Urdhva Dhanurasana ~ Wheel Pose

August Pose of the Month

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor with your heels as close to your buttocks as possible. Bend and elbows and place your palms on the floor beside your head with your fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Press your hands and feet firmly into the floor, lift your torso and come onto the crown of your head. Continue lifting your body, allowing your head to come up off the floor. Hold five to 10 second. Lower to the crown of the head, tuck the chin and release one vertebra at time to the mat.

These heart openers offer benefits on many levels. Recent studies have shown positive connections between yoga and improved heart health. Some of the plusses may include:

1. Reduction of high blood pressure

2. Improvement in treating symptoms of heart failure

3. Easing palpitations

4. Enhancing cardiac rehabilitation

5. Lowering cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and stress hormones

6. Supporting regular heart rhythms

But attention to opening your heart also brings health to your mind and spirit. In the calm created by these poses, you have the opportunity to explore new aspects of yourself as you feel your breath creating more space throughout your chest and ribs. You begin to experience what it’s like to take a deep, rejuvenating inhale that brings vitality to your body and to your brain. It’s easier to want to take care of your heart, your health, your life. No textbook can do that. Your heart can.

Peace is found from within. Our lives can be driven by our minds but to remain centered among external turmoil, we need to follow our hearts. Spread your shoulders wide and open across your chest to find strength within your core and open your heart.

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