5 Yoga Poses to Help Manage Your Mood

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Once it a while, a bad mood's gonna strike. That's just life. Luckily there's a lot you can do to help turn it around — starting with rolling out your yoga mat.

Yoga has some pretty powerful mood-boosting benefits, including releasing those oh-so-blissful endorphins. Next time you're out of sorts, give one of these five poses a try.

Feeling defeated? Regain confidence with warrior two

This pose is named "warrior" for a reason! Do it with your full concentration and commitment, and you'll feel more powerful within a few breaths. Your evenly spaced feet keep you centered, while your fully extended arms act as a reminder that you deserve to take up space. And the biggest influence here is your gaze: It’s strong and focused. Your mind will follow.

Try it: Stand tall with your legs spread a few feet apart, left leg in front. Point your left foot forward and angle your right foot 90 degrees forward. Bend your front knee deeply. Straighten your left arm forward, right arm back, palms facing downward, and look over your left fingertip. Pause here for a few breaths, then switch sides.

Overwhelmed by your to-do list? Get grounded in tree pose.

Concentration is essential to finding balance in tree pose. You'll be amazed by how a scattered brain instantly calms down as you steady yourself on one leg. When you lift your arms, like the proud branches of an oak tree, you’ll know you can conquer all of life’s demands.

Try it: Standing with feet hips-width apart, shift your weight into the left foot. Lift your right leg, bend the knee toward the right and place your foot on your calf (or higher if you're comfortable). When you're ready, lift your arms toward the sky.

Down in the dumps? Find joy in happy baby.

The name of this pose says it all. The act of lying on your back and gripping your feet in the air, like a playful infant, can immediately bring a smile to your face. And if rocking in this pose induces a giggle or two, let it happen.

Try it: Rest on your back and bend your knees toward your armpits. Lift your feet directly over your knees. Reach your ankles or feet and grasp them in the way that is comfortable for you.

A little anxious? Quiet the world in child’s pose.

Yoga teachers remind students to take child’s pose whenever they need to rest during a flow. Putting your forehead on the ground minimizes sensory stimulation—which is exactly what you need when anxiety strikes. Plus, it’s comfy enough to stay in as long as you’d like.

Try it: Kneel on the earth with your knees slightly apart and big toes touching, then press your seat to your feat. Place your palms on the floor and walk them forward until your arms fully extend and your forehead presses toward the floor.

Energy depleted? Get a boost in upward-facing dog.

Upward-facing dog is just the pose you need to climb out of a slump. Holding yourself up through strong arms and tight abs will revitalize a sluggish body. The pose also opens up your chest, filling your lungs with energizing oxygen. Try moving between downward-facing dog, plank and upward-facing dog a few times for a full battery recharge.

Try it: Lying face down on the floor, place your hands directly beneath your shoulders and straighten your elbows to lift your torso straight up and thighs off the floor. Clench your glutes, pull your shoulder blades together, point your toes and breathe deeply.

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Finally, drawing on the poses and routines you've learned above, develop a personalized yoga routine that accommodates the realities of a 21st-century life. Keep sight of these three principles: breathe deliberately, move in non-habitual ways, and pursue mindful awareness.
Meet yoga instructor Caley Alyssa and follow her through six yoga sessions, each with a different goal and focus. From AM to PM to Stretch to Core, Transcend’s offerings go beyond the generic yoga class and are guaranteed to fit your specific needs and interests.
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Even downward-facing dog can be adapted to office life — no mat necessary!
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5 Yoga Poses to Help Manage Your Mood