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Yoga for

the
Heart
heart-centered yoga practices to 

strengthen and open your heart



Contents
EXPLORING YOUR HEART

THROUGH YOGA 3

YOGA PRACTICES TO



OPEN YOUR HEART 6

YOGA HELPFUL FOR HEART



HEALTH, LOWERING BP 10

YOGA: GOOD FOR YOUR HEART 15

HEART CHAKRA 101 20

THE ART OF PRACTICING



SELF-COMPASSION 24

HEART CHAKRA MEDITATION 27

TOP YOGA POSES & MANTRAS



FOR A GRATEFUL HEART 31

THE BEST YOGA POSES



FOR YOUR HEART 34
EXPLORING YOUR HEART

THROUGH YOGA
By Kathleen Brya nt 


How do you regard the human and connection, and a


heart—as a scientist or as a wellspring of spiritual potential.
romantic? Yoga teaches us that “Open your heart center” is a
these perspectives are not common cue during yoga classes,
mutually exclusive. Yogic and being informed about the
traditions view the heart as a key energetics and physiology of the
to good health, the source of love heart will help you to do just that.

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There are many ways to explore levels, blood pressure and body
and experience the heart through mass.
yoga. First, a quick review of the
Yes, we can heal the heart—but
heart’s physical anatomy: As the
the heart can also heal us. The
center of the body’s circulatory
“heart words” we use to describe
system, the human heart’s four
our feelings (heartsick, soft-
chambers create a double pump
hearted, broken-hearted, etc.)
about the size of a closed fist. The
have scientific basis. The heart
heart recirculates about 1,250
secretes behavior-influencing
gallons of blood each day through
hormones such as oxytocin,
100,000 miles of blood vessels.
nicknamed “the love hormone,”
The right atrium and ventricle
for its positive effects on social
circulate blood to and from the
bonding and its ability to counter
lungs; the left, to the rest of the
cortisol, a stress hormone.
body. The heart is cradled between
Furthermore, the heart’s
the lungs, and during deep yogic
electromagnetic field is several
breathing, its apex, level with the
times larger than the brain’s, and it
fifth or sixth rib, is massaged by
can be sensed several feet away.
the diaphragm.
Ages before scientists evaluated
Healing heart disease through
the human heart through
biofeedback and yoga has been
cardiograms or angiography, sages
increasingly accepted in the West
used deep yogic practices to tune
since the 1990s, when Dr. Dean
into the body’s energy centers or
Ornish and yoga teacher Nischala
chakras. The rishis shared their
Joy Devi co-designed an effective
knowledge in ancient texts and
program for patients recovering
through oral tradition, associating
from heart attacks and other
the chakras with colors and
coronary issues. Recently, a study
symbols to help students visualize
confirmed that yoga is as effective
the energy body. The heart center,
as aerobic exercise when it comes
called Anahata (Unstruck Sound),
to improving heart health
is symbolized by a 12-petaled
measurements like cholesterol

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!
lotus, and within it is a
yantra of two overlapping
triangles representing
Shiva and Shakti, the
divine masculine and
feminine energies. The
Sanskrit word for heart is
hridayam, hrid meaning
“center,” and ayam, “this.”
At the middle of the seven
chakras, Anahata is where
individual concerns
(survival, food, sex)
become selfless—and
open into connection and
love.

Ramana Maharshi, one of


India’s greatest yogis,
center, as can practicing japa mala
described the heart as the nucleus with the heart’s mantra, Yam.
of the universe, saying, “It is Bhakti Yoga—sometimes called
neither inside nor outside the the yoga of love—encompasses a
body.” From asana to meditation, range of practices highlighting
we can explore and expand the compassion and devotion.
metaphysical heart in a myriad of
ways. Heart-focused asanas The rhythm of the heart
include backbends, which stretch accompanies our journey from
the front torso and create more inside the womb until life’s last
room for the heart and lungs, moment. Its metric is both an
which in turn creates an uplifting inner guide and a source of love
emotional effect. Hasta mudras and compassion for all. How has
such as Anjali Mudra and Hridaya yoga helped you grow to know
Mudra can help energize the heart your heart?


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YOGA PRACTICES TO

OPEN YOUR HEART
By Hali Plour de- Rogers


How many times in yoga class spine. Including backbends in


have you been told to open your your practice encourages an even
heart, lift your heart, or draw your deeper physical opening of the
heart forward? This is a very chest and heart center. They also
common cue indicating students elongate the spine; release tension
should drop their shoulders away and stress from the neck,
from their ears, lift their chest, shoulders, and back; create space
and bend through the thoracic for the lungs and deeper breaths;

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and energize your practice, body, tourmaline, and essential oils of
and mind. In addition to rose and jasmine.
backbends, focusing on love and
gratitude while practicing will Body Scan
open your emotional heart. Begin your yoga or meditation
Opening the heart teaches us to practice with a body scan. Sit in a
be humble, vulnerable, and lead comfortable seated position and
with our hearts in both practice check in with your posture. Is
and life. your chest collapsed or lifted? If
your chest is collapsed, you are
Explore the following yoga physically protecting your heart.
practices to open your heart, Lift the chest and open the
cultivate gratitude and bring shoulders to bring the heart to
more love into your life: the front. Then rest one or both
hands on the heart. Leave
Set up your practice
them there for a few deep
space breaths. Note how this
Use colors, stones, and feels.
essential oils related to the
heart chakra in your Breathe into the
yoga practice space heart
and on your body. Focus your breath
The heart chakra is work on your heart.
located in the Imagine you are
physical heart and breathing from the
governs love, kindness heart and into the
and compassion. It’s heart. Feel
represented by the the chest
colors green and rise and fall
pink, the stones with your
rose quartz and breath.
watermelon Again take

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note of any feelings that arise. you love or focus on feeling
grateful.
Mudras
A mudra is a gesture or seal that Bring gratitude into your
channels our life force. practice
Incorporate mudras into your Lasting, loving relationships are
practice to energize the heart. To significantly influenced by
practice Anjali mudra, bring the expressions of gratitude.
palms together at the heart and According to a study published in
press the thumbs into the 2014, gratitude is what holds two
sternum. Use Anjali mudra at the people together. The study
beginning of practice while seated reported that after expressions of
and in Mountain pose gratitude, participants reported
(Tadasana). As you grow feeling more loving. Gratitude
comfortable with the mudra, use also increases feelings of
it with different poses throughout happiness and well-being.
your practice. Practice gratitude on the mat to
get comfortable expressing thanks
Mantras to your loved ones. Think of three
Use a mantra during your things you are grateful for at the
practice. The mantra for the heart start or end of your yoga practice.
chakra is “yam” pronounced
similar to “young” or in English, Asana
“I love.” If using “I love,” think “I” When practicing heart
as you inhale and “love” as you opening backbends, it is
exhale. important to maintain balance by
using counterposes. After any
Set your intention deep back-bending yoga
Intention sets the stage for pose, neutralize the spine with a
practice. It’s a moment where we simple twist and then counter
consciously express why we are with a forward folding pose.
practicing. To open your heart, Backbends energize and
offer your practice to someone

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physically open, expand, and lift (Svanasana), Cobra pose
the heart. Forward folds give your (Bhujangasana), or Bridge pose
heart a chance to recharge and (Setu Bandhasana). For a deeper
rest. Begin with gentle backbends backbend try Camel pose
such as Dog Tilt pose (Ustrasana) or Upward Bow pose
(Urdhva Dhanurasana). These
backbends bring the heart above
the head. This is a physical
representation of following or
leading with your heart. For more
specific asana recommendations,
try this heart-centered sequence.

Heart Meditation
Close your practice with a heart-
centered meditation. This can be
as simple as breathing into the
heart and using the mantra“I
love” as mentioned earlier. You
may also incorporate a mudra
here, such as Anjali
mudra.

Take any or all of


these
recommendations
and mix them into
your daily practice.
As you move from
your mat and through
your day, come back to
your intention of love and
gratitude. 


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YOGA HELPFUL FOR HEART

HEALTH, LOWERING BP
By Rose Keyes


The United States leads the world battle with no end in sight. But
in heart related ailments, there is hope. In a number of
including heart disease and high medical trials yoga, meditation,
blood pressure. For people and pranayama have proven
suffering from these and related effective in treating and in some
illnesses, such as diabetes, cases even reversing many heart
treatment may feel like an uphill conditions. An exciting new study

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published in the 2016 European blood clots. While these
Journal of Cardiovascular treatments do provide relief, it is
Nursing reinforces the benefits of often only temporary, with
yoga for heart health. symptoms recurring over time.

The study focuses on atrial Eighty patients, all suffering from


fibrillation, a disturbance of the paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, were
heart rhythm characterized by invited to participate in the study.
irregular, fast, or slow heartbeats. The group was divided in half,
People suffering from atrial one to receive yoga therapy in
fibrillation report symptoms of addition to standard treatment,
dizziness, shortness of breath, and and the other to act as the
chest pain. Other symptoms control, receiving no yoga based
include heightened stress and therapies. Both groups were given
anxiety and a low quality of life. tests to evaluate and establish a
This condition is caused by an baseline for quality of life, as well
irregularity of blood circulation as blood pressure and heart rate.
between the upper and lower atria After 12 weeks both groups were
of the heart. There are three types tested once more and the findings
of atrial fibrillation: paroxysmal, revealed overwhelmingly that the
persistent, and permanent. Once group receiving yoga based
a patient reaches the permanent therapies had lower heart rates as
stage there is no way to reverse well as decreased levels of systolic
the problem. Currently, and diastolic blood pressure and
conventional treatment includes greater quality of life.
medications to regulate heart
This study reinforces the findings
rhythm and prevent blood clots,
discussed in another article
and medical procedures such as
published in the Spring 2015
catheter ablation and
issue of the Journal of
cardioversion. Reported side
Arrhythmia. The patient base was
effects from both medication and
similar: all people suffering from
physical treatments include
paroxysmal atrial fibrillation,
nausea, dizziness, infection, and

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although this study Supported Setu
was unique in that Bandha (Bridge) is
the patients acted a gentle inversion
as their own that helps to re-
controls. For three circulate the blood
months they all and reclined
engaged in standard supported Supta
medical approaches Baddha Konasana
to treat the illness, is an excellent
followed by three heart, chest, and
months of yoga hip opener. Other
classes. At the end poses and specific
of the study all heart focused
patients practice sequences
experienced greater quality of life can be found here and here.
as well as heightened physical,
Although atrial fibrillation, heart
mental, and emotional health and
disease, and high blood pressure
a reduction in all the symptoms
continue to increase at alarming
associated with atrial fibrillation.
rates, there is a great deal of hope
Both of the studies utilized a to be found in the results of these
mixture of Hatha and relaxation studies and many others like
focused yoga therapies in their them. For thousands of years,
classes. There are a number of yoga has consistently proven to be
yoga poses that are beneficial to a powerful healing resource,
the heart that can be incorporated bringing the practitioner
into a daily practice. These increased physical health and
include gentle neck rolls, side vitality, as well as a greater sense
stretches, and shoulder shrugs to of overall balance and well-being.
release tension and open the So whether you are suffering
sides, front, and back of the body from one of the heart ailments
to promote greater blood discussed here, or something else
circulation and lung capacity. entirely, try some yoga!


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YOGA: GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
By Kelly G olden

Practitioners of Hatha yoga have greatly benefit heart failure
long praised the ability of the patients.

practice to calm the mind and 

heal the body.  The great teacher Heart failure is defined as a
BKS Iyengar came to his teacher chronic disorder that limits the
TKV Krishnamacharya to heal his efficiency of the heart preventing
ill health. Now, scientists at it from pumping a sufficient
Emory University in Atlanta, GA amount of blood through the
have supported this observation body. Though the study is
with new evidence that the preliminary, the initial findings are
physical practice of yoga asana can very positive.  Medically, the study

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concluded that an eight-week in maintaining health and
course of yoga can help reduce the lowering depression in chronically
inflammation that is linked to ill patients, an accessible program
death in heart failure patients, and is of great significance.
when done wisely, is completely
Drawing awareness to the
safe. There was also significant
importance of the mind-body
difference in the main biological
connection is a gigantic step in
markers between yoga participants
bridging the gap between treating
and traditionally treated patients. 
the symptoms and healing the
Participants in the study
whole person, which has been an
experienced a 26 percent decrease
ongoing criticism of traditional
in symptoms based on a quality of
western medicine. Almost anyone
life assessment, compared to only
who has ever practiced hatha yoga
a three percent drop of those who
can attest to the mental and
were treated on traditional
emotional enhancements that
medical therapy. In addition, the
occur as a result of practice. Even
doctors conducting the study
those who come to the mat for
referenced the immense benefits
purely physical reasons usually feel
of the body-mind connection in
a sense of mental ease and
healing and quality of life.
steadiness following even the most
Heart failure patients often demanding practice. So, at last the
experience difficulty in exercising medical community is beginning
due to fatigue and shortness of to recognize the truths that so
breath, and the study found that many practitioners have known all
as an exercise, hatha yoga was along, and it’s always nice to have
completely accessible to these scientific proof for what we
patients.  It touted the benefits of already know!
the mild aerobic exercise of hatha
Many of us are aware that our
yoga due to the strong emphasis
emotional health has a direct
on the breath linked with more
effect on our physical well being. 
gentle movements of the body. As
I myself, during an extremely
exercise is of utmost importance

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stressful period in my life, related to our emotional health,
developed a stomach ulcer as an the state of our mind can have a
effect of stress. So it is no surprise great impact on the severity or
that even if the cause of the dis- healing of our physical issues. In
ease in the body isn’t directly the recent past, a visit to the
doctor would result in a stack of
prescriptions to deal with your
individual physical symptoms, but
the root cause of the suffering
might be overlooked.  The process
has been to treat the symptoms
and you will feel better. But
treating the symptoms doesn’t
often treat the cause of illness,
which can frequently be traced
back to this mind-body
connection. As humans, we are
not sets of independently
functioning systems that have
no connection with each
other, instead we are a
complex connection of
interwoven,
interrelated organs,
systems, and
structures that
enable us to
survive and
be healthy. 
When one of
these systems is
deficient or stressed, the other

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systems suffer.  One of the everyone in the class must be
insights from this study is the young, strong, and flexible.  In his
importance of maintaining whole defense, most of my students do
health when fighting dis-ease in fall in to one or more of the
the body. Another study out of previous categories. As a teacher, it
Yale suggests that this whole is fun and challenging to have a
health approach can also help class full of physically fit
prevent the occurrence of heart practitioners eager to learn.  But,
dis-ease and its markers. is there not a greater reward in
gearing our classes to the specific
As a practitioner and teacher of needs of a group of students in a
hatha yoga, the biggest challenge I
way that would greatly improve
see with these findings is
their quality of life?
encouraging those who have never
practiced yoga to come to the mat. This is not to say that wherever
Especially for those who have a you are reading this you are not
view of yoga as contortion, “only already teaching or taking one of
for flexible people,” or have these types of classes. The majority
trepidation about bringing of classes out there, though, are
awareness to themselves.  We now being modeled after the aerobics
have the research to back our craze of the 70’s and 80’s; big
constant claims that yoga can classes of skinny, sweaty people.
benefit your health, but we still So now, science is showing us
have the hurdle of fear of the evidence of deeper and more
unknown to overcome. So how do profound health benefits as well as
we begin to bring people to the earnest mental and emotional
mat? Well, studies like this one connections.  In the classic
provide a strong support, as do tradition of hatha yoga, teachers
gearing classes toward a specific taught in a way that addressed
population.  My father suffers each student’s needs specifically
from heart disease and would not and effectively. So now, as western
even consider yoga as an option medicine begins to bridge the gap
due to the fact that he thinks between mind and body, those of

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use who experience and teach the
benefits of hatha yoga should
begin to take these findings into
the classes at the studios and
gyms where we teach.  We may
find that once we do, the work of
hatha yoga will open up a
whole new experience to both
the students and the
teachers, and to both body
and mind.  One of yoga’s
biggest effects is that it
begins to unfold awareness
of our bodies and our
unhealthy patterns.  Many
yoga practitioners attest to
the experience of whole
life changes as a result of
beginning a hatha yoga
practice.  Possibly for yoga
practitioners who come to the
mat with an experience of di-
ease, the awareness can be the
most effective healing tool
that yoga can provide.

Ultimately, when we can


begin to see the ability of
hatha yoga to affect the
whole person, then maybe
we can begin to address our
sharing of hatha yoga on a
more individual basis.


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HEART CHAKRA 101
By Timothy Burgin 


Anahata Chakra, meaning “not unconditional love for self and


struck,” is located at the heart others.
(center of the chest). It is
Traditional symbology: In the
symbolized by the color green and
center of Anahata's twelve-
a lotus with 12 petals. Its issues
petalled lotus are two interlacing
are love, acceptance, and trust.
triangles, which form a hexagon;
Anahata is the center of
this is the yantra of the air
compassion, and a positive balance
element. At the center of the
in the heart chakra would be
diagram, there is a candle flame,
showing sensitivity and

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which symbolizes the Physiological association:
consciousness and the individual Anahata chakra is associated with
soul. Traditionally there is often the heart and lungs, the
an image of a four-armed deity respiratory system and the
riding a black antelope, circulatory system. It is also
representing the symbol of related to the thymus that is
alertness. At the bottom is located in the chest. The thymus
written the mantra Yam. plays an important role in the

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immune system, and areas where Affirmation:
we help to fend off stress.
May I be free to feel my true
Psychological qualities: Love, feelings, desires, and passions and
compassion, empathy, a deep sense be at home in my heart.
of peace and centeredness.
Yoga Poses to Activate this
Balanced expression of Anahata Chakra:
chakra:
Fish
Love is the basis of all actions.
Standing yoga mudra
Feeling compassion, being tolerant
and demonstrating kindness to Pigeon
oneself and others. An
overarching feeling of joy and Camel
happiness, at ease with oneself, Half Camel
content in our surroundings and
with the people in our lives. Standing backbend

Example of when Anahata Prayer twist


chakra is out of balance:
Yoga Practices to Activate this
When the Anahata chakra is Chakra:
over-active a person is overly ruled
Mudra: Hridaya and Anjali
by emotions; sadness, hurt,
unexpressed grief can sit in this Mantra: Yam
area, jealousy, possessiveness or
being too self-critical. When Meditation: Heart Chakra
Anahata is under-active, a person Meditation

may be demonstrating shyness, Yoga Path: Bhakti
withdrawn, feeling unloved or
unappreciated, and generally
finding it hard to let people in.

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PA G E 2! 3
THE ART OF PRACTICING

SELF-COMPASSION
By Kathleen Brya nt 


According to the Yoga Sutras action to alleviate another’s pain


(1.33), one way to purify the mind or sorrow. Forgiveness, according
and increase serenity is to practice to some, is the ultimate expression
compassion (karuna) in the face of of compassion. But the true test of
suffering. Compassion means compassion may be whether or
“shared feeling,” a level of not you can extend it to yourself.
sympathy so deep that it inspires

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Practicing yoga presents us with humanity, sharing the same fears
many opportunities for exploring and yearnings as well as the same
self-compassion. The very first of potential for greatness. When you
the yamas or ethical guidelines practice self-compassion, you
that Patanjali gives in the Yoga accept the ego’s failings and move
Sutras (2.30) is ahimsa or non- on, guided by the light of presence
harming, encompassing words, within.
thoughts, and actions. Most of us
In the third chapter of the yoga
learned this golden rule while still
sutras, Patanjali discusses
on the playground, and yet even in
samyama or integration, which
a yoga class, we create struggle
combines concentration,
and inner conflict, striving for our
meditation, and Samadhi—the
idea of the perfect pose or
sixth, seventh, and eighth limbs of
competing with other students
yoga. Samyama is often
and ourselves, trying to top our
understood to be the source of
“personal best,” as though asana
yoga’s “superpowers,” but it can
was a contest or performance.
also be simply defined as
Even if failure doesn’t result in
recognizing the macrocosm within
physical harm we can injure
the microcosm: As above so below.
ourselves with feelings of envy or
How you do asana reflects how
lack or self-dissatisfaction.
you do life. And how you treat
News flash: Being unforgiving yourself ripples outward. As
toward yourself is not a sign of Marianne Williamson has said,
admirable self-discipline but of “Your playing small does not serve
ego. In the yogic sense, ego the world.”
consciousness (ahamkara) is not
Self-compassion is not merely a
so much about pride or self-
state of being or quality; it’s a
puffery as it is about separation.
practice, and we learn it through
The ego mind identifies with
experience. During asana,
personality, not presence. True
pranayama, meditation, and other
humility is recognizing that each
yoga practices, we learn to observe
of us is a drop in the ocean of

PA G E ! 2 5
and befriend the body and mind effective to soften the restrictions
—developing self-awareness and with a spirit of self-compassion?
discernment. Over time, we
One of the simplest ways to
discover when we need to be firm,
develop self-compassion is
and when we need to surrender.
through breath awareness. The ego
We begin to realize how our
often lies to protect itself, but the
experiences in the microcosm—
breath honestly mirrors the mind
shoulder tightness in
and emotions. Practical and
Parsvottanasana, for example—
accessible, this lesson is one we
relate to the macrocosm. Does
can take from the yoga studio into
forcing the shoulders back truly
the world beyond.

open the heart? Or is it more

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HEART CHAKRA MEDITATION
By Timothy Burgin 


This heart chakra meditation is a the palms together and lightly


simple technique to release press the knuckles of the thumbs
sadness and fear and to bring into the sternum at the level of
compassion and love into your life. your heart (you should feel a little
notch where the knuckles
Sit in a comfortable position, magically fit). Breathe slowly,
either cross-legged on the floor or
smoothly and deeply into the belly
in a chair. Sit up tall with the
and into the chest. Soften your
spine straight, the shoulders gaze or lightly close the eyes. Let
relaxed and the chest open. Inhale
go of any thoughts or distractions

PA G E 2! 7
and let the mind focus on feeling the shoulders relaxed and the
the breath move in and out of chest open. Feel or visualize the
your body. Once the mind feels green light love energy flowing
quiet and still, bring your focus to out of your palms and into the
the light pressure of the thumbs world. You can direct it towards
pressing against your chest and specific loved ones in your life or
feeling the beating of the heart. to all sentient beings.
Keep this focus for one to
five minutes.

Next, gently release the hands


and rub the palms together,
making them very warm and
energized. Place the right
palm in the center of your
chest and the left hand on
top of the right. Close the
eyes and feel the center of
your chest warm and radiant,
full of energy. See this energy
as an emerald green light,
radiating out from the center
of your heart into the rest of
your body. Feel this energy
flowing out into the arms and To end your meditation, inhale
hands, and flowing back into the the arms up towards the sky,
heart. Stay with this visualization connecting with the heavens, then
for one to five minutes. exhale and lower the palms lightly
to the floor, connecting with the
After you feel completely soaked earth. Take a moment or two
with heart chakra energy, gently before moving on with the rest of
release the palms and turn them your day.

outwards with the elbows bent,

PA G E ! 2 8
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TOP YOGA POSES & MANTRAS

FOR A GRATEFUL HEART
By Timothy Burgin 

Expressing gratitude, gratefulness, awesome that we have a national
and thankfulness feels really good, holiday dedicated to giving
and research shows it is good for thanks, but research in positive
us. The practice of gratitude psychology has shown that to
“allows for positive attribution, increase your levels of happiness a
which has been shown to protect daily practice of gratitude is
against stress and depression” and essential. Fortunately, the many
gratitude can also increase one’s paths of yoga give us several
overall life satisfaction. It is

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techniques to bring an attitude of already use these poses, try
gratitude on to our yoga mats. holding them for a few more
breaths than you normally do. You
The simplest approach to can also supercharge these asanas
incorporating more gratitude into
by remembering and focusing on
your yoga practice is to use a your gratitude sankalpa while
sankalpa or intention. Creating an
practicing them.
intention of feeling and expressing
gratitude at all times, and across Two mantras to cultivate
all situations, can be a powerful gratitude
guiding force in your yoga
One of the most powerful ways to
practice. If you need something
activate gratitude, gratefulness,
more concrete and accessible, you

ཨ"་མ་ཎི་པdmེ་hauྂ
THE TIBETAN MANTRA OM MANI PADME HUM

can also start or end your practice and thankfulness is through


by reflecting on three recent life chanting a mantra. There are two
experiences that you are thankful mantras you can use with mantra
for.Another easy way to add some meditation or you can chant a few
gratefulness to your hatha yoga rounds of either of these mantras
practice is to incorporate more as an invocation for your asana
upper body opening poses— practice. The Tibetan mantra Om
especially asanas that activate the Mani Padme Hum is difficult to
heart and throat chakras. If you translate, but chanting it will

PA G E 3! 2
cultivate compassion, kindness, power of the practice if the mala
and gratefulness. The Sanskrit you are using is made with a
mantra Om Lokah Samastah gratitude gemstone. Stones that
Sukhino Bhavantu is usually are said to promote gratitude are
translated as “may all beings green garnet, green jasper, green
everywhere be happy and free” and aventurine, blue tiger eye, and
encourages feelings of gratitude, green apatite.
kindness, forgiveness, and peace.
Ending your yoga practice by
Traditionally mantras are chanting bringing the hands into Anjali
with one’s full attention and focus Mudra (prayer pose) in front of
and repeated in sets of 108. Mala your heart and gently bowing your
beads are often used to count the head is a wonderful way to close
mantras, and you can boost the 
 your practice with a sense of
gratefulness and thankfulness.


The 8 best yoga poses to cultivate gratitude

COBRA POSE CAMEL POSE EXTENDED WARRIOR


DOG POSE SEAL

PRAYER SQUAT UPWARD FISH POSE SUPINE


BOAT BOUND
ANGLE

PA G E 3! 3
THE BEST YOGA POSES

FOR YOUR HEART
By Timothy Burgin 


Because of their effects on both function and respiration. Side-


the physical and energetic bodies, bending poses open the energy
specific types of yoga postures can channels of the liver, gallbladder
be used to control and prevent and heart to help remove physical
heart disease. and energetic blockages in the
heart and chest. Spine
Upper back-bending poses open
lengthening poses promote good
the chest to improve heart
posture to reduce compression on

PA G E ! 3 4
the heart and lungs and to Inversions help to rest the heart
facilitate proper functioning of the muscle and improve blood
heart. Shavasana (corpse or circulation, but are
relaxation pose) is deeply calming contraindicated with unmedicated
and has been shown to reduce high blood pressure.
high blood pressure in just a few
Click on an image or posture
weeks, and other calming
name for detailed instructions,
restorative poses will also help
contraindications and
reduce stress and blood pressure.
modifications.


Fish Bridge Cobra


Matsyasana Setu Bandhasana Bhujangasana

Half Camel Crab Pose Half Bow


Ardha Ustrasana Catuspadapitham Ardha Dhanurasana

Sphinx One Handed Tiger Half Locust


Salamba Eka Hasta Ardha Shalabhasana
Bhujangasana Vyaghrasana
PA G E ! 3 5
Revolved Head to Gate Extended Side Angle
Knee Parighasana Utthita
Parivrtta Janu Parsvakonasana
Sirsasana

Staff Posture Joyful Baby Extended Dog Pose


Dandasana Ananda Balasana Utthita Svanasana

Child Crocodile Supine Bound Angle


Balasana Makarasana Supta Baddha
Konasana

Wide-Legged Downward Facing Half Shoulder Stand


Forward Bend Dog Ardha Sarvangasana
Prasarita Adho Mukha
Padottanasana Shvanasana
PA G E ! 3 6
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E-book Credits

Yoga for the Heart: heart-centered yoga practices to strengthen and


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