The expression, ‘to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders’ didn’t come from nowhere. In the shoulders, neck, and chest one may carry responsibility, heavy heartedness, grief, pain, and/or anger leading to tightness and heaviness in these areas. These emotions, as well as the bodies physical response to them, originate from the heart.
One may think of the heart center being located in the front center portion of the chest, when actually the energy located here moves three dimensionally. A block in this area may manifest physically in the upper back or shoulders, arms, heart, immune system and lungs. This sequence is designed to open, stretch, and strengthen these areas.
Props Needed: Two Blocks and a Strap
Beginning Meditation (3-6 minutes)
Begin seated, breathing three dimensionally, filling the chest, upper belly, and lower belly. With the exhale, reverse the path and root into the earth with your sit bones (1-2 minutes). As you breath, alternate your breath awareness from the back body, breathing into the kidneys, to the front body and chest. Notice the space here (1-2 minutes). Visualize breathing in through the heart, out through the sit bones (1-2 minutes). Set an intention for your practice.
Easy Seated with Side and Neck Stretches
Mountain followed by Shoulder Openers
Warrior 1 to Humble Warrior
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Suspine Twist followed by Supported Chest Opener
When you begin to touch your heart, or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.
– Pema Chodron