20-Minute Heart-Opening Yoga Practice for Emotional Wellness
Start by coming into an extended Child's Pose near the back of your mat. Reach your arms forward as you soften your chest and hips down towards your mat. Take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose, using the ujjayi breath technique to stay focused and grounded throughout the practice.
Tabletop and Cat-Cow
Rise up into a tabletop position and move through a few rounds of cat-cow spinal waves. Inhale as you drop your belly and look up, exhale as you round your spine and look towards your belly button. Feel free to add any other movements that might serve you.
Downward Facing Dog and Ragdoll
From tabletop, make your way to downward facing dog and continue exploring movement as you appreciate any and all sensations in your body. Then, find ragdoll at the top of your mat. Separate your feet about hip distance or wider, gently bend your knees, and grab onto your elbows. Relax your neck, head, and jaw as your hamstrings begin to open up. Take deep breaths in and out through your nose.
Mountain Pose and Side Body Stretch
Come into Mountain Pose, reaching your arms overhead. Take a moment to stand tall, anchoring your weight evenly through your feet. Then, grab onto your left wrist and lengthen out your left side body. Push your right shoulder forward slightly and pull your right hip back. Take a deep breath in and out, and then switch sides.
Forward Fold and Halfway Lift
From Mountain Pose, exhale to forward fold. Inhale to halfway lift, sliding your hands up to your shins or thighs and rolling your shoulders back. Exhale to forward fold again.
High Plank and Chaturanga
Set up a high plank position and lower down into chaturanga, keeping your elbows close to your ribs. Inhale to upward facing dog and exhale to downward facing dog.
Warrior Poses and Extended Side Angle
From downward facing dog, reach your right leg high and step it through to a low lunge. Rise up into a Crescent lunge, then open up into Warrior 2. Reverse your warrior and add a half bind, wrapping your left arm around behind you. Extend your right arm overhead for extended side angle. Transition to triangle pose by straightening out your right leg.
Dragonfly and Wild Thing
From triangle pose, make your way to dragonfly by lowering your right hand down to the mat and reaching your left arm high. Then, gracefully step your right foot behind you and lean back into wild thing. Repeat the sequence on the other side.
Bridge Pose and Happy Baby
Lie down on your back and come into bridge pose with the support of a block under your sacrum. Lift your hips and feel your lower back decompress. Release the block and lower your hips back down. Then, come into happy baby pose by grabbing onto your feet or ankles and ironing out your spine.
Twist and Savasana
Draw your knees together and lower them down to your left, twisting your spine. Breathe deeply and then switch sides. Finally, release into savasana, taking a few moments to relax and let go.
Well done on completing this 20-minute heart-opening yoga practice. Remember, your daily practice is your strongest practice and the quickest way to see results in your body and on your mat. I hope you enjoyed this session and found peace within the poses.