1. Standing up, place your feet hip-width distance apart.
Get into a comfortable stance. We’re just finding the rhythm of our breath and our body here. Inhale and reach your arms forward and up. Spin your palms open, exhale, and move your arms out and down. Let’s do that two more times, synchronizing our movement with our breath.
2. I call this next move “synching body and mind.”
Inhale, reaching forward and up again, and now on the exhale, reach over to your left as you lean left. Inhale and rise back up to center. Then exhale and sway to your right. Inhale, reach up. We’re moving slowly on purpose, everyone. Let’s do that two more times.
3. Now let’s inhale and reach back up.
Exhale to the left, and we’re going to hold here. Let’s bring a supporting hand to our hip. And now breathe in and reach. Now exhale—just following the breath here. Inhale, nice and deep, and go back up to center. And when we exhale, we’re reaching to the side, pressing our hips to the opposite side and breathing in and out, focusing on our breath as we do so. This is a great side stretch.
4. Now let’s place our hands on our knees like we’re baseball players.
Reaching arms straight back behind us while we’re in this crouch, pull your bum back, too. On your inhale, reach arms forward, up, rise and look up. Exhale arms back and down and go back into that crouch. Let’s do that two more times.
5. On the next inhale, reach your arms all the way up.
When they’re up there this time, interlock your fingers behind your head. Root through your feet and send your hips forward. Can you really let your head go, really rest it on your hands? What does that feel like? Open your elbows up just a little wider. And let’s take one more big breath to stretch our lungs. Then exhale back down to baseball-player position.
6. Can you drop from your hands to put your elbows on your knees?
If you have challenges with your lower back, stay right here with your hands supporting you. Otherwise, drop your elbows to your knees and look down—this is terrific forward flexion for the back. Let’s take three breaths here as we move dynamically: Inhale and straighten the legs, exhale bend the knees, matching movement and breath. This is what we mean by coherent breath. Let’s do that two more times.