Open Your Heart to a New Year!

It is a New Year and perhaps a new beginning for some of us. As I sit here in my old bedroom, all I can think about are the past eight years of my life in Florida. I am now back in my hometown of Albuquerque wondering what this New Year is going to bring me and how I can positively move forward in a city that I have missed for so many years.

One of my most favorite memories in Florida was when I completed my very first teacher training. It was an intense yearlong journey that not only challenged me physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I never knew I could tap into my own self so deeply, that I could let go of baggage and find peace and happiness. But that is the true beauty of yoga. To me, yoga is life altering, yoga is peace, and yoga is freedom.

As we move into a New Year, let us open our hearts to new experiences and relationships. Let us forgive and forget things that no longer serve us. Find time for yourself and manifest your intentions and goals. When we talk about intentions and goals, love, relationships, letting go, we are tapping into our fourth chakra the Anahata Chakra. The Anahata Chakra is the center of self-love. Also known as the heart chakra. It is located in the heart center. It means to live your life with compassion and kindness. It means to cultivate a safe space to invite positive energy while radiating the same energy to those beings you meet and come into contact with on a daily basis. It means that your heart is open to others and you inspire kindness and compassion. This is the place where we feel the most. When Anahata is open and flowing freely, we are open to love and able to connect to the deepest places. This New Year, find time for self-love, whether it is a goal of taking one yoga class per week, reading a positive quote before you begin your day, or even taking the time to smile at every person you come into contact with. Make 2017 the year of love and happiness and write your own story.

If you are new to yoga or someone who has been practicing for years, I invite you to practice the gentle/restorative sequence below. It is suitable for practitioners of all levels. Remember to breathe and let go of anything that no longer serves you. If you have ever taken one of my classes, I always offer a heart-opening pose. To me, it is important to stretch the muscles in the chest and shoulders and allow openness in the heart center. Take your time practicing this sequence and be mindful of how you are feeling both energetically and physically. Feel free to use my notes as guidance, but also give yourself permission to come in and out of postures that do not feel quite right for you today. Only you know how you feel, listen to your body. Take a moment in each pose to notice how you feel and send your breath to any areas of tightness. Be mindful and enjoy.

Yoga for the Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)

Center (seated/supine) – focus on your breath,