Yoga can be a huge gift for moms-to-be as they cope with overwhelming changes, according to a new study from Brown University. Without any other kind of counseling and therapy, the women in the study practiced in class and at home. The more yoga they did, the better they felt mentally.

What works for moms can work for all of us!

Yoga’s ability to help us feel better – mind, body, and soul – is a 5,000-year old tradition. As we look to support our wellbeing naturally, some Western medical professionals are also actually starting to prescribe yoga as a treatment for feeling down – everything from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to clinical depression to the average glum mindset when the alarm goes off in the morning. 

Here are three poses that anyone can do – anytime, anywhere – to try to feel less blue and sunnier, instead. 

Shine On

Based on the total body awakener of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), Shine On turns your arms into antennae to lift up your heart energy.

Take a big inhale through your nose, and at the same time, raise your arms above your head with your palms facing forward to open your lungs.

Exhale through your nose and allow your arms to come down by your side.

Repeat to get oxygen and good vibes flowing, matching your movements to your breathing.

Flap and Fly

This one will make you laugh pretty quickly! At the same time, this ancient method and movement can help you connect to a positive flow of energy and release negative feelings.

Reach your arms out in a “T” position from your heart and shoulders, with your palms facing down.  Keep them there.

Begin to flap your hands, only moving from your wrists.

You’ll probably start smiling spontaneously!

Rock Your Heart

When you feel balanced in love, you feel your best. This rocking motion nurtures yourself and helps you feel more loving and compassionate toward others, too. 

Sit up straight in a chair, and place your hands on your hips.

Inhale through your nose and lift your chest, letting the front of your heart rise.  Roll your shoulders back and behind you at the same time.

Exhale through your nose and curl into yourself, tucking your chin inward and feeling a stretch across the back of your heart.

These poses are adaptations from real yoga practices with new, modern names you can remember. You’ll find them, and more, in “Sunny Side Up,” just one chapter in my just-released book, Happy-Go-Yoga – simples poses to relieve pain, reduce stress, and add joy. Enjoy!