knees. Walk the soles of your feet together, and drape your knees open to the sides. Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your heart.
Breathe in to the palms of your hands and exhale out your mouth. Every time you inhale, you collect the unnecessary: what is not serving you and what you wish to release.
On every exhale, you let go of all of this and more.
Angela recommends you do the poses in a vinyasa sequence, as each pose builds upon the previous one. Little by little, you let go of what you don't want and open your heart, body, mind and spirit.
Along the way, each pose starts to chip away, a little bit more, the area around the heart. You're trying to be more open, and if you think about it, the reason you have a rib cage around your heart and lungs is because it's soft and vital. By opening your heart, you're opening yourself to be more receptive of what comes your way.
So this Valentine's Day, maybe skip the wine and head to a yoga class instead.