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  • Rosie Iles-Jonas

Whole Hearted

My next mini course is focused on the heart, and here's why. There are direct neural pathways from the heart to the brain, and specifically the amygdala which is part of the limbic system.

The amygdala serves as a central role in our emotional reactions as well as processing emotional memory and making decisions.


The left and right amygdalae perform slightly different functions; the right processes emotions like joy and happiness, and the left side is more active in social anxiety and PTSD.

Let’s not get into the detail, get all up in the head. Let’s just settle in the knowledge that the amygdala synchronises with the heartbeat. Yoga, when it’s taught and practiced well, improves communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. Movements incorporate breath awareness and mindful breathing creates deeper feeling, because it creates movement from within. And movement enables feeling.




The element of the heart is air. The heart space is therefore enlivened by the breath. An exuberant heart takes a full breath, and a closed heart inhibits the breath. Breath is energy, body currency.


Too often in yoga, people focus on ‘opening the heart’ through deep back bends, or just forcing their shoulders back. I however teach practices which nourish the heart space. Of course the heart closes off to certain people or situations. And just as it can close off a little, it can open up. It does that through feeling, heart felt connection to yourself and others. There are no short cuts, and posture alone doesn’t affect changes in our emotional state. You're a physical expression of your feelings.

Play around in your practice, do some research on the heart space, look up meridians, mudra, movement, chakras and breath. Or... let me do that for you, it's kind of my job!


My five week course will explore the anatomy and energetic profile of the heart. We practice live via zoom Wed 3- 31st March, 7.30-8.45pm, or OM Demand via recordings. The course is £45 and everyone receives lifetime access to the videos. Email me if you'd like to join us.

Rosie Iles-Jonas

Yoga Teacher

Postgraduate at SOAS University