Our best days always seem to coincide with our best moods. But with a regular yoga practice, you can boost your mood at any time by simply stepping onto your mat.
After years of teaching and taking numerous yoga classes, it’s clear that yoga has an unparalleled ability to improve one’s state of mind. The practice of yoga helps promote control of the mind and body, allowing us to influence our actions and reactions positively.
Stress and anxiety are common in today’s world, but a regular yoga practice is known to help alleviate these negative emotions and awaken parts of the brain that influence a sense of calmness. These “happy releases” from yoga can leave you feeling more relaxed and stress-free.
While a consistent yoga practice is beneficial for the mind and body, there are specific yoga poses that can quickly and effectively boost your mood. Many of these mood-enhancing poses involve inversions. Inversions offer a different perspective, allowing us to see the world from a new angle and approach challenges with a fresh mindset.
Here are 9 feel-good yoga poses that can elevate your mood:
Table of Contents
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain Pose is empowering and grounding. It increases awareness of your mind/body connection and enhances your ability to be mindful and present, essential for boosting your mood. This pose aids in calming the nervous system, allowing for control over the fight or flight response and aiding in achieving a state of tranquility.
Here’s a simple technique to practice Mountain Pose:
- Begin standing with your feet hip-distance apart and a slight bend in the knees
- Press your toes firmly into the mat for stability
- Raise your arms overhead as you take a deep breath in
- Engage your core and maintain steady breathing
- Relax your shoulders, open your heart, and maintain the pose for 5 breaths, up to 2 minutes
2. Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana I)
This pose helps in releasing stress and negative thoughts, creating space for a clear mind and inner focus, promoting a mood-boosting effect.
Try the Wide Legged Forward Fold pose:
- Start from Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and step your feet out 3-4 feet apart
- Keep your feet parallel and hinge at the hips as you fold forward
- Stay in this position for 5 breaths, up to a full minute
3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward Dog offers a great full-body stretch and serves as a gentle inversion, relieving stress and calming the brain.
Practice Downward Facing Dog:
- Start in Table Top position, then lift into Downward Facing Dog
- Keep your arms and legs straight and strong
- Maintain the pose for 5 breaths, up to 2 minutes
4. Down Dog Crunch (Adho Mukha Svanasana Variation)
This variation of Downward Dog incorporates core engagement, empowering your mind and body.
Here’s how to do Down Dog Crunch:
- Start in Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Lift your right leg and crunch your right knee into your chest
- Repeat 5 times on each side
5. One Leg Plank Pose (Eka Pada Phalakasana)
This pose not only offers a physical workout but also ignites the mind, enhancing your sense of power and balance.
Give One Leg Plank Pose a try:
- Start in Table Top position and transition into One Leg Plank Pose
- Engage your core and maintain the pose with steady breathing
Practicing these 9 feel-good yoga poses can help you regulate your emotions and maintain a positive outlook throughout the day. Integrate them into your yoga routine for an added boost of energy and positivity!
Source: Fitness Amazons
Enhance Your Yoga Practice with These Mood-Boosting Yoga Poses
Yoga is not only fantastic for improving physical well-being but is also a beautiful practice for uplifting one’s mood. Incorporating certain yoga poses into your practice can be especially beneficial for boosting your spirits and relieving stress. Whether you need to recharge your energy or simply seek a moment of tranquility, the following feel-good yoga poses can work wonders for your mood:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Stand tall, rooted into the earth—feel your power and slowly lift one leg. Stay in this pose for 5 breaths and then switch legs.
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra Pose offers heart-opening benefits, fighting fatigue and reducing physical tension while opening up the lungs to invite more oxygen into the body. Here’s how to practice it:
– Lie on your stomach with palms under your shoulders.
– Engage your lower body and press firmly into the mat.
– Slowly lift your chest as you breathe.
– Hold the pose for 5 breaths.
3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This gentle inversion helps reduce anxiety, fight fatigue, and relieve insomnia by calming the brain and tranquilizing the mind. Instructions for this pose include:
– Stand in Mountain Pose, then gradually hinge forward and allow your head to hang heavy.
– Straighten your legs while maintaining a micro bend.
– Stay in the pose for 5 breaths.
4. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Butterfly Pose is a grounding yoga posture that helps clear the mind and release emotional stress. Practice it as follows:
– Sit with the soles of your feet together, holding your feet and gently massaging them with your thumbs.
– Stay in the pose for 5 breaths to one full minute.
5. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This pose is a great stress reliever, promoting better circulation, sharper brain function, and an overall improved mood. Follow these steps to practice:
– Lie close to a wall and gently swing your legs up.
– Optionally place a support beneath your back for added comfort.
– Relax in this pose for 5 breaths to 5 minutes.
These mood-boosting yoga poses are simple yet effective in uplifting your spirits and promoting a sense of well-being. Be sure to make this practice your own, perhaps by adding your favorite yoga music or experimenting with different pose variations. After all, it is YOUR time on the mat. Embrace it, enjoy it, and watch how your mood gets a delightful lift!