Heart Openers: The Cure for Modern-Living

Modern Living Cure: Heart Openers

Having dabbled in a bit of yoga here and there for several years now, my New Year’s resolution to myself for 2019 was to make yoga a daily practice in my life. Nearly 8 months on, I have been absolutely amazed at the ways yoga has massively enhanced all aspects of my life for the better, most noticeably via regular heart opening poses and stretches.

Could You Benefit from Heart Openers?

An easy way to test this is to check in with yourself right now. Without changing position, quickly scan yourself to see how you are sat/lay/stood as you read this:

Is your back slouched?

Are your shoulders up near your ears?

Are you hunched over in the “text-neck” position so commonly seen these days i.e. leaning forward with head bent down?

Next, try self-correcting your posture so gently slide your shoulders downwards, away from your ears, straighten the back, lift the chest upwards and lift the head so the weight is evenly balanced across the neck, neither heavier in the front nor the back. In this better posture for the body do your shoulders round inwards towards your chest or outwards?

I would say that from my observations of people generally who do not practice stretches regularly to counter-act today’s modern-living hunched over computers, phones and other screens, most people’s shoulders tend to roll inwards. For me, that is a clear sign that some kind of heart opening exercises would likely benefit that person.

And this was me too until, over the last few months, I’ve noticed a gradual change in my daily posture whereby now my shoulders do naturally gravitate down my body turning out instead of in which has the effect of lifting my head, neck and chest and straightening my back as a matter of habit. Cue a lot less back and neck complaints, less headaches as well as a downturn in aches and pains generally. I would add that my posture up until my daily yoga practice was exceptionally poor.

What Are the Likely Benefits Then?

Physically:

  • Back pain lessened;
  • Shoulders feel less tight;
  • Neck pain reduced;
  • Healthier spine generally;
  • More flexibility in the rib cage making breathing easier and increased blood flow/better circulation;
  • Better sleep quality;
  • Improved digestion;
  • More energy;
  • Improved balance by using counteracting poses.

Emotionally:

  • Anxiety symptoms reduced;
  • Depression symptoms reduced;
  • Stress symptoms reduced;
  • Mood elevated;
  • Releasing of negative emotions in a safe environment and way;
  • Increase in self-confidence;
  • Better emotional and psychological balance;
  • More loving and capable of receiving love;

Spiritually:

  • More open heart chakra;
  • More compassion for self and others;
  • Better connection to inner and outer world;
  • Deeper connection to your “Higher Power”, “God” or “Universe” whatever this means to you.

I’ve listed all of these benefits from research I’ve conducted from numerous websites and only listed the ones that I genuinely feel that I have experienced for myself. I would also add that learning to breathe correctly through these poses and practising pranayama (see here if you’re unsure what this is: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/yoga-meditation/what-is-pranayama/) massively increases the benefits experienced.

If you think that you could benefit from improving your posture through heart opening poses then join a local class or head over to You Tube or similar to find a good online tutor who will walk you slowly through the poses in a safe and gradual way. As you may have noticed, my online yoga teacher of choice is Adriene Mishler, whom I strongly recommend especially for beginners:

https://yogawithadriene.vhx.tv/monthly-yoga-playlist

Feel free to share this post with others that you feel might benefit from the contents. What about you – have you tried particular poses, stretches or exercises that have helped to improve your posture?

Always check in with your healthcare practitioner before starting any new exercise regime. Please note that I am not a yoga teacher nor medically qualified myself and therefore you should ensure you seek the guidance of both before undertaking any recommended practices.

Karmic Partner vs Soulmate vs Twin Flame

What’s the Difference?

Most of us have heard the phrase “soulmate” and have our own understanding of what that means, it being relatively common to many forms of story-telling, books, plays, poems, films and even video-games. I do remember, however, being quite surprised myself the first time I learned that the usual interpretation of a soulmate as being “the one”, was not all about living happily ever after.

So what is a soulmate if it’s not about marrying your Prince Charming (or Princess!) and skipping off into the sunset? And where do karmic partners and twin flames come into it? I’m glad you asked!

Karmic Partner

These are often formed with our earliest romantic partners, said to be a way of working out the lessons still outstanding from our past lives. They can be the most challenging because no matter how “hot”, loving and passionate they are, we’re usually not ready to be committed “forever”. A big indicator of these types of relationships is that no matter what we try, it just doesn’t work. Another indicator is that our karmic partner usually cares more about themselves and their own needs rather than ours or the needs of the relationship. Of the three, they are the most common type, with us usually having several karmic partners in a lifetime.

The lesson of these types of relationships is to learn when to let go as well as teaching us more about how we see our outer world and the people in it.

Soulmate

A soulmate relationship is one where a deeper commitment of some sort is evident, maybe cohabiting/buying a property together, engagement, marriage or a civil partnership and/or having a child together. A person whom we believe will be our life partner (even if things do not necessarily turn out that way in the end).

Such relationships are not without their difficulties, but the difference between a soulmate and a karmic partner relationship is that they challenge us to look inwards and trigger improvements in ourselves, rather than desiring a change in the other person or the relationship. Soulmates tend to be those that care about us the most and are not limited to love relationships.

A strong indicator of a soulmate connection is that unshakeable feeling of having known the person before, in another lifetime.

Twin Flame

Twin flames are relatively rare, with many in the spiritual world not believing in them at all. The concept of the twin flame is that the two of you were originally one soul, split into two at some point before this lifetime. Even if the concept exists, there is no guarantee that the two of you will ever find your way back to one another, in this lifetime or any other.

But, should these split souls find their way back to one another, the connection is supposed to be magical – a bit like your “zing” for those of you who’ve seen Hotel Transylvania! The connection is more than just a physical or sexual connection, however, so it’s important not to confuse twin flames with every connection you have that gets a bit heated!

Even twin flame relationships have their challenges, being a mix of karmic partner and soulmate connections, sometimes challenging how we see our partner, relationship and the world, and sometimes forcing us to look inwards and make improvements to ourselves instead. They are, in fact, our mirror, our reflection and sometimes we may not like what we see. With twin flames, however, both partners are willing and able to work on themselves and their relationship.

So, there you have it – a quick guide to my views on what each of these relationship types include. Maybe not as romantic as a fairy-tale but infinitely more rewarding I think. What about you?