Yoga Sequences

6 Heart-Opening Sequences for Staying Open to Love—for Yourself and Others

From overcoming grief to nurturing self-compassion, vulnerability, and acceptance, these six essential sequences will help you listen to your heart.

These six short yoga sequences will help you heal a broken heart, fall in love with yourself again, receive and give love, embrace vulnerability, align your heart chakra, and expand your aura—so that you can be open to love. Keep these practices in your back pocket for when you need a dose of self-love or want to be present and compassionate with others. 

Heal Your Heart

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Find the inner strength to process grief and loss this season with this yoga sequence, developed by yoga teacher and Revolution of the Soul author Seane Corn. These nine poses call on chest-opening lunges, backbends, and twists; nurturing restorative poses; and a focus on moving slowly with your breath. The more active postures keep energy moving in the heart, while the restorative poses give your central nervous system the opportunity to rest, which can relieve some of the deep fatigue that often accompanies grief. Practice every morning in a quiet, private space. Throughout the sequence, put your physical sensations into words: “tense,” “tired,” “heavy.” Then name your emotions, too: “heartbroken,” “angry,” “scared.” This helps you to be present so you can begin to heal, instead of shutting down or running away from your grief and prolonging your heartbreak. Remember to exhale fully to release physical and emotional tension.

See also Healing Heartbreak: How Yoga Can Get You Through Grief

Fall in Love With Yourself Again

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This sequence, by Big Gal Yoga author and teacher Valerie Sagun, is all about fostering self-love. Valerie brought these eight asana together because they open the heart, increase blood flow to the brain, and invite you to tap into your core strength, increasing confidence, silencing negative thoughts, and alleviating stress.

See also Curvy Yoga: A Sequence for Feeling at Home in Every Pose

Receive and Give Love

elena brower 5-day meditation challenge

Practice moving your attention into your chest and heart space, where you receive and give love. By opening your wrists, collarbones, and upper lungs, this five-pose sequence, created by Art of Attention author and yoga teacher Elena Brower, will flush toxins out of your joints and allow your body to come into balance. Take your time to grow accustomed to these movements and stay with them, as this practice is a series of strong, safe releases for your emotional body.

See also Discover the Magic of Meditation: A 5-Day Yoga + Sitting Practice

Embrace Vulnerability

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This 11-pose flow, by Red Clay Yoga co-founder and teacher Shane Roberts, is an important offering that reaffirms strength and makes space for vulnerability. Heart openers ignite power, while resting poses help ground it in wisdom—so you can embrace the entire texture of your being. Feel free to modify and use props.

See also How Yoga Philosophy Helped a Former Athlete Reclaim His Softer Side

Align Your Heart Chakra

Chelsea Jackson Heart Opener

Do this short five-pose sequence, by Red Clay Yoga co-founder and yoga teacher Chelsea Jackson Roberts, PhD, several times on its own or as part of a longer practice to open your heart chakra and experience compassion.

See also Find Serenity with this Self-Compassion Sequence

Expand Your Aura

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Our hearts experience so much in this lifetime. Keeping them open, clear, and stable can be challenging as there are so many forces in this existence that make us want to collapse, close and shut down our heart center. This Kundalini Yoga set called Aura Kriya, taught by yoga teacher Brandon Spratt, works to reset your electromagnetic field so you can attract positive energy and repel negativity. If you have been feeling a little “off” lately, this set will give you that jumpstart you may need or crave.

See also Kundalini 101: A Sequence to Help You Feel Strong and Secure