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Mood Moves: A powerful heart opening practice created by Taryn Toomey

Introducing Mood Moves, a Well+Good video series created by Manhattan fitness phenom Taryn Toomey, who explains how to use your body to change your mind.

If you’ve been following the Mood Moves series, you’re ready to go deeper.

Each move builds on the next to exhaust the body and get here—to the heart, explains Taryn Toomey. But you have to go beyond taking the moves at face value.

All those stress-syphoning squats and frustration-releasing burpees serve a deeper purpose than breaking a sweat, Toomey explains. “They help you get into the nitty gritty of what the real work is.”

Ready for the 411 on that? These familiar exercises are really a vehicle for learning to feel what’s happening in your body—and in your head, as you talk yourself through the moves, and through life. “It’s the emotional [things] we are getting to,” she says. And we’re riding mind-body connection to get there.

“If we’re looking at things at face value then we are missing A WHOLE LOT (and this doesn’t just apply to this 1-minute clip). GET IN there, into your body, as move your body, feel what’s happening, and use the intensity to fire up the voice in your head, and then, because we all carry stuff with us we don’t need, use it to RELEASE!” [Read more about Toomey’s cathartic method here.]

That’s why heart-opening work comes after a ton of squats and burpees and sweat. “I find that when you exhaust the physical body, you’re able to open the heart in a completely different way than when you first step onto your mat. The ego has gotten out of the way, and you’re able to feel what we all want to feel…love….and the ability to forgive yourself,” Toomey says. Check out the video now. —Melisse Gelula

Start from the beginning and see Taryn Toomey’s transforming 1-minute Mood Moves for how to use your body to change your mind: Here’s an energy-booster for when you just don’t want to move and how to deal with frustration