16 Yoga Poses to Find Instant Calm and Peace

Feel grounded and relaxed with this soothing, hip-opening sequence.

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Achieve a calm mind with this sequence culminating in Padmasana(Lotus Pose), which is often recommended for meditation and pranayama. Hold the symbolic teaching of the lotus flower in your mind. Like the lotus, our spiritual unfolding is rooted in the muddy waters of life: Our mistakes can make us more compassionate, our losses can make us more understanding, and our frailties provide necessary fuel for empathy, connection, and acceptance. Here’s the sequence to help you feel calm, grounded, and relaxed.

Downward Dog Lunge

Tiffany Cruikshank core work

Extend your legs forward into Dandasana (Staff Pose), and then join the soles of your feet. Push your heels together, and engage your legs. Push your hands down, lift your chest, and lengthen your spine. Breathe.

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Cow Face Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank Humble/Peaceful Warrio


From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, place your left knee behind your right knee, bring your feet close together, and sit on your heels. Bend your right arm behind you, reach your left arm overhead, and clasp your hands. Breathe. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend, variation

Upavistha Konasana

Upavistha Konasana

Now exhale and lower your right leg to the right. Keep your left leg and left hip in firm contact with the floor as you lower your leg. Firm the outside of your right leg. Breathe. Repeat poses 10 and 11 on the left.

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Eye-of-the-Needle Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank Goddess pose


Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Cross your right leg over left. Lift your hips off the floor and shift them six inches to the right. Lower your knees to the left. Hold, breathe, and repeat on opposite side.

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank forearm plan

Supta Padangusthasana II 

From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, step your right foot to the outside of your right hand; bend your left knee, placing your left foot in your right hand. Turn your torso toward the ceiling. Breathe. Transition to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on left side.

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank prasarita padottanasana

Supta Padangusthasana I

From Dandasana, place your left leg in Baddha Konasana with your left heel touching your right inner thigh. Rotate your torso over your right leg and bend forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Switch sides.

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Reclined Eagle Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank urdhva dhanurasana

Supta Parivrtta Garudasana

Sweep your feet to the left of your hips. Bend your right arm behind you and clasp your left bicep. Twist to the right, and look over your right shoulder (then look over your left). Hold, breathe, and switch sides.

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Bharadvaja’s Twist

Tiffany Cruikshank supta baddha konasana

Bharadvajasana II

From Dandasana, fold your right leg and place your foot atop your left thigh. Place your left leg in Virasana. Twist and look over your right shoulder (then turn and look over your left). Hold, breathe, and switch sides.

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Lotus Pose

Tiffany Cruikshank sukhasana


From Dandasana, place your left foot at the top of your right thigh. If your left knee touches the floor, then cross your right ankle over your left, placing it at the top of your left thigh. If your first knee is not on the floor, remain in Half Lotus. Breathe. Switch sides.

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June 2014

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Ah the hour-long yoga class. It’s quite luxurious, isn’t it? But let’s be frank—some days, it seems impossible to carve out a large chunk of time for your practice. If you ever feel this way (and who hasn’t?) know this: even a few minutes of movement can make a huge difference in how you approach … Continued