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Hello! Welcome to In the Moment with the Fish Pose to Open Your Heart!
May 18, 2012

In the Moment with the Fish Pose to Open Your Heart!
Issue #019 - May 18, 2012

Happy Memorial Day and Hello Summer!

I thought summer would never get here! I adore this time of year, when the snow melts from the mountaintops, here in Colorado, and I can do my mountain climbing again! For those of you who followed me last summer on Facebook, at Body Window, you know that I am completing the top 100 peaks in the state of Colorado.

These peaks are known as the "Centennials" and my husband and I have only 8 more to climb! Many of the remaining Centennials are deep in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. Rugged, wild and difficult to get to, are the San Juans! I doubt we will have sufficient time off this summer to do more than a few of them. However, we will continue our upward goal!

May you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Holiday weekend and have a lovely kick-off to your summer!

In the Moment with the Fish Pose, to Open Your Heart!

The Cycle of Love requires that we learn to receive as well as to give. But in our independent Western societies, more often we deny ourselves the beauty of receiving anything. We strive to be independent and never needing to "take" anything from others. We fear that taking in any way makes us appear weak.

That is, until something catastrophic hits us: disease, accidents, death of a loved one, and so on. Then much to our dissatisfaction, we are forced to receive from others.

This Heart Opening Meditation that we will do today, will help us to understand how imperative it is for us to learn to receive, long before it becomes a necessity. Those on a spiritual path understand that in order to keep from suffering personal burn-out, we must take time for ourselves, to nurture ourselves.

Fish Pose.

Classical Yoga Fish Pose

Back bends, in Yoga are classically understood as heart-openers. As we bend backwards, if done properly, our chest and hearts open. This opening movement may make some folks, who are close-chested and slumped forward, feel vulnerable. This is from a life-time of protecting their hearts and consequently their feelings.

Most people dislike, or have a hard time doing the Fish Pose. It can be disorienting and uncomfortable, when done in the classical way as shown here in my first photo. Plus it is a difficult pose for those who are physically slumped forward.

Believe it or not, the Fish Pose is one of my favorite poses!

Fish Pose Preparation.

Alternative Fish Pose Preparation

Fish Pose using your elbows.

Alternative Fish Pose pushing up from elbows.

With the modifications and variations of the Fish Pose that I am suggesting, you may find yourself actually doing the pose! You will soon learn how wonderfully restorative this pose truly is!

The Fish Pose, done with props, enables you to relax into the Receiving aspect in a way that will refresh and stimulate you! So join me, with the suggested variations, so you too can enjoy the gift of Receiving, no matter what your physical fitness level!

You can make the pose much less difficult by lying on your back, with your elbows down on the ground at your side, forearms pointing upwards as shown in the photo to the left and above, titled, "Alternative Fish Pose preparation."

Then, taking a deep inhalation, push down with your elbows as you arch up your back, opening your chest and throat. Your head should touch the ground if you are able. Hold this pose while breathing deeply.

Fish Pose using a

foam roller.

Alternative Fish Pose using a foam roller,
position #1.

Fish Pose using a foam roller.

Alternative Fish Pose using a foam roller, progression #2.

If this modification is too difficult for you, the one that I feel opens your chest more than any of the others, is the modification using a foam roller. The reason this is so, is because you can place the foam roller in a variety of positions, as you become more familiar with the sensation of the back bend.

If you don't have a foam roller, you can get a middle-of-the-road one at Amazon for about 20 USD. If you purchase one through my newsletter, I will receive a small commission from your purchase. I thank-you for supporting my website, and I promise, your body-mind-soul will thank you too! Just make sure you get the long, 36-inch one, and that it is NOT a half-round. You can do so much more with the longer one.

Fish Pose using a foam roller.

Alternative Fish Pose using a foam roller, progression #3.

Fish Pose using a foam roller.

Alternative Fish Pose using a foam roller, progression #4 with palms open.

Start out positioning the foam foam roller just underneath the very top of your upper back, making sure there is no pressure on your neck. Your head is still supported by the foam roller in this first position (#1). Breathe deeply here a few breaths and assimilate the new sensation in your body.

If you feel comfortable with this beginning position, try rolling the foam roller down your back a few inches farther, like the photo entitled "progression #2."

Keep rolling down your upper back as you tolerate, to the 3rd position, just under the nipple line of your chest, at the middle of your back. Your head should now be able to rest on the floor, just like in the unsupported Fish Pose. This is the full chest-opening position. Look how much easier this pose is when you use the foam roller!

To make the pose even more open for you to receive Energy, turn your palms upward, as shown in progression #4, to allow even more Love to flow into your body, through your hands as well as your open chest!

Supported Fish Pose using cushions.

Supported Fish Pose using cushions.

Finally, if you want total support and comfort, and complete relaxation, you can use a yoga bolster or regular cushions, to support your upper back to open your chest. Place the two cushions, one slightly in front of the other, to support your head and neck and the other under the middle of your back as shown in the picture.

Hold this pose for as long as your heart desires, preferably 5 minutes for a full relaxation and receiving.

While holding the Fish Pose of your choice, you may wish to affirm, "In this moment, I am open to receive!" "My heart is open to Love that is abundantly available to me!" "I am filled with New Energy!" "I receive Love in this moment, that is there just for me! Or you may wish to create your own mantra for receiving the greatest gift of all - Love! This Love is abundant and free from God/the Universe, for all who open their arms and hearts to receive it for themselves.

When you receive this Abundant Love, you will be so full, that you will be able to pass it on to others, just as abundantly.

'May you relax and renew when you open your heart to receive Love. May you inhale in new, vital Energy when you spend this moment with your body!'

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