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Yoga Poses to Help You Feel Lighter

Boat Pose

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Begin seated on your mat with your knees bent in front of you and your feet flat on the ground. Reach your arms forward so that your hands brush the sides of your knees, palms face up. Lean back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Slowly lift your feet off of the ground as you straighten your legs, forming a "V" with your body. Open your chest and engage your abdominal muscles to hold the position. Breathe here for at least 10 deep breaths.

See also: Spring-Friendly Yoga Poses That Make You Feel More Open

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Chair Pose Variation

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Begin standing in mountain pose with big toes together. Bend knees, sink hips back like you're sitting down in a chair, and reach arms high, framing face. Look in front of knees and make sure you can see your toes. If you can't, sit hips back until you can. Come on to the balls of your feet. Drop shoulders away from ears, look up slightly, and pull belly in to engage core. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Warrior Three Variation

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Begin in a fold forward, walk hands underneath shoulders, and place them on the floor or blocks. Keeping your knees soft, shift weight into the left foot and lift right leg behind you. Reach through right heel and internally rotate right thigh down so toes point toward the ground. When you feel steady, lift your arms one at a time and take your palms together in a prayer at your chest. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Eagle Pose

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Stand hugging right knee to chest and allowing a bend in left knee. Wrap right leg around left leg, hooking right foot on side of left leg. Wrap right arm under left arm and press palms together, fingertips facing up. Sit down low while keeping hips square, and lift up through the elbows and fingertips. Keep upper arms parallel to the ground and fingertips reaching away from face. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Slowly unwind and repeat on the other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Half Moon Pose

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Begin in a supported warrior III on right leg with both hands on the ground underneath shoulders (or on blocks if needed). Keep right fingertips on the ground (or block), open left hip on top of right, and turn torso to the left. Extend left arm straight up and look up toward left fingers. Flex strongly through lifted foot, keeping leg straight but not hyper-extended, and the outer edge of foot parallel to the ground. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Rockstar

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Begin in down dog. Lift right leg high to down dog split, open hip and bend knee. Open the hip so much that you start to tip over. Right ball of foot comes to the ground, right knee is bent, and right arm reaches up and out, in line with body. The outer edge of the left foot stays on the ground. Lengthen through left leg and lift hips up as you drop head back. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Shoulder Press Pose

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From a standing forward fold with feet just wider than hips distance. Place your hands on the ground (or blocks for a slightly more accessible option) behind your heels: fingertips facing your heels, wrist creases in one long line. Bend your knees. Make a shelf for your legs with your arms and sit on your upper arms/shoulders (you can slightly bend your elbows to do so). Cross your ankles, squeeze your thighs into your shoulders, and lift your heels off the ground by leaning your butt back. Breathe here for as long as you can.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

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