Forget waking up on the wrong side of the bed; sometimes 4 p.m. comes and you’re still feeling like a grump. When you just can’t seem to shake off a no good, very bad mood, diving head-first into a little self care might be the anecdote you need. On this week’s episode of Good Moves, Paris Alexandra, co-founder of BK Yoga Club in Brooklyn, shows you how to turn that proverbial frown upside down with vinyasa.
“Today we’re going to create a little bit more heat, so definitely listen to your body, listen to your breath, and continue to challenge yourself today,” says Alexandra at the top of class. By this, she means you’re going to move through some of the heart-pumping poses yoga is known for—like chair pose (Utkatasana) and all the plank variations you can imagine. By the end, you’ll be too sweaty to remember that you were sulking before class.
If you’re not yet convinced that yoga can turn your mood around, it’s worth taking a look at the research. While most studies on yoga have been conducted on smaller groups, a growing body of research suggests that the practice has a positive effect on mood and symptoms of anxiety. What’s more, yoga gets rave anecdotal reviews for making people feel more empowered and at home in their bodies—and researchers have even found that it increases our subjective sense of self-esteem. (Which, in turn, can dial our moods up from a three to an eight.)
But hey, personal experience is the best kind of experience. So if your mood is more rotten than a two-week-old avocado, let Alexandra be your guide. To move through the full sequence of yoga for a bad mood, roll out your mat, grab a sweat towel, and watch the full video.