To improve your posture and keep your body feeling balanced and limber, start each day with this simple standing stretch. Make sure that you keep your arms framing your face (they should not come across your face) and don't bend too far too soon. You should be able to breathe freely while stretching to each side. If you find yourself holding your breath, lift up a little to the point your breathing can be full and smooth.
-- Karen Voight
1 Stand upright with your feet together and your arms relaxed at your sides. Reach up with the crown of your head and allow your shoulders to drop down away from your ears. Looking straight ahead, inhale and raise your arms above your head. Grasp your right wrist with your left hand. Exhale and relax your shoulders, but keep reaching up with your right fingertips. Your upper arms should be next to your ears.
2 Inhale, lift up through your spine and lean to the left. Keep your upper torso in line with your hips, not allowing it to shift forward or back relative to your pelvis. Squeeze your inner thighs and calves together and point your tailbone toward the floor. Focus on stretching the right side of your torso, taking three to six full breaths. Inhale, return to center and repeat on the other side.
Karen Voight can be reached at email@example.com.