The starting position for this stretch is lying on the floor on your side. It helps to put a rolled up towel under your head and neck for support. If someone were to look at you from above, they would see your ankles, hips, shoulders and wrists stacked directly on top of one another. Here's a photo:
For the movement and stretch, move your top hand slowly across your body as though you were opening the cover of a book. Allow your head and eyes to follow your hand. Allow your arm and shoulder to go open enough to give you a stretch, while keeping knees, ankles and hips stacked. To keep your shoulder in the correct position, aim the pinkie finger of the open hand to the sky. Here's how the final position should look:
To return to the starting position, begin by engaging your core muscles. Use your abdominal muscles to move back to the stacked position.
Rodrigo and Misty suggest three repetitions on each side. For the first two repetitions, pause only for one breath in the open position. On the third repetition, stay "open" for several breaths.
Repeat the stretch on the other side.
- Allowing the knees to come apart and rolling the hips out of the stacked position.
- Attempting to put the lower back on the floor.
- Using momentum to swing the shoulder and open arm back to the starting position.