Bye Blues: 5 Pilates Moves for a Better Mood

Between work and wedding season, I’ve been to five states in two weeks. My brain is CRAY right now. But it’s nothing a little Pilates [and wine, obviously] can’t fix.

In short, exercise creates increased circulation and blood flow, which ultimately wakes up the brain. So, on days you’re feeling super jet lagged or exhausted from life’s craziness, lean on this workout. You can do it from home, your hotel room, wherever!

For my latest monthly collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag, I teamed up with the healthy babes behind Mindfuel Wellness to share five moves we can all do everyday. The Chicago-based duo proved to me a little movement can change my state of mind…

Note: Begin and end with stretches that engage your back, core + arm muscles. 


MEDITATIVE REACH | Begin on all fours, with knees hip-distance apart, and toes pointed. Reach your arms toward the end of the mat, extending your back and shoulders. Sink your chest into the mat, and roll your shoulders back away from your ears. Remain in this position for 30 seconds.


FULL FLEXION BALL |  This position is ideal for warming-up your heels, knees + ankle joints, while stretching your spine. The best way to approach this position is to begin standing, and reach for your toes. Bend your knees and lift your heels, bringing your body into a ball. Hold for 30 seconds.


STRAIGHT LEG PULL | I love an exercise that challenges both my core and hamstring muscles. Lie on your back, and extend both legs to the sky. Engage your core and lift your body into a sit-up like position, while pulling one leg above the knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides.


ENLIGHTENING STRETCH | Begin seated on your mat, with your right shin parallel to the front of your mat, and your left shin parallel to the back.  Stretch your arms into a T. Lean into your right side, bringing your right arm down to the mat. Stretch your left arm upward, while looking up. Hold for 30 seconds before switching into the next position…


ROTATION PULL | From the position above, take your left arm and pull it through under your chest, rotating your upper back. Reach as far as you can, while breathing deeply for about 30 seconds. Switch sides, repeating both this exercise and the one explained above.


* end your workout with stretches…

Leggings: Lulu Lemon | Bra: Alo | Mat: Manduka

Photos by Annie Shak