Heart opening yoga

Heart opening in yoga is both a restorative path and process.

Dr. Aisling Linehan, a physical therapist at Performance Spine and Sports Medicine, uses heart opening yoga to help reverse some of the incorrections modern life can apply to over-burdened backs.

This form of restorative yoga specifically focuses on decreasing thoracic kyphosis, or increased curvature of the spine, according to Linehan. The main cause: long work days at a desk, in front of a computer.

Linehan implements techniques from Pilates and yoga into treatment plans for her patients. Restorative movements are used to “open” the chest and heart and counter the damage of the daily grind.

Linehan was introduced to yoga as a young athlete. She was a three-time Junior Olympic figure skater and added yoga to her cross training routine.

“I always looked forward to the classes and have found it beneficial for my own stress management in the working world,” said Linehan. “I find yoga beneficial for my patients as a way to re-train belly breathing and postural alignment.”

She said yoga is not appropriate for every patient.

“Restorative yoga is the best option for the injured patient looking to get into gentle stretching and breath re-training,” she said.

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