Yoga provides wonderful benefits to the cardiovascular system. Beginning with the breath, focusing on the inhalation and exhalation generates greater awareness of how we move air in and out of our bodies. Opening and standing poses lengthen and expand our torsos so that we can bring in more oxygen. Twists and inversions effectively circulate the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, developing a heart healthy yoga vitamin is key to our well-being.
I am defining our Yoga Vitamin as a group of components essential to maintaining your body, mind and spirit. To be the most effective, your yoga vitamin should consist of six essential ingredients: centering & opening positions, standing & focus poses and inversion & relaxation postures.
So, this week I am providing a “prescription” for a healthy heart. This practice sequence centers on bringing more oxygen to the body and getting that oxygen (and the nutrients it carries) circulating smoothly through the body’s systems.
Daily Yoga Vitamin for a Healthy Heart
- Centering & Breath Awareness: Begin in a Simple Seated Pose to open intercostal or rib muscles and the pectoralis or chest muscles. During this phase, perform the EEE Mantra (click here for details).
- Opening Poses: Supine Supported Backbend. Use a rolled blanket across the upper back to expand and facilitate the breath. Then, move to a Downdog & Plank Flow (use a chair if necessary).
- Standing Poses: Crescent Lunge to Warrior I to prep for back bending.
- Focus Poses: Locust & Camel to open the heart region.
- Inversion: Viparita Karani with blanket under hips to facilitate recirculation.
- Restorative Pose: Savasana with legs on chair to promote deep release.
As promised, here is a helpful set of supplements for you to pick and choose from. These extras will, hopefully, boost your daily practice and give you added vigor for the day!
Mantra: Om Namah Shivaya = Bow to the teacher within.
Mudra: Ganesha Mudra for courage.
Props: This sequence of poses may require a chair and a blanket to support your opening and closing postures.
Essential Oils: To uplift and facilitate joy, use ylang ylang or jasmine.
Music: To quiet and soften the heart, try artists Deuter or Peter Kater.
Want more Daily Yoga Vitamins? Just click on last week’s post.
And if you have anything else to add, I’d love you hear your comments! 💜