This Kundalini Yoga-inspired sequence will help open and expand the energy of your heart center to fight fatigue, stress, and move old, stuck energy. An invigorating pranayama called Breath of Fire is used throughout the sequence. If you have the time, end with a long, restorative Savasana to reboot your body and circulate new energy.
See also A Sequence to Create and Hold Space
Heart Center Opener
Sit in easy pose and lift both arms up at a 60-degree angle, keeping the elbows and wrist as straight as possible. In this posture, begin the breath of fire for 1 minute (inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose). Then inhale, hold the breath while pumping the stomach in and out 16 times, then exhale. Continue this for 2 to 3 minutes.
Rock Pose with Parallel Arms
Quickly following heart center opener sit on your heels with your arms parallel to the ground. Let your hands hang from the wrists. Begin breath of fire for 3 minutes (inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose). Then inhale, hold, exhale, and relax.
With your knees wide apart, sit on your heels and lean back 60 degrees from the ground while supporting your body with your arms straight. While tilting your neck back, inhale and hold the breath while pumping the stomach in and out according to your capacity. When you can no longer hold the breath, exhale. Continue this for 2 minutes. Repeat or tilt back to 30 degrees and repeat the cycle again.
Bowing Pose (Guru Pranam) with Ong Sohung Mantra
With your knees wide apart, place your forehead on the ground and stretch your arms forward, placing your palms together in prayer position (Anjali Mudra). Be sure to be relaxed as you breath long and deeply for 3 minutes. Then chant the following for 2 minutes: ONG, ONG, ONG, ONG, SOHUNG, SOHUNG, SOHUNG, SOHUNG, SOHUNG
Life Nerve Stretch
Sitting on your mat with legs stretched out in front, reach for your toes. Inhale, exhale, and lower your head to your legs as you lengthen your spine, bending forward from the navel. Allow the head to be the last thing that comes down. Hold this posture for 1 minute and feel the balancing effect.
Back Platform/Life Nerve Stretch
Sit on the mat with feet stretched out in front of you. Keeping the heels on the ground and your palms on the ground behind you, raise up the upper portion of your body with the arms straight. Dropping the head back, do the Breath of Fire for 30 seconds (inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose). After the 30 seconds begin to walk the legs out wide and then again close. Do this for 30 seconds, inhale, exhale, and immediately move back into the Life Nerve Stretch for 1 minute. After the minute, lay in Savasana for 3 minutes to integrate.
Sitting on the left heel, stretch the right leg forward and grab the right big toe with the middle and index fingers with the thumb pressing on the toenail. Pulling back on the toe, grab the foot with the left hand. Tuck the chin into the chest, lengthening the spine, and eyes fixed onto the big toe and inhale deeply, exhale and hold the breath out for 8 seconds. Hold Mula Bandha (root lock) and Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock). Continue for 3 minutes. Rest in Savasana for 5 minutes after to integrate.
See also A Gentle Approach to the 6 Bandhas
Alternate Leg Holds/Stretch Pose
While on the back, stretch the arms overhead and onto the ground. Raise the left leg 90 degrees and begin the breath of fire for 1 minute (inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose). Then switch to the right leg for 1 minute. Then raise both legs for 1 minute. When completed, take 2 minutes to integrate in Savasana.
Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Taking your time, roll back into shoulderstand. Spread the legs wide and begin breath of fire for 3 minutes (inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose). Rest in Savasana for 3 minutes when completed.
Alternate Head and Leg Lifts
Lying on your back, inhale and lift both legs 6 inches off the ground. Arms should be straight up from the shoulders with the palms facing each other. On the exhale, lower both legs down and bring the head up, pressing the chin to the chest. Continue for 3 minutes while practicing long deep breathing.
Rest in Savasana for 10 minutes to integrate the practice fully.
From our Live Be Yoga Partner
We all experience minor pain from time to time in our practice. Perhaps you suffer from muscle strain, arthritis, joint pain, or back and neck pain from your daily activities and stress. Or when things happen to alter your normal routine, you may experience stiffness and soreness from interrupted practice or lack of stretching to maintain flexibility and strength.
JointFlexPain Relieving Cream with Natural Turmeric provides powerful, fast-acting joint pain relief without a prescription. The powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Turmeric are combined with the active ingredient Camphor, plus Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate for skin conditioning. And its proprietary FusomeTechnology quickly and effectively penetrates the top skin layers to deliver highly concentrated pain relievers where applied, and releases slowly for longer lasting effects.
This year, Yoga Journal’s annual ambassador road trip—the Live Be Yoga Tour—is going virtual. We are calling it The Decompression. Recently, we’ve all been asked to journey inward, to take moments of pause and stillness, and to slow down, rest, and prioritize the things we value. Follow the Live Be Yoga 2020 series here, stay connected with us at @livebeyoga on social, and join the movement to find beauty in stillness.