Incorporate this yoga pose into your routine to strengthen the muscles in your lower body while stretching the sides of your torso. Don't be surprised if you find that one side of your body is less flexible than the other side; just give adequate time to the tighter side to get in better balance.
1. Stand on a flat, even surface with your feet approximately 3 1/2 feet apart. Externally rotate your left leg out so that your left toes face toward the left. Rotate your right toes in slightly. Bend your left leg until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your frontal hip bones level and facing foward. With your right hand on your hip, raise your left arm straight up.
2. Inhale as you slide your right hand down your right leg, resting it lightly on the outer calf. With your shoulders and hips facing foward, lean your torso to the right. Feel the stretch along the left side of your body. Be sure to maintain a bend in your left knee. Hold this position for 3 to 6 complete breaths. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side. Do twice on each side.
Karen Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."