‘I tried Heart Healing Yoga and it was the mood boost I needed’
I don’t know if it's so-called winter blues, a touch of homesickness or just general lethargy but I have been feeling a bit heavy, emotionally, lately. So, earlier this month, when asked if I wanted to try Heart Healing Yoga - a type of practice that focuses on the mind-body connection - I jumped at the chance.
What to expect from a heart healing yoga class
The class took place at a lovely studio in Marylebone to celebrate the release of IAMDDB’s new single ‘Where Did The Love Go’ from the artist's highly anticipated new project. The song has been inspired by self-care, healing and protecting yourself, with a strong focus on the idea that self-love is the catalyst to growth.
It was run by Manchester-based Yoga teacher Kacea, who's been practicing for nearly a decade as well as running her own organic skincare brand, Earthie Organics. She was initially drawn to the practice after experiencing the healing powers of yoga herself.
It took place in a small studio, with a group of 11 other women. We started off the class on the floor and worked our way through a series of poses that focused on traditional yoga practices such as pranayama (breath work), collective mantra chanting and seated meditation. We also spent time focusing on heart-opening postures in order to better connect to the heart chakra, anahata.
In this workshop, Kacea led us through some poses such as Baby Wild Thing (Camatkarasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) and Triangle Pose (Trikanasana).
After 30 minutes, we ended the class with a very honest and open discussion about the things we were individually hoping to work through, and being part of such an open dialogue with a group of like-minded women was a real highlight.
Benefits of heart healing yoga
I chatted with Kacea after the class to get her insight on this form of yoga.
The class was held just after Valentine’s Day and Kacea said: 'our intention was to create a space for those who experience the range of beautiful, painful and sometimes conflicting emotions that arise during this time of year'.
She added that the class was intended to help everyone, 'from people who are struggling to love themselves where they are, to those grieving the loss of a loved one and those who are yearning to feel community love and support'.
She added that 'on a metaphysical level, practicing heart-opening yoga poses activates deep feelings of love and compassion, they can stimulate our desire for connection to other people, to ourselves and to the earth. Our bodies store living memory and emotions, and when we move our body with the purpose to heal or release the results and impact is remarkable.'
The practice can be beneficial for everyone, but Kacea believes it can be especially helpful if you are suffering from low-self esteem, loneliness, or the symptoms of heartache. 'Moving slowly through the postures, focusing on your intention to heal and breathing into your Heart Chakra'.
In my experience, what sets heart healing yoga apart from standard vinyasa is the community aspect; it wasn’t the kind of class where you practice individually and then go straight back to your busy life, there was a real sense of connection between the group afterwards.
What are the best Heart Healing Yoga poses to try?
If you’re keen to practice some Heart Healing Yoga for yourself, Kacea outlined the best poses for you to do so:
She advises that 'practicing back bending Yoga postures that create a sense of spaciousness and opening around your chest are great ways to experience heart healing. I'd suggest starting with some fluid spinal movement through Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana) followed by Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)'.
As well as these yoga movements, Kacea says that 'chanting mantra is another way to tend to your heart. In the Heart Healing workshop we chanted the bija mantra "Yam", within Hatha Yoga this sound is said to vibrate with the energy of your heart space'.
How often should I practice Heart Healing Yoga?
There really is no limit as the class is relatively low impact so you could practice every day if you wanted.
Kacea is a daily devotee. 'Along with other Yoga asanas, I practice heart openers every day, at this point, I may be addicted to the feeling but that's ok'.
If you’re interested in trying out one of Kacea’s classes for yourself, she’s running a three-day Yoga retreat this year called “Restore & Radiate'' at Purusha Retreats in Lincolnshire on from the 14th to the 16th of July.
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