Chest and Shoulders openers are a must and need to have an important place in your yoga routine. Many of us spend long hours in front of computers or in postures leading to an excessive rounding of the upper back and a closing of the chest.
In this article, I outline the many benefits of having a broad open chest, share a video on how to use a yoga strap as a chest opener and another video to practice a gentle chest opening yoga sequence.
Now let's start with the benefits of opening your chest and shoulders:
1- Better Posture
It is commonly known that there is no better posture than one that expands the chest and rib cage. Such a posture provides many benefits that I will list below. Sitting or walking with a straight back and an open chest also provides a healthier and younger look.
2- Progress into more advanced yoga poses
Unlocking your chest allows you to gain mobility therefore improving yoga technique and progressing towards more advanced postures. Even basic postures such as adomuka svanasana (downward facing dog) requires the chest to be well open.
3- Reduce pain and ackes
When excessive rounding of the spine occurs, back muscles are weakened and t overall mobility is reduced, This can also lead to shoulders and neck tension, eyesight problems and headackes.
In extreme cases, your abdomen is compressed leading to indigestions.
4- Improved breathing
A closed rib cage puts pressure on the lungs and diaphragm and prevents a full expansion of the lungs. When opening your chest, your breathing is improved and you take full advantage of the prana (energy) flowing in.
5- Open heart chakra
Having a wide open chest, activates the heart chakra. Your anahata chakra helps in many ways: attracting/receiving more love, connecting to other human beings and being more compassionate. Activating such a chakra is essential in conflicting times or moments of transformation as it brings about tranquility and inner peace.
To help open your chest (it can take months to unlock it), you can use a yoga strap while performing certain yoga poses or while working on your PC or at home. Here is a good video from the website www.jeffmah.com on how to use a yoga strap as a chest opener tool:
Ananda-Hum offers a wide range of yoga straps here.
And before leaving you, why not take this gentle session with Miss Sunitha:
Namaste my friends!