Rock Yourself Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Opening Our 360ยบ Heart

35 min - Practice


Sadie encourages us through a dynamic sequence of chest, back, and side rib openers to allow the heart room to shine brightly and naturally. Playful, fun, and adventurous, we twist, reach, and stretch to remove the old armoring that we so often hold. You will feel spacious, open and bright.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

About This Video

May 07, 2015
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Come into your easy seat and get ready to open not just your heart forward but your whole heart. 360 degrees in the core, and 360 degrees in the heart above. So to begin, place one hand on your heart and one hand to your belly. Now to support your voice, to support the breath and get you back into your core, which is the flame that lights your heart from underneath, the flame that's fully sustainable 24/7 instead of trying to get it from other people. That light is finite, if you haven't noticed.

So we wanna get back down into that belly breathing. The core transformer breath. Now to do that, inhale down all around the base of the ribs. Make space front sides, and back, and even base as if to tough the base of your pelvis with every inhale. Expand it all.

On the exhale give a nice squeeze, pelvic floor muscles, and low belly in and up. Side waist squeezes, even the back. So inhale down and wide everywhere at once, and exhale up. The hand on the heart because you wanna keep the heart still and centered, liquid and free, and just existing there in space without lifting on the inhale or dropping too much. So on the inhale let the heart just be nice and static, and being there shiny and amazing.

On the inhale you give that nice spaciousness to the core. On the exhale hug and lift. So you can see my chest is not moving very much as I inhale or as I exhale. Alright so we can just practice that a few more times, and exhale. After you're really completed that core transforming expansion on the inhale, if you have anything left or you wanna save some, you can bring it up into the chest.

That's totally fine, and in some of your yoga poses you'll want to predominate more of a chest breathing. You can just play with that in your practice and see what feels right and good for you today, but right now, as the core breath, let's get down. Inhale, exhale. Keep breathing like that. Plant your hands on your knees.

On the inhale lean yourself forward, open up through the front of the heart. On the exhale open through the back of the heart. Inhale, forward it up. So often in yoga we just think of pressing the front of the chest forward which can be very shortening, compressive, and straining for the back, but if you think of the heart as always wanting to be lifted a bit away from the pelvis, and a 360 degree. Maybe like a sun or a ball of light.

Inhale here, exhale. Helps to give you that lightness, freedom, and space along the spine, and exhale it out. So today we'll be doing all sorts of spinal movements to open the rib cage. Stretch all the way up and to free the heart in all directions. On your exhale plant one hand down, sweep the other one in a circle over the ear and take a side bend.

So you're really gonna stretch one hip down, and reach away from it with the hand. Now the inhale can expand, especially around that rib cage. Stretching you from the inside out, exhale. Just a nice light stretch. Poor it forward, and take the other side.

So the opposite hip moves down to anchor and you can pull away a light stretch here. You're not so warm so just let this be a sensation, more than a full stretch. And exhale, circle around. Beginning to open the ribs, the abdominal wall, the back body muscles, and close to the spine too. So you can kind of spring open the heart center, and give more energy to both that core and the chest.

Inhale here, sweep it around, and then try one inhale each side. I like this, little dance of the heart, and the core together. Reach out and up. Alright, come back to center. Creep the hands way out in front of you.

Lift up to the belly. Wave the heart longer and exhale full. So technically of course, your heart is usually on the left hand side, but we're talking about the heart center, an energetic place that we talk about a lot in yoga. Which is representative of your relationships with others, with your world, and all the people in it. Inhale here and the core center as the center of the belly pelvis area that represents that relationship with you.

Roll it all the way up. We're opening all of that today. Alright, plant your hands out to one side, come on toward the front of your mat. Hands and knees here. On the inhale, bend the knees, bend the elbows, and on the exhale, press down and roll up so we can stretch and open the back of the chest more.

Inhale down, front of the chest, exhale. Inhale bend, exhale lift it up. Come back to a neutral spine here. Somewhere in between those two and we'll take what I call the moon walk. So the moon walk.

Walk your hands over to the left right now. So hands to the left. It's not a twist, it's a side bend. So you want your spine to be in a moon shape. So I'm walking over to the left.

I want you to take your right hand and creep it way longer onto gecko asuna onto the fingertips here. The other elbow comes out and you can fold a bit. Stretch a lot through the whole right side and use your breath from the inside to give yourself a lot of expansion and to exhale release all tension there. Alright come back to center. Inhale here, nice neutral spine.

Walk it over, moon walk to the right. Left fingertips creep long. So we're stretching open. Shoulder muscles, intercostals, back, spine, so much goodness here. Inhale, and exhale.

I don't know if you can see this but if I had my hand right here I'd be expanding it with the inhale even to the back, sides, and front. Slowly come to center. One more time to neutral. Inhale here and exhale it up. Tuck your toes underneath you, press yourself back into a bent knee dog.

So keep your knees bent right now as we warm up. Make sure you're fingertips and palms are nice and firm on the earth, and then twist both of your knees over to the right. Oh yeah, twist them. This is called twisted dog. Knees to the right and I want you to really stretch out along the whole right hip, the right side waist there.

Let your pelvis move away from the rib cage more on that side. Inhale here, exhale back to center. Switch it, as you're warming up the arms you're stretching out through the hips. Knees to the left. So you wanna make an expanded inhale space here between rib cage and left hip, and even spin the knees back a little more.

Inhale and exhale to center. Now bring the knees and twist them to the right. Twisted dog, you can try this one. Stretch the legs out straight here. One foot is in front of the other.

Don't stack them. If it's a lot for you, put the left knee down. Otherwise hold the leg straight. And just unfurl the right arm to the sky. Exhale, plant the hands down mindfully.

Knees to the left. Stretch out the legs just where they are and flow that left arm open. Again, right knee and shin can be down if you need more support. Alright, exhale, come back to center. Bend the knees and slowly begin to walk yourself up toward the front of your mat.

Take that nice little moment there to inhale. Lift the belly and exhale fold. Bent kneed uttanasana. Just chill here. No need to stretch straight.

Have a moment just letting the head and neck go. Letting the whole heart dissolve and hang down. Destressing, let the head go, inhale, and exhale. Alright from here bend the knees more. Sitting bones back and wide, and on your exhale press the feet down and begin to lightly support that front spine to help gently lift you up and then on the inhale stretch your arms all the way to the sky.

So really reach the heart away from the pelvis. On the exhale bend the knees and fold. Just play the edge of that leg stretch there. Lift your belly, pull heart waves long and on the exhale plant the fingertips down. Step it back, downward facing dog.

Bend your knees here in dog pose. Sweep them to the right. Stretch it out long, and maybe you can flow this one. Right arm up, if you need left knee down it just taps down there. Exhale, other side right away, and then flow it out, left arm lifts, side plank.

Good, opening the heart. Come back to center, bend the knees. This time roll the back of the heart open. Into plank pose. Touch your knees down as you lower.

I want you to try to get your pubic bone to touch first. So that's the aim anyway. Shoulders there first. They higher and you're in your deep spinal core strength. Protecting the shoulder joints and that low back, that chaturanga carnage we can so often get into.

Inhale here. Exhale, roll into the belly, open up through the heart in the front, but try to slide the front of the heart toward the back of the heart and then higher. That will give you a nice integration here. So your low back won't strain forward so much, and on your exhale, knees down, belly up. Transition through a little child's pose and just let the heart rest as you open up the back body for a breath or two, and on the exhale press down, and downward facing dog.

Bend the knees, bend the elbows here. Press down, lift up through the belly. Lift your right leg to the sky. That wave from the earth. On the exhale, bend the elbows and knees, roll knee to chest, lift as high as you can through the back of that heart center, and then sweep that right foot to the right thumb.

Inhale, wave the spine here. On the exhale, bend the knees and just start pulsing a little bit. So I really like this. We're not rushing up. We're certainly not opening the front of the heat to come up.

Which really shortens that low back and sacrum, but instead, drawing up through the back of the heart more. So the back of the heart opening too, will help to engage that front core to come in and up into your lunge at center, not pushed forward so much. The great for the spine. Inhale here, exhale, I want you to bring your hands down to your heart and simply spin to the right. Roll in through the belly, lift up.

If you're able to touch the elbow down to the knee, that's cool. Back knee can be down any time you want for a low lunge. Exhale, spin. So we're trying to draw up through the front of the spine, and then keep that heart contained in long as you spin. Rolling in and up one more time, and exhale.

Good, bend the back knee. Lift all the way up here. Stretch both legs straighter, and on the exhale interlace your hand behind you. Bend the elbows for this one. Bend the knees, roll up, if you like to stretch the front leg, do it, and on the exhale, roll onto your front thigh and stretch.

Inhale here thought he low rib cage. You can even flood it up higher into the chest and shoulders. Give a nice expansion to the back of the lungs, and on the exhale both hands inside your front foot. Lift the hips a little more. Back knee can be down, that's fine, but your still lifting the hips.

Moon walk it over away from the front foot to the left. Right hand reaches longer. Right elbow can come open a little bit. Lift the belly, wave the spine, exhale and stretch. Slowly walk the hands back to center.

Plant the palms, step it back, downward facing dog. Bend the knees, inhale. Roll it forward to plank. Now you can either take a child's pose here, or continue lowering down into that mindful chaturanga. Inhale prepare, exhale roll in and up into your heart opener but heart slides back and up, and on the exhale find your downward facing dog.

Roll the heart long here and downward facing dog. Inhale through the nose one more time, and on the exhale, stick your tongue out. (exhales) Tongue is the top of your core. So we're releasing some of the neck and jaw muscles. You need to vocalize but also to relax the heart more.

Inhale, bend everything. Exhale, press down, lift the belly, lift the left leg high this time. Roll that knee into your chest. Lift, lift, lift, lift, and step the left foot mindfully to the left thumb. Inhale, wave the spine long.

On your exhale, press down and just take your time here. Maybe a pulse or three to begin coming up through the front of the spine and the lower core part, and the back of the heart and the upper part. So now you may notice you don't have that low back strain coming up to your lunges. You don't have the pelvis forward in a shortened pose. Inhale here, exhale, spin and twist.

Lower body doesn't move so much, upper body moves. Think of twisting from the sternum. From the side rib cage and from the back of the heart. Good, inhale. Stability down below, and expression above.

One more here. Lengthen the heat long, give a nice little spin, awesome, and then come on up. Reach yourself up, stretch the front leg straightish or er, and then interlace your hands behind you. Bend the back knee, bend the elbows. Open up through the front of the chest and exhale fold over the front knee.

Back knee can come down, shin down, absolutely, but really keep yourself breathing in and out. From the base of the ribs. Expanding higher when you need it, like maybe right now. Expanding and lifting the breath into the upper lungs. One more inhale.

Exhale, release the hands down. I want you to moon walk over to the right. Left hand's gonna come way longer this time, and try to open up the right elbow. Somewhere in here you may find a stretch all along that left side. Keep the pelvis buoyant whether the back leg is up or down.

Nice long heat from the pelvis and fold. Good, come back to center here. Plant the fingertips, lift it up, take your downward facing dog. Here we go, bend the knees, bend the elbows, inhale. I want you to stay here but walk your big toe mounts together.

Bend the elbows back, exhale with big toe mounts squeezing. We're gonna pulse and lift up into this pulsing plank pose. Inhale, exhale, press the arms straight. Lift through the belly and pelvis. Inhale here, so it's a little bit of a lift through the back of the heart.

Not too much, and on the exhale maybe you can press the hands down. Lift the belly higher, and float forward more lightly. Alright, you just try it, there you go. We get up here together. Inhale, wave the spine long.

Exhale bend the knees and fold. Inhale bend the knees a lot. Now please keep the sitting bones way back, and on your exhale I want you to just take that nice journey up through the front of the spine. So we're not offering the heart overly through the front. We're drawing up through that big whole heart and then stretch the arms up.

Sit down a little big deeper. Sitting bones back. Draw the front of the heat back a little bit and longer. Inhale, open your arms like this. Exhale curl in.

This is breath of freedom and chair pose. Inhale open, exhale. We'll use that breath to expand down and wide as well. Exhale, hug it up. Very detoxifying here.

Inhale, keep going, exhale. This time reach all the way up and on the exhale stick out through your tongue and fold it over. Fierce lion, chair, float it up. Stand up if you want, exhale. Good, inhale, we release all that old armoring around the heart from our core truth.

Inhale, exhale. Good, interlace the hands behind you. Lift the belly, nice wave through the chest and fold. Perhaps now the arms can go a little straighter. Maybe even the legs.

We're not pushing the stretch, we're just playing the edge of sensitivity here, and begin to straighten one leg and turn the heart to that side. And then the other. Sensing places where you might still be closed, and knowing that you're working to gently open them lovingly. Lengthen the heart here at center. Exhale fold, one more inhale.

Exhale (exhales) Slowly release the hands all the way down to the floor in front of you. We'll try a little super adventure moment together. Plant fingertips to flat palms down. Very strong hands. Lift the heels up.

I call that stiletto asuna for obvious reasons. Walk the feet really wide. Walk the hands back. See a man about a crow. Knees out on the arms.

Shoulders out into the legs. So get the wide shoulders now. Inhale here, close to your earth. Exhale, press down through the hands. Roll up through the front rib cage and lean just forward enough.

Head is looking forward that maybe you can think of that heart coming out in front of the hands a little bit like a triangle. There's a little crow. Alright don't worry too much about it. Okay come on down, feet separated about sitting bone distance. Get ready, here we go.

Sitting bones back and wide. We're just playing with the earth to the heart today. Through that core center. Reach all the way up. On your exhale, hands together.

Touch left elbow to right knee. Inhale right away back up. This is called twist of fire. Exhale, inhale, use your breath. Exhale, squeeze up.

Detox, inhale, exhale. Inhale here, and exhale. This time stop when you are over to the right. Start to come down a little bit deeper. This may be just a twist into a forward fold when you've had enough of this, but if you can, lift your heels up stiletto asuna here, and aim to come down and get lower towards your earth.

Then you do that you can really dig that left arm around there. Plant the fingertips out to the side. Lean into them. Now check it, physics. Walk your feet behind your left wrist more.

And align and slide your heart. This is a diagonal slide from the feet to the hand to the heart. You make a diagonal line. The heart will come out like a triangle between the hands, and that's your physics point. That's your balance.

Without that other elbow kind of being in. Alright, whether you did that or not, I hope you tried. That's the whole point, and that means you rocked it. Come to center. That too shall pass and it did just pass.

So now we're up in chair. Join me here. Inhale up, exhale twist. Inhale, twist of fire. Stand up between if your legs are getting tired.

Exhale, inhale. Good, and exhale. This time we're gonna take it the other direction. Lengthen the heart here, spin it open. Begin to come down a little lower.

Walk the hands out. You're gonna dig the right arm around this time. Plant the hands. Lift your hips and walk your feet over behind the right wrist, and this is gonna be interesting. So you don't wanna just jump forward at this pose.

It's a line between the feet, the hand, and the heat becoming diagonal to one another. And that's the point you're gonna balance. Think of the heart sliding forward in a triangle point. Then you have the hand and you have the feet over here, and you'll do your best. Chip away at that if you're not getting it today.

That's a fun pose to try, and repetition is magic. Alright, chair pose, oh yeah. Inhale reach up, here we go. Exhale, stick the tongue out, great release of old stuff. Inhale, one more time.

Inhale, and exhale. Alright, deep breath in, fingertips to the floor. Exhale, begin to roll it up to stand mountain pose. Inhale, stretch to the sky. And exhale fold.

One flow with me here. Inhale wave long. Exhale, dog pose. Inhale bend everything. Exhale press down, lift up, lift the right leg to the sky.

On your exhale, sweep that knee to chest. Spin the knee over to the left. Stretch the leg out. Hold it up if you're building that inner thigh core strength or put it down right away. Circle the top, free arm down, and over the ear.

Stretch and open the heart this way. If that is just too much, right shin can come down like before and your approximate it. Alright, sweep the left hand back down. Right knee to chest and step it forward. Inhale, wave the spine long.

On your exhale come to the center of your mat. Ninja lunges from side to side. So feet parallel toward the left long edge of your mat. Come to center, and on the exhale begin to roll yourself up and open warrior two. Front toes turn forward, back heel goes back a little bit, and you're existing here.

Heart over pelvis. Everybody's happy. Okay, inhale, and on your exhale slowly reach down, take a hold of your ankle or your shin higher. Sweep the bottom arm down, bend everything, and just like stringing a bow, start to open up into a very grounded and centered shiganasana. Exhale circle down.

Right up through that heart. Good, exhale circle down. And open it up into your triangle pose. Top arm may bind behind the back, and I want you to bend both knees again and make sure you're really grounding through the feet. You're really drawing in and up through the hip creases through the pelvis, and then offering the light heart to the sky.

There it is. Alright, top arm, put it behind your back somehow. Even if it doesn't go all the way to the thigh. Bend your front knee. Sweep the front arm back and really stretch and then lengthen out through the front leg.

Alright on the exhale bend the front knee. Both arms inside the front foot. Lift your back heel, put the knee down. Keep your hips pretty lifted. Now, a little bit more of a moon walk.

So front toes I want you to turn them open to the right. Moon walk your hands out to the left. Left arm goes way longer to stretch. Sorry this is my right arm Sadie, your other left. The right.

So right hand way out. Left elbow really lengthens out and gives you some space here to stretch open the front knee if you want. So let your front knee press open. Come even to the pinky toe edge of that foot. Lift your hips though and stretch it out even more.

Inhale to the base of the ribs. Exhale relax and release. One more. Glorious, alright here we go. Fingertips down.

Coming back to your downward facing dog. Bend the knees, inhale, exhale. Press down, lift the left leg high. On the exhale bend knee to chest. Lift, lift, lift, and we're gonna sweep that knee over to the right.

Stretch the leg out for a moment, and then put it down. Top arm sweeps down to the floor, drawing in. Think of taking the front of the heart, center toward the back of the heart center and long. That will help you back bend more fully without lumbar compression. Deep inhale, stretch in all directions, more, and then fingertips down.

Use that core strength. Left knee up, and step it forward. Inhale nice breath, and on the exhale begin to come back to your center place. So this time your toes will face towards the right edge of your mat, and we're just ninja lunging from side to side. Let's stop here at center to open the heart a little more.

Lengthen the chest here. Interlace the hands, and on your next exhale I want you to fold forward into a fan position. Bent knees at first. Feel free to just stretch the legs out or come to center. Inhale long spine.

Exhale as you fold. Get the heart long from the pelvis and then really root down through the legs. This is a whole body stretch. Inhale here. Exhale it out.

Bend the knees. Fingertips down. Turn the heels in just a little bit. Get ready, and on your exhale begin to roll up and open. Left toes turn forward.

Back heel comes back. So nice. Lean yourself forward. Hang onto the shin. So often we're doing triangle like this.

Heat is leading but it's not supported form the earth. So we get really strained, and it doesn't really give us as much muscular action in the poses we could get. So left hand down. We'll come from the earth instead here. Circle down, bend the back knee too so we get a lot of power.

Roll it up through the pelvis, front and back. Lengthen the heart front, and back, and sides, and express. Exhale circle down. Good, like stringing that harp bow. Reach it up.

Exhale. And inhale. You'll be your cupid today. Hopefully everyday. Alright, exhale circle it down.

I just wanna do another one. Oh it feels so nice to be me. How 'bout you? Stretch from everywhere all at once and on the exhale circle your hand down just around the back. So either half way around the back or all the way around the back.

Do what you can here. So we're gonna press down into the earth but bending the back knee first, so we can get the centered grounded nice lift here to really reach the arm. Straighten the front leg if you like it. Lift the heart center away from the pelvis. And on your exhale cartwheel it down inside your front foot.

Here we go. Back heel lifts, knee comes down. Hips don't drop, they lift. So we're keeping the heart and pelvis in one line. Front toes turn open to the left and I want you to moon walk open.

Left arm goes much longer. Maybe the right hand can come in and the elbow out like before, but I want you to get a nice long reach and begin to open the front knee if it's available. So you can find your position here. Now breath to the base of the ribs. Really open the left side waist.

Inhale, exhale let it go. Give yourself some relaxation, one more. Exhale anything unnecessary. And then slowly come back to center. You did it, so nice.

Come into your dog pose and maybe just feel around a little bit. See if you got some openness there in the heart and in that center space. Both below and above. Bend the knees here. Look forward, you can either walk or hop to sit, and we'll come back to a nice easy seat.

Plant your hands on your knees. Inhaling and exhale. Check in with the movement you did in the beginning of this session, and has it become easier for you? Have you made a difference, transform something? Exhale, inhale reach all the way up.

Good, one hand down, sweep the other one. And reach. Definitely opened my side waist, my spine, I can feel it. This is what we do in yoga. We take the stock and we free it.

We dissolve those old patterns when we can. Inhale lengthening the spine forward, and fold, and then begin to slowly roll yourself up to sit. So for our final heat opening pose, it's more of a restorative. I want you to grab a yoga block or a nice strong cough cushion would do too. Something that's stable.

Come on down to lie down on your back with knees bent. Lift the hips up and place the block there underneath your hips. If you're going to stay down it could be the skinny way to be a sacrum reset at the center of your pelvis. Otherwise keep it wider for more support. Feet wide, knees together, first variation.

Knees up over the hips to really release the whole core area. The lumbar and the heart open, or legs gently and bent up into the air for full body inversion. Arms can be anywhere that feels comfortable to you. Even up over here to open up the heart, and whatever variation you choose, be there for a few breaths before joining me in your savasana. Take an inhale here.

Fill the belly and then maybe the chest as well. See if you can sweep that breath upward. Exhale through the nose or mouth. Just relax the body and let the breath move away organically. When you're ready to transition into your savasana, and feel free to stay there if it's feeling really good to you, but when you're ready for your final rest, we'll come on down to the mat.

Lengthen the legs out, the arms. Shoulder blades to slide gently down. Wider shoulders, wide arms. Tailbone underneath you, and be here as the front of the chest rests down toward the back as the sides spread out and wide. Inhale to fill the whole body.

And then the chest a little more and a little more. Exhale through the mouth. Relax completely and fully down into this earth, this a new moment. So we'll take another few inhales and exhales here to just be in your savasana. I'll call you up and out in a shorter timing but it would be my preference that you stay here for three to five minutes so your body really cools down optimally into this kind of alignment where you're here on the ground open and free.

Otherwise I'll bring you up in a bit but just breath and receive the benefits of your practice here. So if you like to stay here please do so. Otherwise stretch your arms overhead. Let the heart expand everywhere at once. Let the core move away from the heart so there's space enough for that flame to light brighter.

Stretch the legs out. Waking up lusciously. Bend the knees. Gently hug the knees in and hug circles. So the back of your body, the back of the chest, and sacrum rolls into the ground.

Roll to one side here. Take a moment to surrender down into this new place. And then press down. Begin go draw yourself up and thinking of having lit the two suns at the core and the chest. Sit so they communicate and float freely.

This is the practice of yoga for all of us. To find them, to communicate with them, to keep them lit brightly and to remember that this is the source of your light, your freedom, and ultimately true love. Thank you for joining me so much, on the mat today. Namaste.


1 person likes this.
Core feels happy! You always surprise me with how powerful your practices are.. It is seamless :)
1 person likes this.
Love it! Feel the strength in lower back.. :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Sadie! This is exactly what I needed to clear out a bunch of junk that was holding my heart closed. Thank you for sharing your practice!
Johanna L
Fantastico !
Andrea W
I like all the poses and variations in this video but I find the pace too hard to keep up with.
Simon ?
1 person likes this.
Wonderful practise! Seemed to open up my whole body. Great for upper side and shoulder stretches especially. Thank you Sadie.
Chanda Hinman
Great flow. I loved working hard but opening at the same time. Thank you!
Orlando M
Excelent class๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Erika H
1 person likes this.
I'm so bummed that there aren't more Sadie videos on YogaAnytime! Love her style.
Kira Sloane
Sadie is pretty great, huh? She's got a ton of offerings over at her site.. You also might like Jasmine's classes here in the Yoga Flow Show. Thank you for sharing your practice, Erika.

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