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Torso, more so

This yoga pose extends and strengthens the muscles in the sides of your torso. It also helps to develop strength and flexibility in your thighs and hips. Remember to press down on the outer edges of your feet and to keep turning your chest up while holding this pose.

1. Stand on a level surface with your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in 15 degrees. Press your left heel into the floor and bend your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lean your torso to the left and place your left fingertips on the floor near your left foot. Press your left thigh and upper arm against each other to help rotate your chest upward. Wrap your right arm behind you, grasping your left inner thigh with your fingertips. Line your left knee over your left ankle. Hold for two to three breaths.

2. Continue to hold this position using the strength of your legs. Now raise your left hand off the floor, move it under your left thigh and behind you. Release your right hand and grasp your left hand. Make sure your left shin is perpendicular to the floor and drop down a few inches to keep your right thigh parallel to the floor. Look up over your right shoulder and take two to three breaths. Release your hands, stand up and repeat on the other side.

Karen Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."

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