What does it mean to “open the heart”? We hear this phrase over and over again in spiritual communities, however the answer may seem elusive or down right confusing because it is such an individual journey. So, here are some ways Breath of Bliss conscious breathwork can open your heart and expand your understanding of the concept.
While there is no guaranteed or prescribed way to open the heart fast, the most common response from those experiencing breathwork is feeling more love and acceptance. Heart opening is a path to healing that occurs on all levels; physically, mentally and spiritually.Breath of Bliss connected breathing creates a physical expansion in your chest.
Your heart rests in the thoracic cavity, which is the rib cage, sternum (breastbone) in the front, and the spine in the back. The bones are connected by muscles, cartilage and part of each rib to the sternum. Your diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle that separates the heart and lungs above from the digestive and reproductive organs below, forms the floor of the thoracic cavity.
Ideally, this system remains flexible, opening freely with each breath. But when you’re afraid or stressed, your body guards itself. This leads to defensive breathing, meaning shallow or erratic patterns or not breathing at all. Your body interprets fear-driven breath holding as threat to your survival. As a result, the parts of your brain that feel more affection and empathy shut down and your focus turns to survival.
Defensive breathing stiffens the thoracic cavity, armoring the whole area with tension. The rigidity contracts your lungs and makes it hard to inflate them. This decreases blood flow to the heart,, activating your body’s primal response to focus on staying alive rather than bonding and connecting.