Yoga is a great mood booster that also increases blood flow, mobility, strength and balance.
Do yoga poses at least three days per week to see the happy benefits. Never force a pose and always feel your breath. *Here’s three poses you should try now:
1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana): Sit cross legged on the floor with your heart open (fold blankets to lift hips higher if you feel tightness in your back). Relax your shoulders and focus on your breath for 5-10 breaths. Switch your leg position with the opposite leg forward and repeat. This is a calming pose that also strengthens the stabilizing muscles along the spine.
2. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Start in a kneeling position with hands wider than shoulders. Curl toes under and slowly lift hips towards sky – keeping knees bent at first. Press shoulders down away from ears as you reach through your fingers. Let the top of your head hang as you start to straighten your legs and press heels towards floor. Keep lengthening through both sides of your waist and focus on your breath. This energizing pose improves digestion and helps prevent osteoporosis while strengthening arms, back, and quadriceps and stretching hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.
3. Tree Pose (Vrksasana): Place your foot at ankle, calf, or inner thigh while finding your balance. Squeeze your glutes as you open your knee, lengthen your spine, lift your chest, and roll your shoulders back and down. Let your standing foot move to find your balance but visualize it rooting down into the earth. This pose increases balance while strengthening thighs, ankles, and core stabilizers and stretching inner thigh and chest.
*Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. There are contradictions with some of these poses if you are pregnant, have high or low blood pressure, or are having digestive issues, etc.