1. Stand comfortably with the feet a few inches apart.
2. Inhale and bend deeply through the knees, drawing the hips back, as if you’re sitting down in a chair.
3. Lean the upper body slightly forward as if you’re getting out of the chair.
4. Reach the arms up and slightly out to the side.
5. Draw the shoulders away from the ears, keeping the neck long.
6. Keep the arms straight and knees bent for 15 seconds, breathing deeply.
7. On an exhale, straighten through the legs and fold at the waist (see photo in the sidebar).
8. Bring the palms toward the floor.
9. Relax the spine and let the entire upper body spill forward over the legs.
10. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
THE REASON: Like Downward Dog, this pose alternately strengthens and opens the low back and hips. It also lengthens the upper spine.