11 Easy Yoga Poses You Can Do Now For Immediate Stress Relief

If there was any word in the dictionary that would make you cower in fear…

It would be the word: deadlines.

Just the thought of an impending deadline can make you flustered, frustrated and stressed.

The thing is…

You’re already working your hardest to meet that deadline. Yet you have to continue to put in 14-hour work days just to get everything done.

At this very moment, everything seems miserable.

You feel your teeth clenching together. You feel like your head is about to explode. You feel like your entire body is tensed up, as if you were preparing for a punch to your stomach.

You are ready to give up.

But you can’t.

You need some way to relieve your stress. You need some way to calm yourself down, breathe better, gain clarity and get back down to work immediately.

It’s not like you haven’t tried some solutions. You did.

Just that they didn’t help.

You need something better.

Why Yoga Is The Perfect Solution To Your Stress

Have you considered using yoga for stress relief?

While it originated as a spirituality practice, it has been scientifically proven to help with reducing stress and anxiety levels. Many research studies have found that yoga works equally well as compared to relaxation to help with reducing stress levels and improving life quality.

It is even endorsed by the Mayo Clinic as a surefire method for fighting stress, getting fit and staying healthy.

The question is:

Why is yoga so effective in relieving stress?

The basic principle of yoga is to focus on a particular pose while being conscious of your breathing. By truly focusing on just one thing in the present moment, you let go of your stress and allow yourself to decompress.

Furthermore, the actual poses (also called asanas in yoga) help release tension in your body, which makes you feel calmer and put you in a meditative state.

You might still be skeptical.

After all, you’re already stressed and tensed to the brim. You can’t possibly fork out time to get yourself down to a yoga studio for a 1 – 2 hours practice.

You simply can’t afford it.

But that’s the wonderful part of yoga.

You don’t even have to start signing up for yoga classes. All you have to do is to learn some basic poses and do them anytime you feel stressed.

No matter where you are, and what you’re wearing, you can buckle down and hold a few yoga poses to help relieve your stress.

So without further ado, here are 11 poses you can do anytime to help relieve your stress.


11 Yoga Poses That’ll Banish Your Stress Away

1. Corpse Pose


Yoga Name: Savasana

The corpse pose, despite its morose sounding name, is one of the easiest and most effective exercises to relieve your stress. It probably got its name from the fact that all you have to do is to lay down flat on the floor — like a dead body.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Lie down flat on the floor with your legs straightened and spread out. If you experience discomfort or pain being in this position, you can keep your legs bent.

Step 2: Ensure that your head is centered and not facing or falling to either side. This is probably the “toughest” part of the pose as most of us tend to lean our heads to one side.

Step 3: Extend your arms to the sides, allowing to rest on the floor.

Step 4: Hold the position for 5 minutes, breathing in and out slowly and steadily.

2. Happy Baby

Yoga Name: Ananda Balasana

This is a fun yoga pose to be in. It is named Happy Baby because of the way you look in your yoga position, like a cute little baby laughing.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Lay on your back on the floor.

Step 2: Raise your legs from the floor towards your head. You should strive to aim your knees towards your chest. This particular step can prove to be slightly difficult for some people.

Step 3: Spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width, and keep your soles facing towards the ceiling.

Step 4: Grab the outer part of your soles with your hands. If this is difficult for you, you might consider using a towel to hook onto your outer soles.

Step 5: To make it a little bit more challenging, try pulling your feet downwards.

Step 6: Hold this position for 3 minutes, and take deep breaths.

3. Child’s Pose

Yoga Name: Balasana

This particular pose requires you to be in the fetal position, thus deriving its name: Child’s Pose. A side benefit of this particular pose is that it also lengthens your spine, which helps relieve back pain if you have any.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Kneel on the floor.

Step 2: Gently bring your butt down to your heels.

Step 3: Bring your forehead as close to the floor as possible.

Step 4: Try to touch your thighs with your belly.

Step 5: Stretch your arms forward, as far away as possible from your feet.

Step 6: Hold this position for 1 minute.

4. Cat Pose

Yoga Name: Marjaryasana

This pose (as well as the Cow pose) are great for relieving back pain and undoing the damage from sitting all day. If you find yourself sitting for more than 6 hours a day, do this pose as often as possible.

Also, the name of this pose derives from the fact that you’ll look like a cat stretching its back.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Get on your fours (meaning hands and knees on the floor.)

Step 2: Keeping your shoulders and knees in position, try to round your spine, imagining that you’re trying to make your spine touch the ceiling.

Step 3: Repeat for 10 times.

5. Cow Pose

Yoga Name: Bitilasana

This pose is usually paired together with the cat pose as it is held in the same position. Apparently, this pose mimics the way a cow eats.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Get on your fours (hands and knees on the floor)

Step 2: Now, do the opposite of the cat pose. Try imagining reaching the floor with your belly (or attempting to touch your spine to your belly). This will cause your spine to arch.

Step 3: Repeat for 10 times.

6. Puppy Pose

Yoga Name: Uttana Shishosana

If you have not noticed by now, yoga asanas take a lot of inspiration from observing animals. This is no difference. The puppy pose is an imitation of puppies or dogs stretching.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Get on your fours (hands and knees on the floor).

Step 2: Slowly walk your hands away from you and lower your chest down towards the ground.

Step 3: If you are able to, rest your forehead on the ground and place your weight onto your hands.

Step 4: Keep on your legs firmly on the floor.

Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds.

7. Legs Up The Wall

Yoga Name: Viparita Karani

This pose is a great pose for you to just lay down, relax and wish your stresses away.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Find a wall

Step 2: Grab a towel and roll it up

Step 3: Place the towel about one hand away from the wall, and gently place your butt on the towel.

Step 4: Lay down on the floor.

Step 5: Gently adjust your hips such that the back of your thighs is resting on the wall.

Step 6: Straighten your legs and lean.

Step 7: Hold this position for 30 seconds.

8. Cobra Pose

Yoga Name: Bhujangasana

Not only will this pose help relieve your stress, it also employ the backbend position, which can potentially prevent damage to your spine.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Lay flat on your stomach.

Step 2: Place your hands beside your chest, palms facing down.

Step 3: Raise yourself up and straighten your arms while arching your back. Your hips, thighs and feet are still in contact with the ground (don’t raise them!)

Step 4: Try to look up at the ceiling

Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds.

9. Bridge Pose

Yoga Name: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This pose can be quite challenging (if it is the first time you’re doing it) but it is also infinitely rewarding.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Lay flat on the floor, knees bent, and ensure that your feet is tucked near your butt area.

Step 2: Raise your hips up slowly, lifting your thighs and your lower back. Keep your feet, neck and back of head on the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for 30 seconds. (This can be challenging!)

10. Thread The Needle

Yoga Name: Parsva Balasana

This is an interesting pose where you might need some imagination to see yourself as the needle going through a thread.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Get on your fours (hands and knees on the floor)

Step 2: You will notice that there is a “gap” between your left arm and knee. This is the “hole” where you’ll stick the “needle” in (your right hand in this case.)

Step 3: Plant the right side of your head and your right shoulder on the ground as you stick your right hand through the gap.

Step 4: hold the position for 30 seconds.

Step 5: Repeat for the other side.

11. Pigeon Pose

Yoga Name: Kapotasana

This is a pose that not only relaxes you, but also belongs to the category of exercises known as “hip-opening exercises”. Sitting for too long tends to shorten the muscles around your hamstrings and hip area, causing it to be too tight. The pigeon pose has the added benefit of opening your hips and stretching them out, reversing the damage caused by excessive sitting.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Sit with one leg in front of you and the other leg straightened behind.

Step 2: Bend the front leg 90 degrees (that means the outer side of the calf and ankle will come into contact with the ground).

Step 3: Straighten your back.

Step 4: Hold the position for 30 seconds.

Step 5: Repeat for the other leg.


You’re stressed.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.

In fact, there are quick and easy ways to relieve and rejuvenate yourself to tackle the challenges ahead.

All you have to do is — the next time you feel overwhelmed and stressed, pick one of the above exercises. (If you want 21 more exercises, here is a list of exercises that can help relieve stress and back pain.)

Find a corner in your office (or at home) and follow the step by step instructions. Hold the poses for the recommended length of time.

Feel yourself breathing and relaxing as you shift your thoughts away from the stress.

You’ll be able to feel more clarity and be ready to tackle your work again.


Attention Pick The Brain readers!

The above exercises will be good enough to get you relaxed and relieved of stress. If you would more exercises on how to relieve stress (as well as back pain), download your free checklist of recommended exercises that can help you relieve stress and back pain from sitting too long.

Ong Si Quan is the Growth Guy at airawear.com who wants to help people be free of pain and stress from their lives. Download his free checklist of stress and back pain relief exercises to learn how to do so.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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