All yoga is beneficial but some poses offer specific benefits which can target bad moods and irritability.
I think it's safe to say that most of us can relate to being on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions lately. We can go from feelings of gratitude, grief, sadness to feeling completely calm in what feels like a matter of minutes.
When those bad feelings hit, whether they are feelings of irritability or being completely overwhelmed, firstly it's important to know that we are all going through a shared traumatic experience right now, so don't beat yourself up for not feeling your best all the time - cut yourself a lot of slack. Secondly, having some healthy coping mechanisms under your belt is vital and will help you to work through this difficult time.
Yoga has a wide range of benefits - even doing a ten-minute flow from YouTube is enough to bring a moment of peace and stillness into a hectic day. However, there are some poses which can help to bring you out of a particularly bad mood. Here are three that we love:
Extended Child's Pose (Balasana)
This is one of my favourite positions in yoga - an instant mood booster. It's a great one for stretching your hips, thighs, and ankles and according to yogaoutlet.com, it "centers, calms, and soothes the brain, making it a therapeutic posture for relieving stress" as well as releasing any tension or fatigue in the body.
Begin in a tabletop position (on all fours). Stretch your knees to the width of your yoga mat and move your hips back. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly allow yourself to melt into your yoga mat.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This is one of the most recognizable poses in yoga and it feels so good if you've had a particularly stressful day. According to yogiapproved.com:
This pose helps fight fatigue and boosts your mood by relieving stress and also reducing physical tension in the upper body. Cobra is also an excellent lung opener, allowing more oxygen into the body which in turn nourishes the brain.
As a lot of us hold tension and stress in our upper body, this is a great one to release all of that pent up tension, giving us a feeling of relief and relaxation. To get into this pose, start by lying on your front with your palms underneath your shoulders and your elbows tucked in to your sides. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, stretch out your arms, rise up slowly and look straight ahead. You can keep your elbows bent or straighten them out into full cobra. In order to get the full benefits of this pose, make sure the tops of your feet, thighs and pubic bone are pressing down into the mat and your core is engaged.
Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana) With Breath of Fire (Agni Pran)
If you're not feeling stressed out so much as you are feeling super irritated or even angry, this is a fantastic pose to release all of that emotion in a healthy way. According to yogiapproved.com:
Sukhasana helps you get grounded, which is the first step in releasing negative emotions. Breath of Fire deeply focuses the mind, detoxifies the body, and shifts the energy so you can let. it. go.
Plus it couldn't be easier. Simply come into a comfortable seat and begin to breathe deeply through your nostrils. This will allow you to come into the moment. Once you feel grounded, take your hand to your tummy and take a deep breath in through your nose. Then, exhale in short burst through your nostrils, making sure your belly is moving in and out as you go. If you find this difficult, slow it right down.
If you're a beginner, here is a great tutorial. It's important to note that people with respiratory infections, spinal disorders, cardiac problems and pregnant women should not attempt this breathing technique.
Will you be trying any of these yoga poses?