We’re not talking about emotionally (although you may find that it happens, heart openers are known for enabling emotional releases) – we’re talking about physically.
Some of our favourite yoga poses are heart openers. These poses decrease tightness in the back while also stretching the core, chest and shoulder muscles – particularly helpful if you spend all day working at a desk, or hunched over! Here, we’re sharing a few of our favourites!
Bow pose is fantastic because it stretches the entire front body, while strengthening the back. Can’t reach your feet/ankles? This is a great opportunity to utilize a strap to help you get into the pose. This pose leaves your back feeling strong afterward, and your shoulders feel well stretched!
One-armed camel pose is great because in addition to opening the abs and shoulders, it really stretches the quads! It’s also a great workout because you don’t have the support behind both shoulders, so you really need to be present and strong in your core and spine (if you can’t reach your heels in camel pose, this is another great opportunity for props! You can place a block beneath each ankle to elevate the feet, making them easier to reach, or place your hands on the low back).
Finally our favourite heart opener is without a doubt the wheel pose. You can work up to this by moving through back bridge poses if need be. This pose not only opens the chest and lungs, but it strengthens the arms and wrists, the back body and the abdomen. Plus, it’s really fun!
Always listen to your body and be safe! Let us know if you love/hate these poses, and what some of your favourites are!
Photos by Emma Foster.