Have you ever had one of those days when you're just in a mood? For unknown reasons you feel stressed, anxious, irritated, and/or tired. And no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to break the funk.
Studies show that a lack of oxygenated-blood to the brain can negatively affect a person's mood. Luckily, yoga can help with that! Stretching releases endorphins and can increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood. Taking time to do yoga poses throughout the day will improve blood circulation and your mood.
If you aren't feeling like yourself and need a boost, don't despair! Try these five yoga poses. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how getting in a good stretch will help to turn that frown upside down.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Fish pose opens up the chest and throat, allowing the oxygen-rich blood to flow to the back of the throat and into the brain. Fish pose can help manage anxiety levels and reduce aches and pains that may be causing your bad mood. Doing fish pose right before bed is a great way to get a good night's rest and prepare you for the next day.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
Child's pose is common in most yoga practices for a good reason: It is restful and great for the brain. The pose creates a dome-like shape that stretches the back, hips, and thighs. The stretch helps release endorphins and calm the mind.
Inversions like downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), big toe (Padangusthasana), and headstand (Sirsasana) all help to maintain and lower blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. These poses are also therapeutic for managing symptoms associated with hormone challenges.
Boat pose is a great way to build a stronger core and strengthen all of your limbs. There's a lot going on in the pose—think of an actual boat fighting the stormy seas. In your practice, you are fighting negative thoughts in your mind. Stay strong and focus on the breath. Calm seas are ahead; you just have to believe in it.
Poses like tree (Vriksasana) or eagle (Garudasana) require concentration, taking your attention away from troubles of the mind. Focusing on the breath helps you to stay in the moment and also keep your balance, both literally and figuratively.