Yoga isn’t just an amazing workout to help tighten and tone your physique; it actually packs all kinds of additional health benefits beyond fitness. In fact, studies have shown that it boosts heart health, can help manage diabetes symptoms, and increases brain power. It can even help improve mental health by swapping negative feelings of anxiety and depression for positive ones.
Watch this video to see celebrity yoga instructor Mandy Ingber teach a couple of yoga routines inspired by her new book Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. Each is designed to increase your happiness and levels of joy. Namaste!
Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:
Warm up: Start off in a seated cross-legged position. Move the fleshy part of the butt to the side. Take a deep breath in, interlace your fingers, and then flip your palms up, drawing your shoulders down. If you’d like, take a gentle twist from your torso to the right. Then back though the center. And switch sides. Focus on your breath as you do this and just start to notice how just connecting with your breath makes you feel a little more calm.
Cat cow: Come on to all fours in a tabletop position. Place palms directly below the shoulders, knees directly below the hips. Then inhale, arch your back, and lift the chest up. Then exhale while scooping the tailbone under and rounding the spine. Every time you open and expand the chest, take a deep breath, so you increase your lung capacity, and have more happiness and joy. Repeat this a couple times.
Arm and leg extension: After cat cow, come back to a neutral spine. Then extend the left arm forward, spinning you palm into a handshake position. And then take the right leg back behind you, flexing out through the heel. Look straight ahead, spinning your toes towards the mat. Remember to take deep breaths the entire time and stabilize the body using your abdominals. Then bring your palm to the floor and your knee to the floor and switch sides. Repeat a few times on each side.
Child’s pose: Press your hips back towards your heels on the floor in child’s pose. Walk the palms forward with the tip of the nose and your forehead down on the mat.
Downward dog: From child’s pose, tuck the toes and push into a downward facing dog. In this position, you want a nice, straight spine. If you need to bend your knees a little, go ahead and do that.
Plank: Shift forward into a plank position, with palms directly below the shoulders. Stabilize using your abdominals, and graze your ribs with your elbows, lowering down nice and slow, all the way to the floor.
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Sphinx pose: Then place the forearms down on the mat. Now press into your forearms, roll your shoulders back, and lift your chin and chest up. As you breathe, you're actually opening up the chest cavity. This is a heart opener, and any time you do this, you start to raise your energy levels.
Flow: From here, lower down, press back into child’s pose, then tuck your toes under lift your hips up into downward facing dog. Then shift the weight forward into plank position. Lower down nice and slow, resisting the floor as you lower. Elbows hug into the ribs. Press your forearms into the mat and come back into Sphinx pose. Then tuck your toes under, and push yourself into downward facing dog.
Repeat the flow sequence three total times.
Sun salutations: From here, go ahead and walk your feet up to your hands. Then roll up nice and slow, one vertebra at a time, until your shoulders roll back. Take a deep breath in, and swoop your arms up. This is the cardiovascular version of yoga. Exhale while folding down, abs stay nice and firm. Bring your hands to the floor or the shins. Inhale as you lift the chest. Then exhale as you place palms to the floor. Next, step back, and get into plank position. Resist as you lower your body down to the ground. Once you reach your mat, inhale, arch and lift, then exhale as you press back to downward facing dog. Repeat this sequence.
Warrior one: Extend your left leg behind you and step the foot all the way forward to the hands. Spin the back heel to a diagonal and reach the arms up. Your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle, the outer edge of the back foot is pressing into the mat. Start to feel your strength. These warrior poses are going to give you a connection to your power.
Warrior two: After three breaths, open out into warrior two. Be sure to align your front heel with your back arch, so it's as if you could draw a line down the center of your mat. Then sink down into the position so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Press your shoulders down and extend out through your fingertips.
Reverse warrior: Reach your back hand down to your back thigh. Reverse warrior is a great position because it opens the chest.
Side angle: Now go into side angle pose: Take your forearm down onto your thigh. And reach the opposite arm up. You should feel this in your thigh.
Then flip it and do the entire sequence (warrior one, warrior two, reverse warrior, and side angle) on the right side.
Crescent pose: Reach the arms up. Take a deep breath in, and on the exhale shift the weight forward. Bring the hands down by your sides.
Warrior three: From crescent pose, slowly launch off into warrior three. Extend through the crown of your head and your foot. Then slowly bring yourself down to crescent lounge, followed by downward facing dog.
Downward dog ab strengthener: From downward dog, reach your right leg back behind you. Then shift forward and bring your knee into the forehead. Then extend the leg back and bring the same knee to your tricep. Repeat this criss-cross a few times.
Repeat sequence (crescent, warrior three, ab strengthener) on the opposite side.
Forearm plank: Lower down to your forearms and come into a plank. Look straight ahead and focus on building that core strength.
Boat position: From plank, go down to the knees and shift the weight back. Sit on your tush and grab onto the hamstrings. Then lift your feet off of the mat, so that your feet and knees are lined up over each other. Think about pushing your lower back in and extending the sternum up. Be sure to breathe while you're here. Extend and reach the arms out in front of you. Keep reaching and lifting for a few deep breaths.
Then get onto your back. Tuck the knees into your chest, and just rock it out a little bit.
Bridge pose: Place your feet on the mat, hip width apart, with your heels right below your knees. Then press your feet down in order to raise you hips up. Interlace your fingers and wriggle up onto your shoulders, opening that chest cavity. Every time that we open the chest it allows more space, more oxygen into the lungs. And more space for your heart. Good. Hold this for a couple deep breaths.
Stretch and savasana: From here you're going to hug your knees into your chest. Then keep the right knee held into the chest while the left leg lengthens and extends out. Allow your shoulders to relax, allow your jaw to go slack. Bring your leg back through the center, and switch. Finally, close your eyes for a moment, imagine someone that you really love, and let yourself feel that feeling of love.