30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 9

Heart Expansion Flow

30 min - Practice
90 likes
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Description

Sarah guides us in a sequence to find opening and expansion through the chest, shoulders, and heart. We peak in Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose). You will feel expansive and energized.
What You'll Need: Mat

Transcript

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Welcome, so in this practice we're going to move through some heart-opening postures to find expansion in the chest, the heart, and the shoulders, so let's just start seated and we'll come into our breath to begin. So closing the eyes, find a comfortable cross-leg seated position, and just letting the hands rest in your lap or on your knees. Let's start with three cleansing breaths together, so allowing a big breath in through the nose and then open the mouth and sigh it out. Good, again, inhale through the nose, feel the expansion in the chest as you inhale, sigh it out, good, last one, big breath in, and let it go, bring the hands together in front of your heart, setting an intention for your practice, allowing yourself to just call in whatever it is that you'd like to receive here in this practice today. And then as you're ready, let's come onto our backs.

So we're going to start with some dynamic bridge poses. So you can bring the soles of the feet down to the earth, walk your heels in, take the feet hips distance, and then the ankles are right under your knees. So as you inhale, press through the soles of the feet, reach your arms up over your head and start to lift your hips any amount as you reach the arms all the way up over your head. And then on an exhale, lower the arms down and start to roll down, hips lower as you come all the way down, palms press into the earth. And then we'll just move with that a few times with the breath.

So as you inhale, press through the soles of the feet, reach the arms up over your head to lift the hips. And then as you exhale, slowly roll down, arms lower, hips lower, good, let's take a couple more. Inhale, as you lift up, arms lift, hips lift, heart lifts, exhale, lower down. Last one, inhale, press through the soles of the feet, reach the arms up over your head. As you exhale, lower the hips down, lower the arms all the way down, good.

And then stepping your feet a little bit wider than your hips this time, reach your arms back up over your head and then drop your knees to the right side, finding a nice, easy spinal twist, sending the breath through the left side body, maybe gazing toward the left. Beautiful. And then on an inhale, draw the knees back through center and just take the knees to the left side, finding an easy spinal twist to the other direction, maybe gazing toward the right for a few breaths. Good. And then windshield wipering the legs from side to side, start to move with the breath.

So inhale, knees through center, exhale, drop the knees off to the right. Inhale knees center, exhale left and just moving at your own pace with your breathing, your rhythm, just a few more rounds. Exhaling as the knees come up, exhaling as you drop them off to one side, taking one more round wherever you're at, finishing up on your left side. And then coming back through center, let's hug the knees into your chest, bring the hands to the backs of the knees and gently start to rock up and down a few times along the length of your spine and we'll rock all the way up to a comfortable cross-leg seated position. So coming back to your seat and from your seated positions, take some cat-cows seated.

So hands come to the front of the knees. On an inhale, just start to reach the heart forward, draw the shoulders back as you reach forward and then as you exhale, draw the navel to the spine, rounding as you come back on your sitting bones and we'll take that a few more times. So as you inhale, tilt forward, lift the heart, as you exhale, draw the shoulders forward, sit back, rounding through the spine and one more time, inhale, heart expands forward, good and then exhale, rounding, really nice. And then coming back up to your neutral spine and we'll come to all fours. So meeting me in hands and knees, as you come to hands and knees, bring your shoulders over the wrists, hips over your knees.

So in your tabletop position, let's tuck the toes underneath and then with the toes tucked, take a cow pose. So as you inhale, drop the belly, arching through the back, look up and lengthen and then as you exhale, draw the navel into the spine, let your hips sink back towards your heels, keeping the toes nice and tucked and just feel that nice stretch in the feet. We'll hold here on this first one, just a couple breaths. Yeah, and then when you're ready, look forward, stay low and just kind of slither your way through into cobra pose. So bringing the chin and the chest down, elbows hug in and then straightening out through the legs, lift up through the chest, draw the shoulders away from your ears as you lift up and then as you exhale, we'll come right back into that child's pose.

So tucking the toes, let the hips sink back towards your heels, reach the arms forward, let the head and neck relax down and let's take that a couple more times. So as you inhale, stay low, come forward, chest and chin lower, inhale, cobra pose, lift the heart and then exhale, child's pose, tuck the toes, let the hips sink back towards your heels. Last one, stay low, chin and chest lower, inhale into cobra, draw the shoulders away and then this time let's exhale, come back to downward facing dog, tuck the toes, lift your hips up and back, finding any movement in this first dog pose, can pedal it out, you might sway the hips from side to side, just coming into the backs of the legs, noticing what it is you need here to really find an opening through the backs of the legs. Good, and then inhale, the right leg up and back, let's put a bend in the knee to open up your hip for a breath and maybe roll out the ankle, you might even take some big circles with that right leg to really get into that right hip and you can take them in one direction and the other, good, and then straighten out through the right leg and just step your right foot back down into downward facing dog and we'll take that on the left side, so when you're ready, inhale the left leg up, put a bend in the knee to open up your hip, maybe roll the ankle a few times and then maybe take some circles with that left leg, so really getting into the left hip this time, taking that circle in one direction and then you can reverse the direction, opening it up, good, and then step the left foot back down and let's walk the hands all the way back to the feet, coming to a forward fold at the back of the mat, soften your knees any amount here and take the hands behind your back, interlacing the fingers behind the low back and then just finding a couple breaths here, holding in, soft knees and then come halfway up, keeping the interlace of the hand, start to bend through your right knee, straighten out through the left and then any amount start to peel the chest open to the left, yeah, finding a nice twist and then we'll come back through centre, changing sides, bend the left, straighten the right, peel the chest open to the right this time, good, and then fold back over your legs, let the hands come down, scrape the torso down, on an inhale walk your hands up onto your shins, lengthen out through the spine, reach the heart forward and then as you exhale come right back into your forward fold, uttanasana, and two more like that, inhale, lift halfway up, lengthen, offer the heart forward, exhale, fold back in and then last one, inhale, lift halfway up, exhale, bend back in, let the hands come down slowly, walk your way back to downward facing dog, we'll meet there in down dog for a couple of breaths, start to let the heels get heavy, let the back of the neck be nice and long and take your gaze to one point, when you're ready inhale the right leg all the way up and back, step the right foot all the way through between your hands, hugging the knee in towards your chest as you step forward and then let the back knee lower down, reach your arms forward and up coming into anjaliyasana, take a moment to land here, soften through the shoulders, lift up through the heart, allow a big breath in and then as you exhale bend the elbows to lift the heart even more maybe even taking the gaze up toward the ceiling, good, and then on an inhale press the palms back up over your head and then we'll bring the left hand down to the inside of the right foot, tuck your back toes, lift the back knee up and find a lunge twist opening the chest toward the right reaching the right arm up, nice and then maybe take the top arm over your ear for a breath, lower the hand down to frame your front foot and then step back to downward facing dog, from down dog come forward into plank pose, lower the knees down and then bring the chin and the chest down, coming into that cobra again on the inhale hug the elbows in, lift up through the heart and then exhale back, downward facing dog, tuck the toes, lift your hips up and back, arriving in down dog, good, coming to the left side inhale the left leg up, exhale knee to nose round through the upper back as you come forward and then step your foot all the way through between your hands, good, lower the back knee down and then on an inhale reach the arms all the way up, beautiful and then bend through the elbows to lift up through the heart, maybe lift the gaze up, nice and then on an inhale you can reach the arms back up, maybe press the palms together above your head, hands lower down, tuck your back toes, lift the back knee up and then right hand down lunge twist, reach that left arm up, twisting toward the left this time, keep hugging your left hip in, stay active in that right leg and then maybe take the left arm over your ear, plug in that left shoulder back, breathing, beautiful and then you can lower the hand down, step back to downward facing dog, on an inhale come forward to plank pose, lower the knees, chest and chin down, good, inhale lift up, low cobra, hug the shoulders back as you lift, exhale downward facing dog, allow three breaths here, maybe sign out the mouth if that feels good for you, taking a big breath in and then open the mouth, let it go, good and then we'll come back to the right side, so inhale the right leg up, exhale draw the knee into your nose, look forward, step the foot through between the hands, same beginning let's move with the breath, back knee lowers down, inhale arms sweep up, as you exhale bend the elbows to lift up through the heart, inhale arms sweep up and then exhale left hand down, right arm lifts, find that lunge twist, good and then from here we're going to open it up to warrior two, so spin that right arm back and then bring it forward, spin the back heel down, circle the left arm open and land in your warrior two and just take a moment to arrive here and let's find eagle arms, right arm underneath, wrap it up, we're opening through the back of the heart now, sinking down into that front leg and then releasing the arms back to warrior two, flip your front palm, reverse warrior, feel that length in the side body and then extended side angle, elbow to the top of the thigh, top arm over the ear, the heart spin open, maybe a half wrap here, hand behind the back, draw the left shoulder back, maybe lift the gaze up toward the ceiling, beautiful and then as you're ready, root down, rise up, come all the way back to reverse your warrior, good and then circle the hands down to the earth, step back to downward facing dog and then we'll come forward to plank pose, lower the knees, chin and chest, hug the elbows in as you lower, inhale lift the heart, good and then exhale right back to downward facing dog, allow a big breath in and open the mouth, side out, good, left side, inhale the left leg up, draw the knee to the nose, round through the upper back as you come forward and then step your left foot through between your hands, good, lower the back knee down, moving with the breath, inhale arms sweep up, exhale bend the elbows to lift up through the heart, inhale lift up and then lunge twist, right hand down, tuck the back toes, lift the back knee, sweep that left arm up, yeah and then we'll come up to warrior two, spin the back heel down, circle the right arm up and open as you land in your warrior two, eagle arms this time, left arm comes underneath, wrap it up and as you draw the elbows away, sink down a little deeper into that front leg, breathing here, lovely and then opening it back up, warrior two, flip the front palm tilt back, reverse your warrior, feel the length through the side body, an extended side angle either elbow to the thigh, if you want to go deeper, you bring the fingertips to the inside of that front foot, top arm over the ear, maybe wrap it up bringing that right hand behind the back, rolling the right shoulder back this time maybe gazing toward the ceiling and breathing, last couple breaths here, beautiful and then rooting down to rise, we'll come all the way back up to reverse your warrior and then circle the hands down, step back, downward facing dog, on and inhale coming forward to plank pose, lower the knees down, chin and chest lower and then inhale, low cobra, draw the shoulders back as you lift up and then exhale right back to downward facing dog. From here lower your knees down coming to a table top position, so again shoulders come over the wrists, hips over your knees and then we'll reach the left foot back behind you and then spin onto your left heel, so you're going to take the weight into the right hand, you might kickstand the right foot back a little bit and then reach your right arm up toward the ceiling and then we'll lift up through the left leg, bend through your left knee, reach back with your left hand, kick the foot into your hand and then really feel the heart opening here, so you're expanding through the chest, maybe gazing up toward the ceiling, breathe, nice and then you can let that go, come back to all fours, so left hand down, left knee down, from here keep your hips over your knees and start to walk your hands forward coming into anahatasana, heart opening pose, maybe the forehead comes down toward the earth or the chin, feeling the opening through the chest here and the shoulders and breathing, good, last couple of breaths and then slowly walking the hands back in towards you and we'll just take that heart opener to the other side, so reaching your right leg back, spin onto the heel of your right foot, take the weight into your left hand this time, reach your right arm up, take the top arm over your ear maybe and then we'll lift up through that right leg, bend through your right knee and then reach back for the foot with your right hand, kick the foot into your hand and expand the chest open toward the right, maybe gaze up, holding here for just a couple more breaths, beautiful and then releasing that, bring the right hand down, bring the right knee down, taking a cat cow so as you inhale arching through the back, look up, lengthen and then as you exhale draw the navel into the spine rounding through the upper back, good and then bringing the forearms down to the earth, shoulders right over the elbows, spread the fingers nice and wide here, take your gaze between your thumbs and then stretch the legs back, tuck your toes and come to forearm plank, good and then if you gaze forward it's going to be a little bit easier so take your gaze between your thumbs, feel the length through the crown of the head, back through your heels, yeah, taking a couple more breaths in here, drawing the navel in toward the spine, feel the shaking, really nice and then lowering your knees back down and just coming into a nice child's pose, reaching the arms forward, sink your hips back toward your heels, letting your forehead rest down and then feel the opening through the back of the heart so as you inhale feel the shoulder blades expand, feel that opening through the back body and then as you exhale ground down a little bit more, good and then walking the hands in, roll up, we're going to come into some dynamic camels here so tucking the toes, sitting back on your heels and we'll take the left hand to the left ankle and on an inhale you're going to lift the hips up as you reach the right arm across the body and up, lifting up through the chest and we'll take this first round nice and slow so as you exhale lower the hips down, we'll take the right hand to the right ankle, sweep the left arm in front of the face and up as you lift the hips, draw the hips forward, lift up through the chest and then let's start to move with the breath so a little quicker as you inhale lift up and lengthen, as you exhale sink it down, inhale lift up and then go ahead and just move with this on your own for a few breaths side to side, feel free to pause anywhere it feels nice to kind of hold and go into the stretch a little bit deeper so let this be about opening up through the upper back through the heart as you move from side to side and then as you're done with that whenever you're ready you'll untuck your toes, sit back on your heels, bring your hands to the tops of the thighs, the palms to face up for a moment, close your eyes and just notice, notice where that movement lands sometimes camel pose can feel, it's a little bit vulnerable so just noticing if that's something that came up for you, just being that observer of all that's happening in the body within, just becoming curious and interested in all that's occurring and then blinking the eyes open as you're ready and we'll come on to our backs so rolling down carefully making your way onto your backs and we'll move through a series of heart opening postures back bending postures here so we can take a moment to just hug your knees into your chest rock around a little bit side to side maybe take the knees in circles in one direction and the other and then when you've had enough of that soles of the feet come down walk the heels in towards you feet hips distance brush the backs of the heels with the fingers and then press through the soles of the feet press through the palms of the hands lift your hips up draw the chest towards your chin interlace the fingers behind the low back maybe or you can always hold on to the outsides of your mat and kind of pull the mat away wherever you are deepen your breath roll the inner thighs down and breathe last couple breaths here and bridge beautiful and then slowly release the shoulders one vertebra at a time super slow roll down scooping the low belly out as you come down and then step your feet as wide as your mat let the knees knock into touch bring your hands to your low belly close your eyes and just again be curious check in notice we'll set up for another round so you're welcome to stay with bridge pose where we just were you're always welcome to take a block under the sacrum and find a supported bridge if you want to go a little deeper we'll come into wheel pose so stepping the feet to hips distance walk the heels in towards you again ankles underneath feet hips distance and then bring your hands next to your ears hug your elbows in let the fingers face toward your shoulders get your ponytail out of the way if it's there and then on an inhale start to lift up your hips draw the knees forward and then start to come to the crown of the head so just pressing up to the crown of the head first and then pressing into the hands any amount start to straighten out through the elbows finding your wheel holding for a couple full deep breaths let the inner thighs roll down try to release any clenching in the back body take one more big breath in and then as you're ready exhale lower down good and again step the feet as wide as your mat let the knees knock into touch hands to the low belly and just breathe relaxing the shoulders softening through the face the jaw the eyes and then bringing the arms on either sides of the shoulders bringing the palms to face up like goalpost arms we'll take some windshield wipers so letting the knees drop to the right and then inhale bring the knees back through center let the knees drop to the left maybe gazing over the opposite shoulder and as you inhale come back through center drop the knees to the right inhale center drop the knees to the left good and then coming through center hug your knees back into your chest and we'll come to plow pose you're welcome to roll up to seated and just take a forward fold seated if you'd like if you're coming into plow let your hands come down to the earth palms face down and then the legs are going to shoot up and over your head but keep your chin nice and tucked keep your gaze straight forward so that you're not moving the neck around so go ahead and bring the legs over your head for plow you can tuck the toes here you can untuck the toes you might interlace the fingers behind the low back taking a few full deep breaths for our exit we'll come into fish pose so flattening out the palms of your hands your butts going to land on top of your hands so slowly start to roll on out of here keep the legs nice and straight and then letting the booty fall on top of your hands let the legs come all the way down to the earth flexing through the feet or pointing and then start to bend the elbows so they tuck underneath you and then bringing the crown of the head toward the earth to lift up through the heart through the chest feel that lift in the heart breathe and then you can slowly release the arms first tuck your chin roll down it will land for shavasana so letting the legs open up straightening on the mat let the feet roll open like books bringing the palms to face up on either side of the body you can gently tuck the shoulders underneath you to feel that lift through the heart and then take a moment to feel your heart beating in your chest notice the energy in the body letting go of any effort in the breath the body the bones the muscles your mind just allow yourself the gift of presence the gift of rest just the next few moments slowly begin to deepen your breath if you want to stay in shavasana longer please feel free to stay as long as you like otherwise inviting any movement back in maybe the fingers brushing the thumb across the tips of your fingers wiggling the toes and then on your next breath in reaching your arms all the way up over your ears allowing a big breath in let's hold the breath at the very top and then open the mouth and sigh it out bring the soles of the feet to the earth bending through your knees and just make your way onto one side taking a moment to pause on your side noticing how you feel and notice what you notice and then pressing your way up as you're ready we'll come to a comfortable cross legs seated position and then bringing your hands together in front of your heart just taking a moment to bow your head in towards your heart and again check in with the heart beating in your chest noticing that vibration and then taking one more big breath in through the nose open the mouth sigh it out and we'll seal our practice with one sound of om allowing a big breath in inhale let everything go namaste

Comments

Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Sweet heart opening sequence ❤️...lots of heart-centered yoga going on around Yoga Anytime today, such a lovely Valentines Day gift...almost better than chocolate!
Sarah Beston
SO much heart-centered yoga today! haha. Happy Valentine's Day, Jenny !!
Shawn
1 person likes this.
lovely first thing in the morning. thank you!
Sarah Beston
Hi Shawnee ! Happy to hear! Have a beautiful day!
Eric K
1 person likes this.
Perfect way to start the day.
Sarah Beston
Hi Eric Thank you so much for practicing with me here on Yoga Anytime! I am glad this was a nice way to start your day! Have a wonderful week!
Keri S
Thank you Sarah!!!! Traveling through Spain and needed this heart opener! So so sweet!
Sarah Beston
Hi Keri ! You are so welcome. Ahhh, traveling through Spain sounds amazing! How is it? I've always wanted to make a trip there! Lots of love, Sarah
Deborah G
2 people like this.
Loved this!! Thank you so much!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Deborah I am so glad! Thank you for sharing! xo
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