When you’re feeling mad or upset, a HIIT routine might not be the best way to blow off steam. The combination of high-intensity exercise and negative emotions can spike your heart rate in an unhealthy way. But gentler activity may do wonders for your mental health.
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Next time you’re all riled up, try this restorative vinyasa flow led by RETOX creator Lauren Imparato. Whether you’re frustrated with a coworker or annoyed at your partner, this quick routine can help soothe your mind and body.
Start the practice by connecting to the breath, suggests Imparato. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose can help cool your nervous system so you start from a place of serenity. Next, dive into the warm-up, flowing through poses like downward facing dog and forward fold. The straightforward exercises will allow you to focus on the present instead of the problem that brought you to the mat.
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“Don’t ignore what’s happened before this,” says Imparato. “But let’s try and warm up our physical body to take it on.” As you go through the 18-minute yoga sequence, you’ll find yourself feeling increasingly challenged thanks to exercises like chair pose and side twists. Since Tibetan tradition teaches that rage tends to be held in the side body, twists may help ring out the negativity that rattled you earlier.
Imparato finishes the flow with visualizations meant to help clear your head so you can go back to your day feeling centered and a small bit lighter.