We have more control over our emotions than we may realize. To quote Dale Carnegie, “Happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.” Think happy thoughts.
Here are a few Yoga poses that will improve your mood and brighten your day.
This vigorous breathing exercise keeps everything moving!
· Stand in Mountain pose with feet about shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Spine is tall and elongated; roll shoulders down away from the ears.
· Inhale through your mouth and fling your arms and hands open, fingertips pointing away from you.
· Lift the chin and look up.
· Exhale through your mouth as you bend forward at the waist, clasping the hands together in front of the chest.
· Tuck your chin and lower your head, taking care to keep the neck in line with the spine. Repeat up to 12 times, increasing the pace as your muscles warm up and loosen.
· Energizes the entire body
· Relieves tension in the back and neck
· Increases flexibility of the spine
· Great warm-up for any activity
Sit taller and breathe deeper with a few rounds of Blade.
· Sit on a mat or chair in any comfortable position with a tall, elongated spine; roll shoulders down and away from the ears.
· Inhale, bringing your arms to each side at shoulder level in a T position.
· Exhale and bend your elbows so the hands move toward each other in front of the heart center. Tips of the middle fingers are close or lightly touching.
· Inhale, gradually pushing your elbows back so the hands move away from one another. Feel the shoulder blades squeeze together as the chest opens.
· Exhale, moving the hands back to the front of the chest.
· Slowly repeat 3–5 times. Coordinate breath and movement, inhaling as the hands move away and exhaling as they come together.
· When complete, let your arms fall to your sides.
· Tones and strengthens the pectoral muscles
· Releases tension between the shoulder blades
· Improves posture and prevents slouching
· Blade opens the chest, expanding lung capacity and increasing energy
Stuck in line? Don’t just stand there . . . do some gentle Standing Backbends.
· Stand in Mountain pose with a tall, elongated spine; roll shoulders down and away from the ears.
· Legs are shoulder-width apart, insteps parallel.
· Place palms on the low back, fingers pointing down. Gently draw the elbows toward each other, opening the chest.
· Inhale. Exhale as you press the hips forward and arch backward, raising your chest and head. Head is in line with the spine or dropped back if there is no strain on the neck.
· Hold for 5–7 breaths.
· Slowly return to Mountain pose.
· Repeat once more.
Optional: Clasp your hands behind the low back. While in Standing Backbend, lift the hands to where you feel a comfortable stretch along the upper arms and front of the chest.
· Expands lung capacity and boosts energy levels
· Increases flexibility of the spine and improves posture
· Supports cardiovascular health
· Strengthens the low back