The heart is a beautiful place for space.
Our yoga practice reminds us constantly to make space: make space in our life from what doesn't serve us; make space in our tissues through asana, breath and awareness; make space in our mind by quieting our thoughts and focusing on a single intention. We can let this idea of 'making space' influence more areas of our life as we clarify and simplify our surroundings, our things, our schedules. When we look at all the areas we could, in fact, make space - clear out and refresh - the opportunities are endless. May we suggest starting with the space of your heart, your centre, as a beautiful place for space.
Only one book is worth reading: the heart.
The heart is a 3D organ (like all organs!) and should be regarded as such when we think about creating space. Translation: we're not just opening the front line! Eagle arms are an amazing way to bring space into the heartspace that lives in the back body. Invite your breath into the back of your heart; visualize the expansion along the skin of the posterior wall of your heart and experience the sensation of stretching from this place.
Backbends are a beautiful way to move into your heartspace. If you are moving from a standing position, start in your feet, grounding into the earth to create clear stability. Backbends require trust, a quality that the heart certainly appreciates. When you are grounded and aware you are able to move more safely and freely into this sometimes vulnerable place: the front of your heart.
Lift the front seam of your chest, roll your shoulders down your back and create length up and out of your waist as you gently press your hips forward. Enjoy freedom around your collarbones and ribs as your breath flows into these spaces. Ahhhh!
Give your heart the space to radiate.
An energetic quality of the heart is that it radiates. You can feel warmth in your chest when you experience feelings of love and joy; you can also feel a withdrawal of space or tightening in times of stress or emotional pain. If we come back to the 360 degree visualization of the heart we can relate to how beneficial child's pose is to create space all around the heart - to let it radiate.
Draw your hands to the top of your mat and relax into your elbows as you sink your forehead into the earth and relax your belly through your knees. As your hips sink back to your heels, invite your breath to wash down your spine into your tailbone, encouraging the heart to radiate outward in all directions with this breath. Breathe to expand your ribs wide, to draw your shoulders down your back. Creating this physical space with breath will let the heartspace soften and radiate in all directions.
All yoga can be heart-focused. There are certainly shapes you can make to target this space physically, but you can hold intention and awareness in your heart always, directing your breath into the centre of your heart and radiating out from that place.