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To build lower-body strength and flexibility, stretch into this pose

February 12, 2007|Karen Voight

This standing yoga pose strengthens and stretches the muscles in your legs, hips and back. When beginning, you may need to modify the pose or use a yoga block for balance and support. Remember to build up slowly and consistently while your body gets stronger and more flexible.

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1 Stand on a flat, nonslip surface or a yoga mat. Place your feet 4 to 4 1/2 feet apart. Place a yoga block behind your right foot. Turn your right leg out 90 degrees and your left foot in 30 degrees. Check that your right heel is in line with the arch of your left foot. Bend your right knee directly over your right heel. Exhale and stretch the right side of your body away from your right hip as you lengthen your torso to the left. Reach your left arm overhead in line with your left leg. Place your right forearm across your right thigh.

2 For a variation of this pose, try reaching your right arm down behind your right foot and resting the palm of your hand (or fingertips) on the yoga block. In either variation, be sure to open your chest and keep your right hip pressed forward in line with your right thigh. Relax your face and shoulders and hold for three to six breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

Karen Voight

Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

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