When you’re having one of those days when you just can’t seem to shake a bad mood, try these 3 yoga poses. They may help you get out of your funk.
Open your heart with Wheel Pose
Sometimes when you’re in a bad mood, you just need to take deeper breaths and oxygenate your body. Backbends are great heart-openers and they really boost your spirits. This pose will also get your heart rate up which energizes you and helps with crankiness.
Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat. Take your hands back by your ears, fingertips facing forward, and press in to your hands and feet to lift your torso up into a full wheel. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths then lower back down. You can repeat 2 more times if you wish. If full wheel is too tough, do a half wheel instead to reap the benefits.
RELATED: 22 Ways to Get Happy Now
Go upside down with Headstand
One thing you can do to get out of a bad mood is literally switch your perspective by turning upside down. Headstand is one of my favorite poses: It flips a switch in the brain letting all the blood flow in to the head. (Not quite confident about inverting? Read my post 3 Easy Steps to Do a Headstand.)
Start on your hands and knees, place your elbows on the floor and interlace your fingers. Place the crown of your head at the heels of your hands and press firmly into your forearms. The majority of your weight should be in your arms—not your head or neck. Tuck your feet under and walk them in as close as you can before lifting them up one at a time or pulling both knees in to your chest then pressing them skyward. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths before slowly and carefully lowering back down. (If headstand is too challenging for you, standing forward bend has similar effects.) Once you’re back upright, you’ll have a new attitude!
Challenge yourself with Crow Pose
One of the best ways to quit being cranky is to challenge yourself. When you hold yourself in a crazy arm balance, you gain confidence and courage and it can help break your pattern of negative thinking. If you’ve never tried Crow before, watch this video to learn how to do Crow Pose in 4 steps.
Start in a squat position, place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart and lift your hips high. Bend your elbows straight back and squeeze your upper outer arms (or place your knees in your armpits), engage your core, and lift your feet up off the floor. When you take flight, you automatically lift your spirits. Try to hold for 5 breaths and come down to rest when you need. Place a pillow in front of you for a crash pad and even if you topple forward it may just make you laugh and definitely come out of your bad mood. If Crow is too hard, try any yoga pose that challenges you—even Tree Pose.
Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and healthy lifestyle expert based in New York City. She is an ACE certified personal trainer who regularly trains celebrity clients in New York and Los Angeles. She serves as Health’s contributing fitness editor and is frequently seen on national TV. Her latest in a large collection of fitness DVDs is YogaSlim. Follow her on Twitter @KristinMcGee and like her page on Facebook.