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Festive Heart Opening Practice with Nadine

Festive Heart Opening Practice with Nadine

Here is a sweet little practice that will take you about 30 minutes and can be done morning or evening. It is a heart expanding practice to keep our hearts open and receptive over the winter months. This practice can be twinned with the intention of gratitude allowing ourselves to be filed up with good vibes. Remember, any pins and needles or numbness in your fingers or toes please come out of the pose and do some gentle movement like cat a few times then try the pose again.

So set yourself a little timer and enjoy!

Supine butterfly

Take a support like a bolster or a couple of pillows wrapped up snug in a towel and lay it vertically on your mat. Bring the support right in to your sacrum and then lie back allowing your arms to fall out to the sides and turn the palms up. Bring the soles of the feet together and allow your knees to fall out to the sides. I have supported my knees here with rolled blankets. If this pulls on the lower back then you can do this pose with the soles of the feet on the mat about mat width apart, knees bent and touching together in the centre. Stay here for 2 – 5 minutes, really focussing on your breath and your heart space softening.

To come out, slowly draw knees together, roll sideways off your support, remove support then come back to lie on your back. You can hug your knees in here and roll a bit over the spine.

Supine twist

Lying on your back you cross the left leg over the right and then lower your legs to the right. I have used a support under my knees here, you may choose to do so too of you find your left shoulder blade is lifting off the mat. Just let the arms fall out to the sides wherever is comfortable and you can either turn the head to the left or just keep your face to the sky. Remember you have nothing to do here, just simply breathe and allow the shape of the pose and gravity do the rest. Stay here for 2-4 minutes., focussing in drawing the breath into the lower belly.

To come out, inhale and as you exhale bring the legs back to centre. Change the cross on the legs, so right leg is over left and the legs fall to the left. Stay for 2-4 minutes.

To come out of this side, just keep rolling over to the left and take a few breaths in a foetal position before pressing gently to sitting.

Sphinx

Come on to your belly. Prop up on your elbows with your elbows under your shoulders and hands in line with elbows. Your legs are just extended softly back, feet about hip width apart and legs relaxed. Have a sense of subtly, gently pressing into your palms, forearms and elbows to allow the heart space to blossom forwards whilst you allow your belly to soften. Feel as though you are breathing from your sternum and just allow the spine to hang. Stay here for 2-3 minutes.

To come out, just exhale and lower forward, making a little pillow for your forehead with your arms and hands and take several breaths here. Let you legs roll inwards, big toes touching in the centre and pigeon toe your legs, heels flopping out to the sides. You could always come onto child’s pose if you need to.

Butterfly

This is a lovely internal place to be, especially if you feel you have been spreading yourself too thin! Come to sitting and bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to the sides. Your feet are quite far away from your groin so you make a large diamond shape with your legs. Support under your knees if you need to with rolled blankets. Then just soften forward, using support if needed as I have shown here in one of the images. Use as much support as you need. Close your eyes and draw your awareness to your breath. I have my palms turned up here, visualising my hands are great chalices ready to be filled with all the blessings life gives me. Stay here for 3-4 minutes.

To come out, just slowly roll up, place your hands behind you, remove any support and then slowly draw your knees together.

Seated gratitude meditation.

Come to sitting, using support under the knees or sitting bones if needed. Lengthen up through the spine and just listen to your breath. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes.

To turn this into a simple gratitude practice, you can consider things that you feel grateful for. Say each thing in your mind or out loud and shine your light on every thing you feel grateful for. When this comes to a natural conclusion, just place one hand on your heart and say “may all things know peace, love and be free from suffering. May we all teach peace by example”.

Savasana

Settle in, support under the knees if needed and cover yourself with a blanket if you wish. Remain here for as long as you can, but do try to take a few minutes at least.

Thanks for reading!

Love and light, Nadine xxx

 

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Nina Goldberger

Yoga Teacher Training Administrator and Receptionist at Meadowlark Yoga, handling all logistics of Yoga Teacher Training, Anatomy and CPD. Got questions? Feel free to contact me about classes, training, and all things admin at Meadowlark!