Need to boost your mood? Try this yoga sequence.
In the middle of winter when the skies are gray and the temperatures are low, it’s easy for a lot of us to slip into a funky mood. If you’ve found yourself feeling moody lately and you’re looking for a way to boost your mood, give yoga a try. The below poses are heart-opening and uplifting, designed to make you feel much lighter and happier right away. And who wouldn’t want more of those feelings this time of year?
Move through the poses below and feel happier today! Remember to repeat each pose on both sides.
By Jenny Sugar
Seated Shoulder Stretch
Begin at the front of your mat in a comfortable, cross-legged seated position. Interlace your hands as you raise your arms overhead, pressing your palms toward the sky. Gaze at your hands, breathing deeply into the chest for five cleansing breaths.
Seated Heart Opener
From the Seated Shoulder Stretch, sit on the shins with the knees touching. Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor behind you with your fingertips pointing away. Press your hands firmly into the ground and lift your chest, arch your back, and lower your head behind you. Enjoy this heart opener for five breaths.
From the Seated Heart Opener, lift your torso and plant your hands on the floor in Down Dog position. Step your feet back, bend your elbows behind you, and lower down into Chaturanga. Inhale your chest forward and hold here in Upward Facing Dog for five deep breaths.
From Up Dog, lift your hips and press back into Downward Facing Dog. Step both feet together and inhale to raise your right leg up to the sky, keeping your shoulders parallel with the ground. Stay here for five breaths.
From Arching Three-Legged Dog, slowly lower your right leg to the floor behind you as you simultaneously raise your right arm in the air. You’re essentially rotating your body 180 degrees so your belly is pointing up toward the ceiling. Readjust your feet if you need to so they are parallel and slightly wider than hips-width distance apart.
Press firmly into your feet to lift your hips high, engaging your glutes and hamstrings, and extend your right arm over your face. Hold here for five complete breaths, gazing at your extended hand or up toward the ceiling.
From Extended Tabletop, inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up. Raise your arms up, and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up toward your hands. Stay here for five breaths.
From Warrior 1, gently arch back and lower your left hand, resting it on the left hip or the back of your left leg. Raise your right arm overhead, feeling the stretch through the right side of your body. Continue to lower your hips, pressing your front knee forward so it’s directly over your right ankle. Remain here for five complete breaths.
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All images courtesy of POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson.