Here’s a crazy thought: instead of keeping your heart locked up, try the opposite and open your heart. In the end, you will attract more love.
The heart lives in our ribcage, surrounded by 12 ribs on each side, covered by our sternum in front (also called your breast bone) and the spine in back to protect the rear. Everything is held together by ligaments and intercostal muscles, shrink wrapped to protect one of the most important parts of our human machine. Our heart is like a lonely animal locked in a cage, ready to jump out and spread its wings. It just wants to share love and be loved.
Shake your heart up by adding some conscious breathing techniques called, “Complete Breath.” Lie on your back in savasana, corpse pose, and place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Start to breathe into your belly and take it up to your chest.
Then place your hands on your side rib cage. Send the next breaths into your belly, chest and side ribs. Be very conscious and slow. For the final stop, breathe into your belly, chest, side ribs and into your back. Feel your back press against the mat and floor.
This four part breath makes more space in the ribcage and starts to open the intercostal muscles that hold the ribs together. Warning: the intercostal muscles may be sore the next day, but what a good sore it is.
After you have mastered this breathing in savasana, take it to a seated position and add it into a meditation. Count out 100 breathes. It will be the slowest, best heart opener you have ever expereienced. Then add it into your moving practice, following the four part breath with movement.
It might slow your practice down, but that is a good thing.
Try to add some heart openers to your next practice while you follow this breath
>>Purvottanasana—Upward Plank Pose
>>Urdhva Dhanurasana—Upward Facing Bow
>>Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana—Restorative Supported Bridge Pose
Try to add some poses that concentrate the breath to the back body as well.
>>Savasana on your belly
>>Adho Mukha Svanasana—Downward Facing Dog
As you get comfortable and start to master this new breath, add a twist into the mix to see if you can still keep up with your “Complete Breath.”
>>Ardha Matsyendrasana—Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
>>Marichyasana III—Sage Pose
>>Parvrita Uttanasana—Twisted Forward Fold
The more love you dish out the more you get in return. It inspires the people around you to follow suit. You might start a revolution.
David Good teaches his complete breath in his classes and workshops. His intention is to inspire others to build a strong foundation in their practice and life. Follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Good-Yoga/170103619728791, Twitter @davidgoodyoga and get instant updates on #davidgoodyogaLOVE.
See you on the mat.
Editor: Anne Clendening