Open Hearts

The tower at the Pithlachascotee River

Today I led my first yoga class/workshop. I’ve spent the last few days with my mom in my hometown. In honor of her (and because she is feeling the effects of heart disease), the workshop theme was Open Heart Yoga.

Earlier in the week I put up fliers around town (at Starbucks, Panera and the laundromat) and hoped for the best. I also made an announcement at water aerobics this morning (btw, water aerobics are fun and I plan to do them every day in my retirement!).

The workshop was scheduled for 2, and rain showers started falling from the sky at 1. Luckily a few people still showed up, and it was a happy and spiritual experience.

The space

I started with a little talk about the heart chakra, and some short chanting and meditation. I used part of this guided meditation, which talks about self-love and compassion. We did a gentle practice with plenty of heart opening poses. I had another guided meditation planned for the end, but the water pouring down from the sky served as nature’s guided meditation. We relaxed into savasana with soft sounds of rain.  As things ended, no one wanted to leave the soothing environment.

Our friend around the corner

We talked about how the heart is our center, and an open heart keeps us balanced. In order to radiate love and compassion out into the world, we must first give it to ourselves through unconditional love and self-acceptance.

Here are a few ways to show self-love:

  • light scented candles
  • listen to your favorite music
  • cuddle with a pet
  • chat with a friend
  • garden
  • laugh, smile
  • give and receive hugs
  • meditate
  • do yoga
  • go for a walk
  • sit in nature
  • read inspiring books, articles, quotes

If you know someone who is experiencing heart disease, this is a wonderful website with loads of info and support:  www.womenheart.org. My mom plans to sign up for the Sister Match, which connects women who are going through similar experiences. There’s also a section dedicated to supporting women who want to stop smoking.

Please give yourself some love today!

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4 Comments

Filed under Yoga

4 responses to “Open Hearts

  1. Wow, what a great venue for your first class! The first time I led a class was at my gym when the instructor (also my friend) overslept and needed me to cover her for 20 minutes while she rushed to the gym. I called her and was like, “Umm, where are you?” and she begged me to do the opening centering and warm-ups. I hadn’t even started my YTT at the time! It was definitely stressful but very rewarding afterward when people came up to thank me for covering in such a harried situation. 🙂

    • Nothing like jumping in head first! That definitely sounds nerve-racking, but I guess you missed out on the anxious anticipation part. I’m glad it ended up being a positive experience! My teacher Dhyana told our teacher training class not to get nervous because it’s not about us, it’s about letting the yoga shine through.
      That’s kind of keeping me calm as I work through the shyness.

  2. I just came across an Oprah quote that I just had to add to this post:

    “Your life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others in every encounter.”

    So true. Thanks O!

  3. Pingback: Reason #2: Yoga Makes Me Smile | veggievinyasa

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