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How to Lift Your Mood With Yoga

So, here I am, off my game. My get up and go got up and went, as one of my favourite bumper stickers says.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any yoga. A couple of weeks ago I took part in a ten day challenge.

All we had to do was lie on blocks for at least five minutes every day. After allowing myself to sink into the pose for a couple of minutes, I would either extend my arms over my head so that my thumbs touched the floor and my biceps were to either side of my ears, or I would clasp my upper arms just above the elbow and slide them on the ground, extending them away from my head to get a deeper chest opening and maximum elongation of the side body.

By pressing the balls of my feet into a real or imaginary floor (the wall or an imaginary wall as if standing in Tadasana), you can get a nice oppositional complementarity, which brings an full-body integrity to the pose, engaging your core.

I typically followed that up by making a loop in my strap around the span of my outer shoulders, putting my arms through it behind my back and extending them up and back while trying to break the loop with my arms.

These two chest openers did wonders for my mood. Though I didn’t have the steam for too much else, I at least got a little bit of opening in.

And you don’t have to be down to feel the lift. Chest openers have a calming influence and restore a sense of joy and well-being. The effects can be quite dramatic, though subtle. Meaning that if you’re not tuned into yourself, you might miss the effect. Don’t worry, though, your body won’t!

Che Nolan is a propologist with a major in bolsterology and an Iyengar yoga practitioner with a daily meditation practice. He is also a writer and a regular Halfmoon contributor.