A Yoga Workout for Your Happiness

When you need more pep before heading out for the evening or want to unwind after a frantic day, try this unique yoga routine. Simple tweaks, such as changing your hand position or the speed of your breath, can make traditional yoga poses either more invigorating or more relaxing, depending on your needs.

Workout at a Glance

What you need: A yoga mat, plus an armless chair and a yoga block for the relaxing version (yoga props, $12 to $40; gaiam.com)

How to do it: Choose the routine that fits your goal and do the sequence twice, holding each pose for 60 seconds. If that's too long, relax when needed and then resume the pose. You can do this practice as often as needed.

Breathing basics: To rev up a pose, take fast, shallow breaths through your nose, about 50 per minute. To calm down, breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, about 12 to 15 breaths per minute. 

The Expert: Mandy Ingber, star of the DVD Yogalosophy (and personal instructor of Jennifer Aniston), designed this workout.


Stand with feet about 3 feet apart, left foot turned out. Extend arms out to sides. Lean to the left, lowering left hand to shin and right arm up toward ceiling. Repeat to opposite side.

Stand with feet together, then sit back, bending knees and leaning forward slightly with back flat, arms extended overhead, palms facing in.

Hold a push-up position, weight on balls of feet and hands, wrists directly below shoulders, arms straight, and body in line from head to heels.

Try these 10 muscle-strengthening yoga poses for firmer body.

Forward Bend
With feet hip-width apart, bend forward at hips. Bring chest toward thighs and fingertips to floor. Bend knees if needed.

While sitting, lean torso back, lifting legs so shins are parallel to floor; torso and thighs form a V. Reach arms alongside calves.

Lie faceup with knees bent and feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Lift hips toward ceiling so body is in line from shoulders to knees.
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