Open Your Heart to August's Posture Challenge

Open Your Heart to August's Posture Challenge
We are in Leo season which is linked to the Heart & Solar Plexus. So let's open our hearts with awareness & grace.
Posture Challenge Schedule
Here's the plan for August. We are cutting the month into 5 weeks (the first only being 3 days) and choosing a posture or exercise for each week. The idea is to open our hearts and chests, to improve our posture and breath, to stand tall and sit still with ease. 
Below you'll find the plan with how to videos and written instructions for each exercise.

We chose a simple exercise for the first few days to help get you in the habit of keeping your chin parallel to the ground & chest open. Do you what you can and don't worry if you forget sometimes. Just practice as much as you can.


WEEK ONE - Aug. 1st to 3rd - Hold Your Head Up High 
Every time you pick up your phone, hold it at eye height. This will prevent you from looking downward which rounds the shoulders & upper back and sends the chin too far forward. With your phone held higher, you can sit or stand taller and reduce the tension on your neck & shoulders.

Hold you phone up high to correct your posture
WEEK TWO - Aug. 4th to 10th - Supported Fish Pose
Practice your favourite variation of Supported Fish Pose for 3 - 5 minutes each day this week. You could lay over a Bolster or use two Yoga Blocks. And if you don't have either of those, roll up a couple towels to create your own make-shift bolster.

Supported Fish pose over a yoga Bolster

Benefits of Supported Fish Pose;

  1. Expands chest & ribs
  2. Relieves neck & shoulder pain
  3. Allows for deeper breath
  4. Stimulates abdominal organs
  5. May reduce anxiety & depression
  6. Increases metabolism 
  7. Improves posture!

There are many variations of this pose so find whatever feels best for you. If your low back is feeling tight, try leaving more space between your bum & the bolster. Or instead of leaving your legs straight, try resting your feet on the floor with bent knees facing upward. To open your groins and hips, place soles of feet together and allow the knees to fall open to the floor. 


WEEK THREE - Aug. 11th to 17th - Strap Jacket
Grab a Yoga Strap or a couple neck ties to make a harness for your chest, shoulders & upper back. Check out the How To video on our YouTube Channel or below then wear this Strap Jacket for at least 10 minutes each day while preforming daily tasks such as computer work, washing dishes, folding laundry & more.



WEEK FOUR - Aug. 18th to 24th - Supported Bridge Pose
You'll need a Bolster or block or something stable to lift your hips for this posture. Laying down on your back with your feet firmly planted to the ground, lift your hips and place a prop under your pelvis. Then rest into it while breathing deeply & remaining present with any sensations that arise for at 3 - 5 minutes.

Practice this pose each day this week for at least 3 minutes or as long you need. If you don't have a bolster, use the code: OPENHEART to 15% off all online orders until the end of August 2019. Or you can use blocks, books or towels in place of a bolster.



WEEK FIVE - Aug. 25th to 31st - Shoulder Flossing
Originally I planned on doing some sub salutations holding backbends for a little longer, but with my newly sprained ankle, we're gonna switch this up to Shoulder Flossing. It's one of my favourite yoga exercises for opening my chest, lubricating shoulder sockets & being aware of how I hold my posture.

You can watch the quick video below for how to perform Yoga Shoulder Flossing.

 Or follow these Yoga Shoulder Flossing instructions;

  • Hold strap wider than shoulder distance apart with over-hand grip
  • Use an over hand grip, avoid bending elbows or moving wrists
  • Sweep arms up & over in a big circle, moving within your range of motion
  • If elbows need to bend, widen your grip. If you don't feel any stretching sensation in the chest or biceps, take a narrower grip
  • Inhale as you lift your arms & exhale as they lower behind your back. Then inhale as you lift your arms again & exhale to bring strap in front by your waist. This is one full round
  • Keep your chin back, ribs in & shoulder blades down your back
  • Ensure your feet are firmly planted at hip distance apart & don't lock your knees
  • Practice 8 - 12 rounds or whatever feels good for you

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Why not add Cat/Cow Poses to your daily routine while you're at it? This easy sequence is so beneficial. I try to practice Cat/Cow every morning to get my joints lubricated and my spine moving.

Cat/Cow Pose for A Healthy Spine in Yoga

As the month progress, we'll continue to add to this blog post. Updating this page with more tips, videos and images on what we're doing with this challenge. Some of the exercises may change or we might add different variations. So you may want to bookmark this page as an easy reference.
So stay tuned and keep in touch. We're doing this for you, too.
Shelley xo

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