3 Ways to Beat a Bad Mood With Yoga

09/04/2014 at 01:24 PM ET

Mood Boosting Yoga
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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.

Photo: Appcession
Appcession

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.

Photo: Appcession
Appcession

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.

Photo: Appcession
Appcession

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

Health.com

Get healthy now with energizing moves, easy recipes, expert tips and tools, and advice on losing weight and feeling great. Find out how to manage conditions like diabetes and depression, stop allergies, prevent heart attacks, and more.

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FILED UNDER: Expert Tips , Fitness , Health

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Showing 4 comments

Brooke on

People who practice yoga need to understand that they are participating in the worship of hindu deities. Each pose is an offering to one of the many hindu gods. Yoga is not just innocent stretching exercises.

Amy on

This article is idiotic. All three of the poses suggested are quite advanced. You’re going to cause a lot of injuries if non-yoga practicing readers decide to randomly give them a shot.

Kat on

No Brooke, that would be the same as saying anyone who puts their hands together is praying to Jesus. It’s not that simple.

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