LEAD WITH THE HEART
This weeks theme explained.
First time I heard this expression was from my lovely teacher Neha, and as soon as I did I thought WOW, what a beautiful sentiment.
We all have a natural instinct to close, life (or rather our reaction to it) makes us that way.
We would all rather be ruled by our head rather than our hearts, constantly rationalising our feelings.
All you have to do is look around you at the rounded postures that surround us to see how we all feel the need to protect what’s vulnerable.
I’m here to tell you that there is so much power in opening up to that vulnerability.
There is so much power in letting the heart lead the way rather than the mind.
Bringing it to practice..
As you can probably imagine my classes these week were based around back bends. In my longer classes king pigeon was my peak pose.
Starting the class in Virasana (Hero Pose, to lengthen the thighs – use a block) I centred students and asked them to place right head on the belly, left on the heart.
Three breaths into the belly, three into the chest, then three full breaths combining the two. With the hand on the heart is where I introduced the theme.
Such a versatile theme and to be honest its my favourite so far,
Being aware of the positioning of the heart can be beneficial throughout the practice, making people aware of their posture and how to create length.
Standing postures: such as Warrior 3 using a cue such as “shine the heart forward as you push through the back heal” encourages engagement throughout the whole body translating into a strong pose.
Backbending: Most people have the tendency to totally dump into their lower back when backbending, “Lead With the Heart” cueing encourages them to lengthen through the waist and bring movement in the thoracic region of the spine
Seated Postures – Another common tendency is rounding the spine when passively stretching. Encourage activation in forward folds and the like. Leading with the heart and chest encourages the straightening of the spine and in turn a more effective “stretch.” My favourite here is pigeon pose. Instead of doing the usually relaxing down and dumping into the pose. Get students or yourself to come onto the forearms, magnetically plug the hip into the hip bone, push the heart forward as you energetically pull the elbows back towards the hips (think sphinx) and just feel the difference!
It takes courage to open up, It takes time to diminish boundaries. But this week I want you all to feel a little more, to feel from the heart and become attuned to its message.
Live from that space.
Embrace what you feel instead of supressing them.
Most of all TRUST what your heart tells you, it knows the way!
Please Let me know if you use this theme or find it useful.
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