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To HEARTEN is to give heart to, to encourage or to cheer someone on. Before we can extend our energy to lift the spirits of others, we need to cheer for ourselves. Take a moment to identify three of your best attributes and shout them out and perform a little happy dance for each one. Notice how you feel. If you hesitate about acknowledging your best traits, remember even a prickly cactus offers vibrant color to the world each Spring. Once you boost your self-esteem, it is easier to hearten another soul. What three characteristics make up the very best version of you?

Beavertail Cactus in Bloom, Valley of Fire, Overton, Nevada

"In troubled and uncertain times,

I hearten the spirits of those around me."

Yoga Pose: Side Plank Pose Vasisthasana

Practice this strong heart opening arm balance pose to hearten and cheer for yourself.

Foundation. Start in downward facing dog and move into plank pose with your arms straight, hands firmly planted, fingers spread apart. Lightly grip your mat. Set your intention.

Move into Position. Rotate 90 degrees to balance on the outer edge of your right foot with your left foot stacked on top or slightly in front of the right foot. Continue to keep your spine long, hips lifted, balance arm straight.

Torso & Arms. Extend your left arm to the sky. Brighten and expand the heart center, creating a slight back bending quality to the pose. Create a T shape with your body and arms. Energize the legs, feet, arms and fingers. Engage the shoulders against the back.

Gaze. Look straight ahead or up at your left fingertips. Hold for up to a minute. Release your left arm down and return to plank pose.


[Repeat on other side]

Sunrise, Long Beach, Washington

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