Regular exercise whether it's walking, dancing, or sweating it out at the gym is a proven mood booster. But these three exercises specifically target your mood by focusing on opening the chest, home of the heart. "The heart chakra is considered the 'sunshine' center of the body because it governs the heart and lungs two organs that promote circulation and are in charge of heating us up," says Ellen Barrett, mind-body fitness expert and creator of the Barefoot Cardio fitness DVD. "In the cold, dark days of winter where we get no sunshine, we hunch forward more (over a steaming cup of tea or when we're shivering) and the heart chakra actually closes a little, making us feel uninspired." To keep your physical and metaphorical heart open and strong, Barrett suggests the following three exercises, one for morning, noon, and night.
What it does: Opens your chest, which also opens your physical and metaphorical heart. Restores the curve in your lower spine, which gets flattened out when you spend all day sitting, and helps your spine support you better. It's a great way to start your day try it before you get out of bed.
How to do it: Lying on your stomach, prop your torso up on your forearms with your elbows four to six inches in front of your shoulders. Gently press your palms in to the mattress. Lift the crown of your head up, reach your chest forward, and move your shoulder blades down your back as you press the tops of your feet in to the bed and reach your tailbone toward your feet so that your spine is nice and long. Stay here, looking straight ahead, for at least five deep breaths and as long as two minutes.