We are in the midst of February and I’m seeing what other yoga instructors and studios are offering in terms of special classes. The three main themes typically are “Heart Openers,” “Heart Chakra,” and “Partner Yoga.” In the past, I have done all three of these themes with success! Overall, these are great and fun themes that go along with February being the “American Heart Association’s Heart Month,” and also “Valentine’s Day.” Since February 2015 has started, I’ve been having “Heart Opening” themes in my classes. Heart Opening themes are fairly easy to teach for a couple of reasons. One, you don’t need a partner (I do Partner classes on Valentine’s Day). Two, you can teach this theme throughout the month. Three, there are a ton of poses to choose from so you won’t have the same class every time you teach. I’ll list them (just in case you are doing the same and maybe looking for a pose you hadn’t considered).
HEART OPENING POSE LIST *** If you offer variations of these or even use props, the list grows longer.***
Forward Fold with Hands Clasped behind back.
Half Bound Triangle (chest slightly rotates towards ceiling)
Half Frog (Toe hold variation)
Heart Opening Wall Twist (Sit perpendicular near a wall. Place Hand on wall and twist the opposite way).
LocustMountain with Hands Clasped BehindProud Pigeon (Opposite Hand clasps extended bent leg. Chest revolves towards front bent knee and upwards).
Revolved Beam PoseSide Angle with supporting arm on thigh while top arm reaches toward the ceiling and then gently clasping head as chest slightly spirals toward ceiling. Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Supported Reclining Bound Angle (use a bolster)
Warrior I with Hands Clasped Behind
Upward Facing Dog
Upward Face Staff Pose
So as you can see, we have a ton of poses to introduce into our classes. Now after doing a few “Heart Openers,” you’ll want to neutralize the spine with a counterpose or two.
Constructive Pose – Lay on the back with feet as wide as the mat. Slightly pigeon toe the feet and allow the knees to rest against each other. Use arms to wrap around the chest in what I call an “Eagle Hug.”
Forward Folds – Any variation of standing or seated.
Windshield Wipers – Still laying on the back with feet as wide as the mat. Allow the knees to slowly fall to the side and then to the other side.
So there you have it. Grab a few fun “Heart Opening Poses,” thread them appropriately throughout your class, have a fun quote, story, or mention the importance of taking care of your ticker, and make a good feeling love-themed play list (Don’t do the sappy love songs as that can backfire. Instead, choose songs about being happy, loving life…).
I wrote this just in the event some of you were doing “Heart Openers” and wanted to do something outside of your go-to poses. I for one, never considered the “Heart Opening Wall Twist” until recently. I’d love to hear about your “Heart Themed” classes. Namaste, Kristen