We enlist the help of Irish yoga extraordinaire, Valerie Kent, to school us in the art of happy yoga poses, as part of International Happiness Day. Follow her tips below and ‘feel the happiness flow’…
A regular yoga practice can help to elevate your mood. But sometimes we need a quick happiness boost. Try this simple three pose sequence to give you a little lift any time of day.
Before you start to move, take a few moments in a comfortable cross-legged seat (Sukasana). Connect with your breath. Observe yourself without judgment. Allow yourself to soften. Set a simple intention to open yourself to happiness. Ideally, warm up with a few rounds of Sun Salutations.
1. Downward Facing Dog ( Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Come to Downward Facing Dog. Place your hands shoulder distance apart. Spread your fingers. Ground your feet hip distance apart. Root your toes down firmly into your mat and draw energy upwards through your body. Breath deeply for 3 – 5 breaths.
From Downward Facing Dog, as you exhale, step your right foot forward to your right thumb. Spin your back heel to the floor. Inhale and windwill your arms open at shoulder height. Stack your torso right over your pelvis. Ensure your right knee is directly over your right ankle. Soften the back of your right thigh towards the floor. Open your collarbones, chest and hips towards the long side of your mat. Lift from your armpits to your fingertips. Lengthen your spine with each cycle of breath. Take 3 -5 breaths here.
3. Reverse Warrior II (Viparita Virabhadrasana II)
On an exhale, keeping your legs strong and steady, float your right hand upwards with your palm facing skywards. Lean your upper body back, opening expansively through the ribs and sides of the waist. Allow your left fingertips to travel down your back leg. Fill your lungs deeply for 3 – 5 breaths.
On an exhale, cartwheel your hands to the floor either side of your right foot and step back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat the sequence the left side. Do as many cycles as you need.
When you are finished, find a comfortable seat once again. Join your hands in front of your heart and revisit your intention. Feel the happiness flow!
For more, head to Valerie’s blog, PranaYoga.ie