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Yoga Month Challenge

Week 4 Heart Opening:

By Esther Ekhart, Esther Teule

This week, open your heart with backbends and connect to yourself and to others.
 

Heart Opening Poses Class 1

Day 1 : We're open!

34:21

Class 1 - heart opening poses

In this Yoga class we contemplate what connects us all. You are reminded to stay open no matter whether a pose is easy or more difficult. Just like in daily life. Yoga is not about achieving the posture but about how you approach a posture and your life.

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About this class
Teacher Esther Ekhart
Level All Levels
Duration 34:21
Style Vinyasa Flow
Extra content
The heart brain connection

Jennilee Toner looks at the communication between the heart and the brain and why it might explain why we are calmer, kinder and more peaceful after yoga: The heart brain connection

Yang and Yin - The Dance of Life

Heart opening meditation

Day 2: Heart opening meditation

23:47

Connecting with yourself and others

When you feel overwhelmed and closed down, this meditation opens and softens the heart area, so you can connect again with yourself and others.

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About this class
Teacher Esther Teule
Level
Duration 23:47
Style Meditation
Extra content
Heart opening activity

Make a list for yourself of things that open your heart, that make you feel safe, loved, seen. Also things that “melt” your heart, that touch you, soften you, make you want to give your love. e.g.
- Things that open your heart: 
Somebody believing in you
Somebody telling you you are loved
Somebody really listening to you without interfering
Somebody holding you
- Things that melt your heart:
A child that smiles at you
The soft ears of your dog
The first rays of the sun in the morning
Watching a loved one sleep

Repeating yesterday's class?

How did yesterday's class go? If you feel like repeating it would be good for you, then please do! You can find the class here.

Heart Opening Poses Class 2

Day 3: Joyous, trusting heart

45:42

Class 2 - heart opening poses

Enjoy some more heart opening yoga poses in this challenging yoga class. Start with Reclined Butterfly Pose, then a gentle flow, Sun Salutation B leads you towards some gentle backbends, culminating in Full Wheel Pose or Bridge Pose, yogi's choice! Feel the flow of energy and enjoy :) For this class you need a bolster and a block. If you do not have these you could use a pillow and maybe a book.

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About this class
Teacher Esther Ekhart
Level All Levels
Duration 45:42
Style Hatha, Vinyasa Flow
Extra content
The magic of a backbend

Open your heart and release your spine!
What can backbends do for you on an emotional and physical level? We go through some fundamental principles and techniques in our article... All About Backbends

Balance heart, lung, large and small intestines meridians

Day 4: Yin yoga for the heart

28:38

Balance heart, lung, large and small intestines meridians

Join Esther in this short Yin Yoga practice where every pose is held for 3 minutes. This practice helps to quiet the mind, open the heart and balance you. This practice increases your breath awareness. This sequence was developed by Sarah Powers and can also be found in her brilliant book "Insight Yoga."

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About this class
Teacher Esther Ekhart
Level All Levels
Duration 28:38
Style Yin Yoga
Extra content
The benefits of pausing in a pose

Holding poses for a longer period of time is an extremely beneficial addition to your practice, whether you hold your poses in a Yang or a Yin class. Take a closer look at why it's so good for you in ... 4 Benefits of Holding a Pose

Heart Opening Class 3

Class 5: Breathe through your open heart!

87:00

Class 3 - heart opening poses

Open your heart, breathe and enjoy a nice, long, heart-opening flow class. Finish with 15 minutes of relaxation and 15 minutes of meditation. Feel grounded, energized, connected and happy when you are finished. 

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About this class
Teacher Esther Ekhart
Level All Levels
Duration 87:00
Style Hatha
Extra content
Finishing up

Take a moment to reflect on these four weeks. If you journal, take a look back over your words. How do you feel it went for you? Did you keep up, or did you miss some days, etc? 
We would love to hear from you how it went, so please leave a comment under today's class to let us know! Congratulations 

What next?

You have developed a regular yoga practice over the last four weeks so don't stop now. If you are feeling adventurous visit our classes and pick whatever class appeals to you.
If you prefer more guidance then why not browse through our other programmes?

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