If you're suffering from mild depression, a condition that is often marked by lethargy and pessimism, you can boost your mood by standing up and doing an energizing yoga asana like Crescent Pose. "Crescent Pose expands the chest and lifts the heart, helping you release negative energy," says Donna Raskin, a yoga instructor in Rockport, Mass., and author of Yoga Beats the Blues (Fair Winds Press, 2003). Here's how to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Inhale, and as you exhale, bend your right knee and step your left foot back about three feet into a lunge. Keep your right knee aligned with your right heel as you straighten your left leg behind you.
- Drop your shoulders away from your ears and raise your arms up to the sky. Lift your chest and let your heart center expand (shown).
- Hold the pose and take 10 slow, deep breaths, repeating the mantra "calm, peaceful, happy."
- Inhale and step your left foot forward to bring both legs together. As you exhale, bend your left knee and step your right foot back to repeat the sequence on the other side.