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6 Mood-Boosting Yoga Poses!

The impending second lockdown, shorter days and dreary weather can affect our mood and motivation. Here are my 6 go-to yoga poses that help instantly boost your energy and mood.

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Backbends are energising and help open the chest and shoulders which is great if you work at a desk. Camel pose also encourages you to concentrate on your breathing which can help leave you feeling invigorated.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Start kneeling with high knees, keeping the knees and feet hip distance apart

2. Press down with the feet

3. Pelvis is neutral and stacks directly over the knees

4. Shoulders in line with heels

5. Lift chest, pull hips forward

6. Hands gently resting on heels

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)

Strong, powerful and grounding! Warrior 2 works the entire body and helps improve your balance and concentration.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Ensure heels are in line

2. Ground into the outer edge of back foot, back foot turned in 45 degrees

3. Stack front knee over ankle

4. Externally rotate hip to corner of mat

5. Arms in line with shoulders

6. Actively reach with fingers and gaze ahead over middle finger

Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge)

Dynamic standing pose which integrates all the muscles in the body. Stretches, strengthens and improves stability and balance.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Align hips parallel to top of the mat

2. Deeply bend front knee, stack knee over ankle

3. Thigh bone parallel to mat

4. Ground all four corners of your foot (big toe, little toe, heel)

5. Push heel away to lengthen back leg

6. Active core - belly draws toward spine

7. Shoulders away from ears, turn little fingers inwards

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Down dog is a great stretch for the entire body. Energising and rejuvenating! Down dog is an inversion (where your heart is higher than head) so you get relieve from headaches, fatigue and it also calms the nervous system.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Fingers spread wide to press the ground away

2. Biceps turning forward, triceps behind

3. Lengthen spine

4. Hips high

5. Active core, belly draws in to spine

6. Heels root towards the floor

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

A standing balance that develops focus and strength. Balance postures require you to use your breath to help calm your mind, avoid distractions and maintain stability. Eagle pose also stretches the shoulders and back while building strength in the lower body.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Ground through balancing foot

2. Deeply bend knees

3. Squeeze inner thighs together

4. Top leg wraps over bottom leg

5. Engage core, keep torso upright

6. Hips parallel, pointing forward

7. Shoulders blades draw apart

8. Press forearms away from face

9. Lift elbows

Balasana (Child‘s Pose)

Child’s pose is a wonderful resting pose. Resting your forehead on the ground helps you connect with your breath, as well as gently stretching your spine and hips.

Step by Step instructions:

1. Sit back and extend hips

2. Lengthen spine

3. Rest forehead

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