Yoga Poses for the Heart from Nectar Yoga B&B
Natarajasana – Dancer Pose
Photo by Emmett Sparling
Dancer Pose, or Natarajasana in Sanskrit, builds coordination, flexibility and strength in the body, mind and spirit.
The balance required from Dancer’s Pose doesn’t come on your first try, it takes time to build, it requires complete concentration.
The same goes for building your flexibility and strength as you root down and lift yourself up… the small details of keeping your hips squared, a microbend in your standing leg, keeping your tailbone slightly tucked, shoulders down and back, oh! And breathe.
Breathe through every adjustment and feeling that meets your body.
As you settle into this shape, your heart opens, figuratively of course. Physically, you’re stretching your shoulders and chest, creating extra space inside yourself. From this, we find strength in the vulnerability that is found in every aspect of opening up your heart.
You breathe through it.
Everything in a physical pose can usually be translated into something else closer to your mind and heart when let yourself think about it.
Whether you’re doing Natarajasana in yoga class or tentatively raising your hand in a board meeting to share an idea, keep your heart open and healthy with nourishment, movement and stillness on a daily basis.
Urdhvamukha Shvanasana – Upward Facing Dog
Photo by Laura Zeke
In modern westernized yoga classes, we often see ‘Up Dog’ in the middle of a flow, as a transitional pose, something we move through quickly, inhale into it, exhale and lift your hips up to ‘Down Dog’.
Pausing in Upward Facing Dog, (Urdhvamukha Shvanasana in the yogic language of Sanskrit,) improves posture, stretches your shoulders, chest, lungs and abdomen as well as creates strength in your upper body.
Opening your chest and shining your heart forward allows a greater expansion within the body and we can take deeper breaths in this space. This keeps our hearts strong as the body relaxes into itself and we cultivate muscle memory that continues to benefits us after we step off our yoga mats.
Special thanks to Andrea Clark of @nectaryogabnb for sharing these heart-opening yoga poses with us!