As January comes to a close, I thought it'd be a good idea to get something rolling for February that we can all participate in since the Flexibility Project and the Strength Project were such big hits.
Therefore, allow me to introduce The Heart Opening Yoga Project.
Who is it for?
This is for my people who are looking to:
- improve flexibility in the upper body and hips
- improve overall strength
- improve overall yoga practice
- feel good
Ok you may read that last bullet point and think, "Uhhh, how is this program going to make me feel good?"
Well let's be clear. I can't guarantee you're going to feel like a million bucks during this program. In fact, you might even be sore, and tired, but whenever I have focused on heart-opening practices, I always feel so much better. My mood lifts, and I physically feel like my chest just opens up (which is huge for someone like me who sits hunched over at a desk most of the day). Flexibility focus makes me irritable (ouch, the splits!), and strength focus makes me crabby (ugh, sore muscles!), but this one? Heart opening? It's the good stuff. So believe me when I say that this is the project you'll want to do if your overall mood could use a little boost.
To add to that point, I love that this project adds a new, more subtle component to the mix: an open heart.
So what does that mean? I think it might be different to each person, but to me, it means being less closed off, more compassionate, more generous. If you're looking to deepen your personal practice and add a little more fuel to your Feel Good tank, then definitely set an intention like this that you can work on both on and off the mat as well.
In terms of yoga, “heart opening” essentially just means opening up the front body (chest, shoulders, upper back) and for poses, we have so much to choose from. If you’re still scratching your head, here are some ideas:
Beginner heart opening options
Intermediate heart opening options
- dancer’s pose
Advanced heart opening options
Pick a pose, any pose. Decide on your physical focus and then set an intention for a more subtle focus you can practice both on and off the mat.
- Practice a little each day, taking one or two days a week off to rest. If you’re not sure what to do, or how often to practice, I’ll pose a new suggested schedule each week you can follow along to. The suggested schedule has one rest day per week but remember, this is a suggested schedule. Make it work for you. Skip things that don’t resonate with you. Add more if you need more. Above all, listen to your body.
- Snap a pic of your pose and check in on instagram every Monday (here are some photo tips). Your picture can be anything you like - a photo of your chosen pose, a part of your practice, whatever you like. Tag me (@yogabycandace) and use #YBCbackbend and #YBCprogress so we can find each other and then check out fellow participants by clicking on the hashtags and give them some love and a virtual high five. :)
The Suggested Schedule
I designed the schedule with the overall focus being the chest and hips. However, each day there is something different and the program goes in a progression and the practices build upon each other so you'll hopefully see some big improvement.
Sundays will be rest days, and each Monday I will post the suggested schedule for that week.
So, tell me! Who is in?!
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