Benefits of heart-openers include:
-Stretches the entire front side of the body, while strengthening the back.
-Offsets fatigue and anxiety.
-Can improve concentration and focus.
-Aids those with respiratory disorders.
Try these heart-opening poses with your kids to start reaping the benefits:
Simple Twists1 of 6
Lie on your back, and bring your knees up over your hips. Spread your arms out like a capital letter T, extending out from your shoulders. Keeping your knees together let them fall over to the right and gently turn your gaze to the left. Repeat in the opposite direction. This twist helps open the connective tissue on the sides, especially between the ribs.
Upward Facing Dog2 of 6
Lie down on your stomach, palms down on the mat, underneath your shoulders. Next, push up onto your hands with straight arms. Your legs should be extended straight back, and activated, so your kneecaps lift off the mat.
Reverse Tabletop3 of 6
Begin sitting on your mat, with your knees pointed up toward the sky and feet flat on the mat about hip-width apart. Your heels should be close to your hips. Place your palms down on the mat behind you, with your fingers pointing forward toward your toes. To come into the pose, lift your hips to the sky and point your tailbone between your knees. Make your belly as flat as you can and push down into your palms to lift the heart and open the front of your chest.
Upward Bow4 of 6
This is an intense heart-opener that should only be done after you are properly warmed up. Lie down on your belly. Put your chin on the mat, bend your knees, and reach back to grab the outside of your ankles. Make sure your knees stay no more than hip-width apart throughout the pose. Take a smooth, deep inhale to prepare, and on an exhale kick back into your hands. This will create a "bow."
Final Pose5 of 6
To end your yoga session, put on some relaxing music and lie down in Savasana, yoga's final resting posture. Put your hands on your heart, breathe deep and send love to yourself and the universe.