5 Reasons To Open Up Your Heart

5 Reasons To Open Up Your Heart

Is your heart ‘open’? For many of us, living all too busy lives, sitting hunched over screens, and barely having the time to connect to our nearest and dearest means that perhaps our hearts aren’t at open as they could be. Emotionally, having an ‘open heart’ is defined as being kind, honest and loving; letting others into our hearts as well as sharing from them. Physically, opening up the heart space is a valuable way to re-set our posture after a long day at work, and can have significant benefits for our confidence and breathing too.

For thousands of years yogis have known how important the heart is; the Anahata Chakra located at the heart centre is the place we energetically hold our feelings of love for self and others, truth, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and joy. When the energy at this place is vibrant and flowing, we’re able to love and be loved, as well as to speak truthfully and experience joy. When the Anahata Chakra is ‘blocked’ however, we may feel unable to give or receive love, lacking in joy, or find it difficult to forgive ourselves and others. By using simple techniques to open up the heart space however, we can promote a healthy flow of energy and bring balance back to the heart. To learn more about the different chakras and how to balance them, read The Chakra Fix by Juliette Thornbury.

If you feel as though it’s been a while since you truly opened your heart space – physically, emotionally and energetically – read on for good reasons and techniques to open it today:

Being Open Hearted Encourages Stronger Relationships

When we feel open-hearted, we’re more likely to be honest, compassionate and caring towards others, allowing for deeper and more meaningful connections. You’ll know your heart is ‘closed’ if you feel unwilling to share or listen fully to others, if you feel judgemental or critical, or if you find it challenging to emotionally connect with others. After arduous relationships and heartbreak, it can be difficult to overcome the worry of opening up our hearts again in fear of having them hurt, but in order to fully heal, it’s essential to open up and connect to others. Research shows that when we’re honest and open with others, we’re able to forge relationships that are stronger, more loving and longer lasting, which is like a healing balm for the emotional heart.

To practice being more open-hearted, simply think about your body language the next time you have a conversation with someone; opening your heart and turning your palms up subtly communicates to the other person that you’re ready to listen, and that you’re being honest too. The School of Life Connect card deck has been created with the intention to help us connect to others and strengthen our relationships. The pack includes questions and actions to improve communication and remove bocks that may be preventing us from maintaining a healthy relationship. Discover other card decks too such as the Meaning of Life Cards, and the School of Life 100 Questions to spark meaningful conversations around love, life, culture and family, to make deeper connections with loved ones and new friends

Sharing From The Heart Helps Us Practice Vulnerability

Spending much of our lives online makes it easy to hide behind the veil of what we want other people to think of us. We can alter what we share online to make us feel confident and successful, yet behind the scenes we may be struggling emotionally. When we live a life that is inauthentic, this ultimately closes off the heart and can even make us feel disconnected from ourselves. When we share from the heart and speak truthfully however, we begin to show our authentic selves and make much deeper connections to both us, and those around us. Sharing from the heart helps us practice the art of vulnerability, of which researcher and author Brene Brown says; “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage”. It’s not until we have the courage to be vulnerable that we really get to know our true selves, and allow others to know us truly too.

To practice sharing from the heart so you can reconnect to your true self, start using the Self Love Journal, helping you connect with your inner magic to feel pure peace and joy. The weekly prompts will help you check in with yourself, set challenges for healthy growth, plan nourishing meals and practice self-care activities. It’s also important to begin opening up to others slowly; think of someone you love and trust – can you practice sharing honestly with them? Little reminders such as wearing the Mala Collective I Am Love bracelet can help encourage you to stay truthful and loving towards yourself and others throughout the day.  

Heart-Focused Breathing Can Improve Overall Wellbeing

There are countless breathing techniques to help you feel calmer, more relaxed, and more centred, but the Heart-Focused Breathing Technique works to directly improve our heart space. Created by the Heart Math Institute, the technique involves breathing deeply and focusing on the heart; visualising each breath entering and leaving through the heart space. Experts say this technique improves coherence; a state in which the heart, mind and emotions are in alignment, helping us live a more heart-centred existence. Those who have practiced this technique regularly report feeling uplifted and alive, and more peaceful and less rushed in daily life. Heart-Centred breathing can be a great way to start or end your day, or sprinkled throughout your day to give you moments to re-set.

To practice heart-centred breathing, sit or lie down comfortably and place one hand on your heart. Inhale deeply for a count of 5 seconds, visualising the breath entering in through your heart space. As you exhale for 5 seconds, visualise the breath leaving through your heart space. Repeat for a few minutes until you’re ready to stop. Using the Yogamatters Organic Cotton Pranayama Pillow is the perfect prop to support your body in the optimal position to practice breathing techniques like this.

This Heart-Opening Posture Can Help Boost Your Confidence And Mood

Yoga postures that stretch and open the heart space can help improve how we feel both physically and mentally. Our body and brain are always communicating, and if we sit or walk around with a hunched-over posture, this can communicate to the brain that we’re feeling sad, afraid or intimidated. Repeating this day after day can then create a mindset that maybe we should feel sad, afraid or intimidated! To start communicating to your body and brain that you’re feeling happy and confident, practice postures that open the heart space, such as backbends like bow pose, bridge pose and camel, or simply adding an open arm position to crescent lunges and warrior poses.

To practice opening your heart in Warrior 1; find a strong warrior 1 position, bring your hands behind your back and clasp them together. Roll your shoulders back and open your chest, feeling a stretch in the fronts of the shoulders and breathing into the heart space.

Try This Yoga Posture For A More Open Heart And Better Posture

Another effective yoga posture for opening the heart space is a simple restorative supported heart opener. In this position, the upper body is supported by a bolster, allowing the chest to open and completely relax. The lower body can rest on the floor or be supported by a block, whilst the arms are spread to the sides and palms face up. This restorative yoga posture is a wonderful way to relax the spine and realign it after a long day, as well as encouraging a more open heart space physically and emotionally. Whilst in the posture, bring your awareness to your heart space and practice the Heart-Focused breathing technique.

To practice the restorative supported heart opener, use the Yogamatters Hemp Rectangular Buckwheat Bolster, the sustainable cork block, and the organic cotton yoga blanket to keep you warm and cosy.

Now you know how to open your heart physically, emotionally and energetically, how will you begin opening up your heart space?

The post 5 Reasons To Open Up Your Heart appeared first on Blog – Yogamatters.

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