This morning I woke up in a funk. After falling asleep to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri I was left reeling. How could human beings treat each other like this? How could a 16-year old, unarmed teenager be gunned down and the killer just be allowed to walk away? What kind of world do we live in?
No matter how I tried, I was walking around with a gloomy look on my face. I had a headache and I felt sick to my stomach.
When you are a healer, it’s hard to see people filled with rage and hate.
So I decided I needed to do some yoga…outside. I needed to get out of my head and into my heart.
And you know what? It worked!
Here are 5 yoga poses to open your heart and connect with the love within. Because the truth is, we can’t control outcomes. Accepting and loving and spreading love everywhere we go helps make the world a better place. You can’t control it all, there will be wars and famines and unnecessary murder and plagues. There have been since the dawning of time. You can’t dwell in that.
Instead, you can teach people love. You can dwell in love. And you can bring peace to others by first bringing peace to yourself.
1. Lotus Mudra
“The lotus flower is rooted in mud and darkness, grows up through water, and blooms beautifully above the surface. Like the lotus, we have our own struggles and dark places. Through experience, we grow toward the light to finally emerge and blossom.” – Joy Thru Yoga
2. Extended Side Angle
As I was doing this pose, a huge turkey buzzard flew over my head and I saw the beautiful span of its wings. As a spirit animal the turkey buzzard or vulture represents seeing things from a higher perspective. “You know how to use your own energy powerfully and efficiently. You have the ability to see auras and colors around people with your higher vision and you know how to use patience a s a means to an end. You easily go with the flow of those around you yet are fiercely protective of those you feel responsible for. You have keen insight into most situations.” – Spirit-Animals.com
3. Seated Eagle Pose
Lola came and sat with me as I moved into seated eagle pose. This pose is great for winding up to wind down. When I feel my heart is heavy, it’s like I just need to unload the stress. Eagle, or seated eagle, is the perfect go to for this stress release.
The pose is also perfect for connecting our yin and yang energy. “Eagle pose is extremely self-nurturing and centering. On one side, we are wrapping the feminine energies of surrender, nurturing, and support around the masculine energies of action and power and strength. Our feminine is loving and holding our masculine. On the other side, we are wrapping the masculine energies of giving and strength and power around the feminine energies of support and surrender. Our masculine is providing for our feminine. Thus, this pose is the physical representation of merging our left and right sides of our bodies.”
4. Low Lunge with Open Arms
Opening my arms like I am flying, I stepped into low lunge and felt such relief! For a moment I was filled with gratitude and peace and bliss all at once. The low lunge pose is not only a great way to stretch your hamstrings, it’s a great way to open your heart. Especially if you open your arms up, exposing your heart and chest.
5. Half Moon Pose
Half moon pose is a beautiful way to connect with earth and sky. It’s a challenging pose and I was falling in and out of it, but it teaches me balance and it keeps me on my toes. In this final pose, I was able to completely let go. Any of the funk I was carrying around in my heart was finally gone.
As TogetherYoga.net says, “While you hang in half moon, enjoy the sense of suspension as you take a brief time-out from the constant wax and wane of life. Let any pent up emotional energy flow until it finds its own level and settles into stillness. Dangling in space, without feeling any need to grip or struggle, take a moment to reflect the light of the universe and to appreciate how your presence returns its shine.”
I hope you will try these poses at home, and feel the love radiate from your heart.