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Season 1 - Episode 12

Impressing the Heart

5 min - Practice


Alana shares a short and accessible practice designed to relieve tension at the base of the skull and invite a quality of spaciousness in the chest and heart.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

About This Video


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(wave crashes) Welcome. I'd love to share with you Impressing the Heart. I found myself doing this to relieve tension right for the base of the skull, and I also notice a quality of spaciousness in the heart. Taking your two blocks, one at the highest setting to support the base of your skull, and then one at the lowest setting to support your shoulder blades. Keeping the knees bent and bringing the shoulder blades to your block, and then from here, bringing the highest block right to the base of the skull, so the occipital ridge, and I usually take a few moments to find that sweet spot of the block supporting the shoulder blades and then releasing the shoulders down the back, letting the palms open, and I like to bring my soles of my feet slightly wider than my hips and allow my knees to rest together as I settle in.

(exhales audibly) Drawing the chin towards the heart, allowing the back of the neck to lengthen. Taking a few moments to scan the body. Notice where you can soften a bit more through the face, through the jaw, through the fingers, and allowing the rib cage to soften in towards the body a bit more. Now you might keep your feet on the floor to support your lower back. Often times I find myself in a Baddha Konasana, bringing the soles of the feet together and the knees wide.

Drawing the tail bone under slightly and then again softening the rib cage, releasing the arms out to the side. (exhales audibly) Bringing your awareness towards your breath, you might stay here with the arms out to the side. Oftentimes I find myself exploring a bit with the arms, keeping the elbows soft, reaching the hands up, more like a shape of a cactus with the palms resting on the Earth. Again, breathing here in a continual effort towards allowing the shoulder blades to soften and receive the support of the block. (exhales audibly) You might stay here in Baddha Konasana, and you might stay here with the block at the highest setting under the head.

Eventually, I like to play with lowering the block to the second side and placing it towards the top part of my skull, so that there's room around the neck, again allowing the shoulders to release, the arms out to the side. (Exhales audibly) You might stay with the arms here or explore reaching the arms up. Exploring the shape through the arms, finding an opening through the shoulders, keeping it spacious around the throat, breathing into the shape. The legs might stay in Baddha Konasana. Eventually, you might again allow the knees to rest together or free the legs, extending each leg out, and it might feel nice to reach the arms over the top of the head.

I like to flex the feet, reach through the heels, reach through the fingers, and again, allowing the rib cage to soften a bit. The tail bone wiggles down towards the heels. You might stay here. As you feel ready to release, allow the knees to bend. To come out of the shape, reaching the right arm over the top of your head and then gently rolling off the support onto your side.

Taking a few moments on your side here. As you're ready, pressing your hands into the Earth, coming all the way back up. You might choose to lie down on your back, supine and notice how you feel or come towards a seated position. Namaste.


Misty Eve Hannah
Delicious! So needed this today, thank you Alana. x
Alana Mitnick
Hi Misty! Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice. This is one of my very favorites. xo
Laura M
1 person likes this.
Thank you <3
Alana Mitnick
Hi Laura, Thank YOU for being here. So delighted to know that we are 'impressing the heart' together. xoA

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