If you are feeling in need of a mood boost, and you’re looking to focus on the good in your life – roll out your mat and try the 6 poses outlined below.
Each one comes with an affirmation (2 for the sided poses). Repeat these words to yourself as you relax into the pose. Take note of how the words make you feel. If they’re easy to believe or if there is some resistance. Have a journal handy to work through what comes up.
Hold each pose for anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes.
You will want to have 2 blocks handy or a bolster. If you don’t have yoga props you could also use some couch cushions or thick books.
1. Supported Fish – Set up the blocks on your mat, so that one will be under the upper back and the other is under the back of the head. Lower down on to the props. Choose whether you want to bring the legs straight out or take a butterfly hip opener. Take some time to get comfortable so that you can hold the pose.
Affirmation: “My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy.”
2. Caterpillar Fold – Come to seated, extending the legs out in front of you. Have the feet about hip width apart, and keep a bend in the knees if it feels good. Start to passively fold forward, letting the back round. Turning the palms up so you aren’t tempted to push and pull. If you are close to the floor you can support your head with the props, or choose to dangle and let gravity pull you deeper.
Affirmation: “Good things are coming my way. I am ready.”
3. Swan Pose – From hands and knees, bring the left hand behind the left wrist. Stretch the right leg back behind you. Square off the hips and pelvis (using your props under the left hip if needed). Stay up or fold forward. Relax the upper body, back, shoulders. If it is too intense, take a seated version instead – crossing the left ankle over the right knee.
Affirmation: “I choose to feel optimistic, confident, and capable.”
Ease out, take your time to stretch or do any gentle movements. Then set up on the other side.
Affirmation: “Joy is my birth right.”
4. Saddle Pose – Bring the shins and femurs parallel to the outer edges of the mat. Bringing the feet outside of the hips, pressing the tops of the feet down on the mat. Lift and tuck your tail underneath. You might feel enough sensation here, or lower yourself down on to some blocks (similar to supported fish pose).
Affirmation: “I trust that my life is unfolding exactly as it should.”
5. IT Band Stretch – Lay down, crossing the left ankle over the right knee. Push the left knee away. Lower your right thigh to the floor or a block. Keep the left knee pointing up to the sky, maybe using your right hand to push the knee gently. Open the left arm out to the side. Get a stretch through your left hip and maybe waist.
Affirmation: “I choose to see the good in every situation.”
Ease back to center, switch legs and repeat.
Affirmation: “My creative potential is endless.”
6. Bananasana – Straighten the legs out, move the hips to the left. Walk your heels to the right. Bring your head and shoulders to the right, creating a C shape with the body. Bringing the arms up overhead, maybe clasping opposite forearms. Keep the left hip pushing down, and everything facing up to the ceiling.
Affirmation: “I am unique and it is my greatest strength.”
Ease to the other side.
Affirmation: “Life supports me in every possible way.”
Want to just get on your mat and not worry about what pose to do when, practice along with me in full 45 minute yin yoga class below.