yoga might be the best valentines gift you can give

Yoga can open the heart both spiritually and physically. From poses like back bends to forward folds, yoga can open one up to both give and receive love. Yoga expert Christine West explains how certain poses, utilizing meditation and how partner yoga can bring individuals together this Valentine’s Day.

There are certain yoga poses that can inspire love by literally opening one’s heart…

Back bends are referred to as “heart-openers” in yoga practice because they do just that. Poses from cobra pose (bhujangasana) to upward facing dog (ūrdhva mukha śvānāsana), wheel (urdhva dhanurasana), and dancer’s pose (natarajasana) stretch the front of the shoulders and chest, shining our hearts outward. Forward folds give us access to expand the back of our heart-space so even though they aren’t back bends, they’re heart-openers (and a nice way to counterbalance a back bend practice).

These poses truly inspire love…

Back bends are physical gesture of vulnerability and an open heart. In order to receive love we have to be open to it but before we can receive love from someone else we have to have it for ourselves. Forward folds turn our eyes and our hearts back to self. Once we know and embrace ourselves we’ll be available to fully give and receive love.

Partner yoga has been known to enhance connection and build a sense of safety between individuals…

Like individual yoga practice, partner yoga starts with ourselves. We have to have trust and confidence in ourselves before we can have it in someone else. Partner yoga allows us the opportunity to strengthen our ability to express our needs while enjoying the benefits of human touch. Our partners and the added gravitational pull of being off the ground can help us to move deeper into shapes and accessing our hearts.

Meditation can enhance the effectiveness of these poses…

Directing your attention and awareness to breathing into your heart is a beautiful mindfulness practice. If visualizations resonate with you, as your breathe, imagine an emerald green wheel turning at the center of your heart – the anahata chakra. If you connect with words, you can silently repeat a mantra in your head, speak it aloud, or sing it: I am love.

About Christine West:

Christine is a certified yoga instructor and the studio manager of yogaraj in West Los Angeles where she leads teacher trainings, workshops, and classes. She’s been on the cover of Mantra Magazine and taught Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga at Wanderlust Festival in O’ahu. Christine is in the process of combining her passions for yoga and mindfulness with traveling in curated local and international retreats. For more information on health and wellness be sure to subscribe to our eMag for free and receive monthly tips from the best experts in the industry!

Yoga Might Be The Best Valentine’s Gift You Can Give

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