10 Stress-Reducing Poses for Days You’re Too Busy to Exercise (PHOTOS)

10 Stress-Reducing Poses for Days You’re Too Busy to Exercise (PHOTOS)

Feeling the stress of mom life? Try these poses to calm down and catch your breath.

By Wendy Robinson

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to try to do something – anything – active every day. With a full-time job and young kids, I am often pressed for time and my stress level can be high. I’ve found, though, that doing a few simple yoga moves every day, whether it is at my desk at work or before bed, not only helps me feel physically stronger but also helps calm me down when the days get busy.

The next time you feel like you are going 100 miles per hour just to keep up with your busy life, take a few minutes to try some of these poses below. Your body and your brain will be glad you did!

1. Mountain pose: Stand tall with your shoulders relaxed and your feet together, arms at your side. Take a deep breath and raise your arms up with palms facing each other. Hold briefly, then lower your arms back to your side. Repeat.

2. Child’s pose: Start with your knees and top of your feet on the floor. Stretch forward, resting your chest and belly on your legs and arms on the floor in front of you. Hold and relax!

3. Chair pose: Start with your feet together or hip-width apart, depending on your flexibility. Bend your knees and lower down like you were going to sit in a chair. Raise arms up, palms facing each other. Breathe and hold.

4. Tree pose: Stand with arms at your side and shift your weight to your right leg. Place the sole of left foot inside your right thigh or ankle, depending on comfort level and balance. Once you are balanced, bring hands together in prayer position and then extend arms over shoulders, palms facing each other. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

5. Bridge pose: Lying flat on the floor, bend your knees but keep feet flat. Knees should be pointing to the ceiling as your feet press into the floor, lifting your hips. Arms stay on the ground.

More from P&G everyday: 5 Simple Meditation Techniques for Busy Moms

6. Wide-legged standing forward bend: With feet shoulder-width apart, lean forward at your waist, keeping back flat. Place hands or fingertips on the floor. If you aren’t flexible enough to reach the floor, use the back of a chair or the edge of a desk. Be sure that your back stays flat.

7. Warrior II: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width. Turn right toes out and left toes inward and then deeply bend your right knee so thigh is parallel with the ground. Keep your left leg straight. Extend arms out and look over your right hand. Keep your core tight and hold for 10 deep breaths.

8. Warrior I: From warrior II position, twist forward while bringing your arms up in the air, palms facing each other. Hold for 10 seconds and then bring arms down.

9. Cobra pose: Start on the floor, on your belly. Stretch your legs back, with tops of feet on the floor, and place your hands under your shoulders. Press your elbows into your sides, breathe out, and straighten arms as you lift your chest off the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

10. Easy pose: Sit on the floor with shins crossed and feet resting on the floor. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest. Rest hands on legs and breathe deeply.

Best of all, doing these poses on a regular basis is a great way to justify buying even more of the super comfortable yoga pants we all like!

What is your favorite pose?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.com.


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