February may be the shortest month of the year, but there sure is a lot going on! February is Heart Month, 50 Shades DARKER opens (super important right?), we have Family Day long weekend coming up for my fellow Ontarians and President’s Day for my American Homies, and Valentine’s Day is TOMORROW!
Whether you are spending your Valentine’s with a significant other, a family member, your pet, or your wonderful self, make the shift from looking only externally for love and begin giving yourself a little TLC. True love starts from within, so by taking a bit of time for yourself and learning more about your body, you’ll find your heart more open, feel more forgiving with yourself, and become more available to love others.
The following massage techniques and poses are some of my favourite ways to create openness through the heart, chest, and shoulders. You might find yourself feeling more confident, rejuvenated and relaxed. On a more physical level, your posture can improve as this off-sets the typical rounding of the shoulders and slouch that many of us experience over time. Listen to your body and give it what it needs today. Remember to warm up, breathe deep and modify as needed and have fun!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <3
PS, there is a recipe at the bottom for you from one of my favourite holistic nutritionists!
Downward Facing Dog or Adho mukha śvānāsana
- lift with your hips and press the heels down towards the floor
- spread all 10 fingers and toes
- turn the triceps in towards the body for a deeper side strech
- relax the head
- Sink deeper between the shoulders for a deeper chest stretch
- modify by bending the knees and keeping heels off the ground
Puppy pose or Uttana Shishosana…or 50 shades of grey? Just kidding #sorrynotsorry
- Lift the tailbone high into the air, so unlike child’s pose, the butt does not rest on your heels
- lower the chest towards the floor
- options for knees down or up, elbows bent or straight, blocks are also suitable to get deeper
Upward Facing Dog or Ūrdhva mukha śvānāsana
- Stack the shoulders over elbows over wrists
- push onto the floor and straighten the arms
- shine through your chest and lift the upper back, careful not to hyperextend or arch the lower spine
- flex the thighs to lift knees off the floor
- tops of the feet on the floor
- look straight ahead or up, whatever you are comfortable with
Camel pose or Ustrasana
- Hips and knees aligned
- tops of feet on the floor or curl the toes under
- place hands at lower back near the sacrum, engage the glutes and quads
- keep pushing the hips forward as you lift through your chest and look up
- stay there or try to reach the ankles, still shining the chest up towards the ceiling and engaging the glutes and thighs to protect the lower back
Bridge/wheel or Situ bandhasana/
- For bridge, bring feet in under the hips, you should be able to touch your heels with your middle finger (unless you have really short arms)
- Feet and knees are hip distance apart
- engage the glutes and thighs
- Push through heels and lift the glutes up, keeping them engaged, then start to push through the chest and bring the chest towards the chin
- keep back of the neck long
- Option to clasp hands underneath
- for full wheel, bring the hands by the ears, keeping glutes and thighs engaged
- press up, straighten the arms, and lift the chest away from the legs
- keep the heels down for a deeper back bend
Clasped hands chest opener
- reach arms back and interlace fingers. Palms touching if possible
- Modify by grabbingopposite elbows from behind
- standing, sitting, or forward fold options
- if standing, ensure tailbone is long to avoid arching the lower back. This stretch is for opening the chest and stretching the UPPER back
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let’s get in touch!! If you want to learn more modifications and safe exits from poses, I would love to hear from you and see if we can work together!
please like and share!
photos taken at All Core Fitness
And finally, here is your recipe!
As always, if you liked this post, please like and share. Happy Love Day!