Yoga For Better Mood
It is common knowledge that not only does exercising help you look good; it also makes you feel good. Many people start working out for the outward physical benefits and feeling comfortable in their softest workout leggings and later realize how much better they feel in the long run. I know after a few days without physical activity, I tend to feel a little sluggish and maybe even a little down. If you’re in a slump or just having trouble finding the time to get to the gym, yoga might be the answer. It’s a great mood booster and can help with anything, from anxiety to depression. You can also do it right in your living room.
The biggest reason yoga is such a mood booster is because of how focused on your breath it is. It helps to moderate your stress and anxiety by forcing you to think about your breathing, so your breath is more controlled and also helps to slow down your heart rate. It also boosts gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which slows down your brain activity and allows your mind to relax. When you are low on GABA, it’s harder for your brain to shut off, so you can’t stop thinking about all those stressors in your life. I know when I’m not stressed or anxious, I feel much better and am happier.
Several poses will specifically help with boosting your mood. Try a couple of them when you’re in a workout slump or just wanting something a little different.
- Try Bow Pose: Lie on the ground on your stomach. Lift your torso and bend your knees. Grab the outside of your ankles. Hold the pose for several breaths.
- Tree With Back Arch: To perform, start in mountain pose, then bend your left knee. Open your knee from the hip out to the left side. Then place your foot on the inside of your right thigh or shin. For safety purposes, do not put your foot on your knee. It’s best to place your foot on your shin if you can’t reach your thigh. Clasp your hands behind you and inhale and lift your chest a little higher. Exhale and arch your back more. Stay here for several breaths.
- Child’s Pose: A less strenuous pose is the child’s pose. Kneel with your knees apart, and your toes are touching. Place your hands at the front of your mat and lean your torso forward. If you can, allow your forehead to rest on the ground.
- Legs Up Wall: To perform, sit next to the wall then lie on your side facing away from the wall with your backside as close to the wall as possible. Lift your legs up the wall as you roll onto your back with your arms at your sides. Hold the pose for several breaths.
These poses will help you to focus on breathing, which will calm your mind and, improve your mood substantially. They are easily done in your own home and only take a matter of minutes. I hope you enjoy them!