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MOOD BOOST: The ‘king’ of all yoga poses

Maria Santangelo, yoga tutor at The Third Space, recommends this Monday-morning pose

by Psychologies

'Though it might be difficult at first, with practice this pose could become a vital part of your Monday morning routine. Once in the pose, breathing naturally deepens and slows down, reducing stress and anxiety, while the increased supply of blood to the brain and most importantly the pituitary gland improves well being and concentration.'

Practise with a wall in front of you at first and always on an empty stomach.

1. Start by kneeling. Place your elbows on the floor. Line them up with your shoulders. Fix them securely in place.

2. Interlace your fingers, cup the back of your head in your palms and rest the crown of your head on the floor.

3. Push the floor away with your elbows and simultaneously tuck toes, lift knees and straighten legs. If legs are tight keep the knees soft.

4. Continue to push down with the elbows evenly. Walk your knees into your chest.

5. Pull your abs in strongly, exhale and lift your heels to buttocks.

6. Abs gripping, exhale and unfold your knees, bringing them over your hips and shoulders.

7. Finally, exhale and unfold your heels away from your buttocks. Your whole body should now be in one straight line, feet relaxed. The mood-enhancing benefits increase the longer you hold the pose. At first the arms are used to take the weight off the neck. Over time most of the weight is sustained by the top of the head and the arms are used to help maintain balance only. This should not be practised with high blood pressure or during heavy menstruation.

The Third Space has recently opened a new health club in Marylebone, London.

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