When you expand your heart space you create room for breath, love and flow in your life.
It makes you feel more confident and has many benefits such as countering the desk workers slouch.
Spending long hours working at desks, bent over keyboards makes the spine rounded, which causes back pain. It's important to counteract this posture in Yoga.
Many, though not all, of these poses are also backbends. When back-bending, especially for the purpose of heart opening, focus on incorporating the upper and middle parts of the spine, which are often underutilized. The cervical spine is actually the most flexible part of the spine, while the thoracic spine is the least flexible.
I feel it is very important to practice them in a safe place. Heart openers can feel scary to some people, especially with past traumas. Make sure you start with simple postures such as a restorative inspired sequences with props. It can feel very calming to place the hands on your heart space or even put a blanket or a cushion infront of the heart.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Chapter II Sutra 28 he writes:
"By the practice of the parts of yoga impurity diminishes until the rise of spiritual knowledge culminates in awareness of reality."
In order to know the higher self, we have to develop a true awareness of reality which is neither mental nor intellectual.
Only when the light of our wisdom starts to shine, meaning when we understand the disjoining of the senses, deeper awareness of reality will rise.
We practice different aspects in yoga in order to one day, step by step, find home to our true self.
Now I could write pages and pages what that actually means but then in the end we would all come to a different conclusion. Or maybe to the same? Lets see where yoga takes us in the future...