Learn gentle yoga poses that can open your heart.

5 Yoga Poses That Will Take You From Brokenhearted To 'Thank U, Next'

Open your heart and cultivate self-love with these gentle yoga poses.

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Ariana Grande's new single "thank u, next" is groundbreaking in its ability to express heartbreak and gratitude at the same time. If you are newly single, it might feel like you'll never get to the place of thanking your ex for the things you learned in the relationship. It takes time to accept the feeling of loss associated with breakups. Prioritizing your self-care and healing is important in this time. Taking care of yourself can be just as empowering as Ariana makes us feel when we listen to her sing about how she grew from the pain of past relationships.

Yoga is an integrative practice that heals mind, body, and spirit. Backbend postures, or poses that open the heart and chest, can symbolize our ability to open ourselves up to new experiences and perspectives when we're experiencing pain. Show yourself compassion and allow yourself to gently open up the heart space, promoting expansion rather than contraction.

Yoga helps us understand, in a very tangible way, how we can rely on ourselves for happiness and peace. Practice these gentle poses to release stress and cultivate more self-love and self-awareness.

1. Cat/Cow (Sanskrit: Marjaryasana/Bidalasana)

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Start on your hands and knees in table-top position, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Practicing cat and cow is great for moving in sync with your breath and warming up the spine before practicing backbends. On an inhale, look up slightly, begin to broaden across your chest and collarbone, and slightly arch your lower back. On an exhale, look down and begin to round your back, drawing your belly button in towards your spine. Do this for 5 cycles, bringing some awareness to your breath and moving mindfully.

2. Child's Pose (Sanskrit: Balasana) 

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From your hands and knees/table-top position, take your knees wider apart than your hips, and allow your big toes to touch. Slowly walk your hands forward as you release your hips back to your knees. If your forehead doesn't reach the floor, you can use a yoga block or fold a blanket or towel to bring the ground up closer to you. Additionally, if you have any knee or lower back pain, you can fold or roll up a blanket or towel and place it behind your knees. Stay here between 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Melting Heart Pose (Sanskrit: Anahatasana)

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From Child's Pose, return to table-top. Walk your hands forward again, allowing your chest to melt down towards the floor. Instead of sending your hips back towards your knees, they will be in line on top of your knees. If this backbend is too deep of a stretch, you can support your arms with a pillow or bolster. This pose is great for opening up the shoulders and chest. Stay here for 3 to 5 minutes, and then slowly slide your hips back into a brief Child's Pose.

4.) Supported Fish (Sanskrit: Salamba Matsyasana) 

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Ease your way onto your back, with a yoga bolster or one or two pillows or blankets (if you have two, stack one on top of the other). Place the bolster or pillow stack vertically, and sit right at the edge of it. With your knees bent and feet planted on the floor, lie back so that your upper body is supported by the prop. Depending on your height, you might need to stack another bolster, pillow, or blanket to support your head if it doesn't feel completely supported by the first prop. This is a great way to gently and passively open the chest, still the mind, and soothe the nervous system. Stay here between 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Supported Relaxation (Sanskrit: Salamba Savasana)

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Savasana is the ultimate self-care pose. I often hear from students that they don't know what they are "supposed" to be doing in Savasana - and that's the point! You don't need to do anything. You can allow yourself to relax and rest by making the conscious effort to let go of what you are currently worried about.

A "classic" Savasana pose involves lying on your back, so a "supported" version means we add all the props necessary for coziness and support. You can use an eye pillow, have a pillow or folded blanket under your head, prop up your knees with a bolster or a pile of blankets, and cover yourself with a warm blanket. You can also apply an essential oil like lavender to your palms, or put a couple of drops into a diffuser. Do whatever you need to do to relax for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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