3 Yoga Moves That’ll Make You Happy

It’s said that happiness is 40 percent intentional action, so no matter your set point or what circumstances befall you, there are exercises you can do that will make a difference in your mood. You can raise levels of your happiness hormones, like dopamine and serotonin, by taking physical action. In my new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy, I provide a program that will elevate and boost your mood. Here are my top three mood-boosting yoga moves from the book.

Breath of Joy

  • Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Swing your arms up overhead as you take a sip of air in through your nose.
  • Swing your arms out to the side and take another sip of air.
  • Swing your arms up again as you take your third and last sip.
  • Then let your torso swing all the way down on an exhale through your mouth, and swing back up.
  • Repeat for 5 minutes or 12 rounds and you will be laughing and buzzing by the last one.

Jumping Lunges

  • This movement will get your heart rate up. Be like a little kid. Stay light on your fingertips, raise your hips a little, and jump switch your legs.
  • Start in a runner’s lunge position with both palms on the mat.
  • Keep switching legs, increasing the pace as you’re able, for 30 seconds.

Camel Pose (one-arm variation)

  • Begin in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart.
  • Press your shins into the mat and internally rotate your thighs toward the inner thigh area; this will release your back. (NOTE: Avoid clenching your butt.)
  • Place your hands on your lower back for support, and look forward as you lean back, pressing your hips forward.
  • To deepen the pose, you may take one of your hands onto the same heel and arc the opposite arm overhead, reaching back as you gaze at your fingertips. If you do this, hold for several breaths and then switch sides for the same count.
  • If you would like to take the full pose, reach for your heels, one at a time, with your hands.

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