Yoga move: the side angle pose

Find a perfect balance of strength and flexibility with this classic yoga exercise called the side angle pose. For those new to yoga, here are two ways to perform the move, helping you get into the proper position and hold it longer.

1. Stand on a level surface with your feet 3 1/2 or four feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 15 degrees. Press your right heel into the floor and bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lean your torso to the right, and place your right elbow on your right thigh. Stretch your left arm overhead, palm facing down. Bring the whole right side of your torso forward and the left side back. Lengthen the left side of your body as much as possible. Hold for two to three breaths.

2. If you have a yoga block, place it on the floor next to your right ankle. Rest your right hand on it, palm down. Now imagine that there's a wall behind you, and move your right hip away from the wall. This will align your spine correctly. Lean your shoulders back toward the wall. Take two to three breaths. 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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