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Doing 1 Yoga Pose A Day Can Help Manage Your Stress

Just take 10 breaths and you're done.

Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s (almost) daily guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.

Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Every Monday through Friday, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.

Today’s habit: Do one easy yoga pose.

For whenever you’re feeling: Like you need to stretch your body.

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What it is: We’re all familiar with yoga even if we’ve never done it ourselves (does watching YouTube videos of influencers count?), and while it can look intimidating, there are simple poses that can help stretch and strengthen your body.

How it can help: Let’s break down five easy yoga poses you can do in sequence (or just pick one) wherever you’re most comfortable. Using a mat helps, but if you don’t have one, that’s fine, too.

1. Mountain Pose

The classic Mountain Pose.
fizkes via Getty Images
The classic Mountain Pose.

Place your feet flat against the floor, stand up straight, keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms against your thighs. Look forward while keeping your chin up. Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths.

2. Standing Forward Bend Pose

Bend your torso over your legs. If you have the flexibility, place your palms on the mat, but if not, bend your knees until your hands can reach the mat as close as possible. Let your head hang, and slowly straighten your legs and feel that stretch. Feet can be touching or hip’s distance apart. Hold for 10 breaths.

3. Lunge Pose

Bend your left knee into a deep lunge and move your right leg to the back of your mat. Bring your bent knee over your ankle so your right thigh is parallel to the floor.

Hold this position for 10 breaths and then switch positions with your right knee forward and left leg back.

4. Staff Pose

Sit down on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you, feet together with toes pointed up. Arms should be straight or slightly bent at your side with your palms touching the mat. Keep your back straight and look ahead of you, chin up. Hold this position for 10 breaths. Don’t forget to breathe.

5. Seated Forward Bend Pose

Still sitting, bend your torso over your legs and place your hands around your feet, which should be flexed. You should feel your hamstrings being stretched. Stay in this pose for 10 breaths.

The physical and mental health benefits of yoga have been well-documented, but for the uninitiated, here’s a small rundown. Yoga, when practiced safely, can:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase muscle strength and tone
  • Improve energy
  • Protect from injury
  • Help manage stress
  • Increase body awareness
  • Sharpen concentration

Where you can do it: Wherever you’re comfortable, be that at home, in the park, by your desk, or in a class.

How it makes us feel: After just doing five minutes of yoga, we feel a lot stronger, and more comfortable in our bodies.

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