Heart and chest openers are oh-so-important this time of year and for a few reasons:
1. Opening our chest and taking a few deep breaths will cleanse our lungs of any stale breath that's lingering. As soon as we rid our lungs of that stale breath and inhale replenishing them with fresh breath, we're leaving less room to get a chest cold.
2. Think about our habits and lifestyle each day. Many of us are on the computer for hours at a time, driving in the car, doing dishes or cooking, etc. What do those things have in common? We tend to hunch forward while we do them, causing us to close off our chest area. Let's open that area up and press our shoulder blades together on our back.
3. As we approach Thanksgiving, a season of gratitude, it's important for our hearts to be open. When we physically open our chest area and create that space in our chest, and then bring our attention to our heart center with our minds, we can embrace the emotions that come with this season. When you experience feelings of gratitude you feel love. When you feel love and gratitude it's hard to feel anger, stress or negative thoughts.
My favorite chest openers in yoga are matysasana (fish pose) & dhanurasana (bow pose). The easiest is a standing yoga mudra, where you just clasp your hands behind your back, hinge forward as you lift the arms and breathe as you open your chest. Give one a try today and see how much better your chest feels. Make some space for some love to pour into your heart!