This time of year we tend to spend many more hours of the day indoors, often contributing to a less than rosy complexion. Between the lack of fresh air, the dry heat, and the more sedentary day, we could all definitely use a bit of help to look our best.

Follow these few simple poses to increase your heart rate, improve your circulation, oxygenate your blood, and improve not only your complexion but your mood as well.

Cat/Cow

Always a delicious warm up for the spine, cat/cow teaches us how to link our breath with our movement, and increases circulation. Start on hands and knees and on your inhalation arch your spine, lift your face, and look up. As you exhale, round your spine, tuck your tailbone, drop your head and squeeze all the air out of the body, hollowing the belly. Repeat 5-10 times. 

Downward Dog

Good ole’ dog pose; it never lets us down. Downward Dog is an inversion, so our head is below our heart. Inversions are amazing on many levels. Being upside down increases blood flow to your head, relieving the heart of some of its duties and temporarily lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

Bridge Pose

Another inversion that’s an amazing preparation for both full wheel and shoulderstand. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Press your hips up high, and clasp your hands into a single fist underneath your body (interlacing your fingers). Tuck the shoulders underneath you and lift and expand the chest. 

Seated Forward Bend 

This pose soothes the nervous system, quiets the mind, and relaxes the entire body. If you are stiffer, you can place a pillow or two (or even three) on your legs and rest your head on that. Sit with your legs straight forward and gently breathe your body out over your legs. Ahhhh…

I bet you look (and feel!) much better. Namaste.