Beat stress and get happy with these good-mood moves.
This pose circulates blood to the head and stretches the back. Start on all fours, with hands under your shoulders. Curl your toes, take a breath, and, as you exhale, press into your hands, lifting your hips back. Holding the pose, keep your spine straight (bending your knees if need be) and your weight resting evenly between the legs and arms.
This pose stretches the back and hamstrings. Standing tall with your feet hip-width apart, inhale and sweep your arms overhead. As you exhale, lift your tailbone and begin to bend forward from your hips, sweeping your arms with you as you go down. Keep your spine long and straight as you move, bending at the knees if need be. To return to standing, curl up slowly, one vertebra at a time.
This pose increases leg, back, and arm strength. Standing at the top of your mat, step your right foot back about 4 feet and turn it 90 degrees to the right. Turn your left foot slightly in. Adjust your torso so that it faces to your right, inhale, and raise your arms out, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Exhale, bending your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the mat. Switch sides.
This pose builds core strength and creates heat in the body. Start seated -- legs together, knees bent, feet planted on the floor. Holding the back of your thighs, rock your weight back so it rests between the sitting bones. Lift your feet, knees still bent, keeping your lower back drawn inward. Inhale and extend your legs. Let go of the back of your legs, and extend your arms out parallel to the floor.
This pose opens the chest. Lie on your back with feet planted close to your buttocks, palms on the floor. Breathe in, and, as you exhale, press into your feet to lift your tailbone. Clasp your hands together underneath you and walk your shoulder blades closer together so your weight rests on your posterior shoulders and feet. Lift your hips upward.
This pose lengthens the spine, stretches the tops of your feet, and relaxes your body. Starting on your hands and knees, arms underneath your shoulders, pull your hips back so your buttocks rest on your feet and your torso on your thighs. Keep your forehead on the mat and let gravity help you sink into the pose. Shift your arms to the left and right for a deeper oblique stretch.