With the legs spread about twice the width of the shoulders, bring your left arm straight up so that the inside touches your left ear. Keeping your body in a vertical plane (do not bend forward or backward), inhale and bend to your right side. Let your arm rest on your right lower leg; the left arm is horizontal to the ground, just over the head with the palm facing down. Feel the stretch in your left side. Keep the left arm touching the left ear. Exhale and come slowly up to center and then inhale and make the same movement to the right side.
Make three movements to each side with the breath. Breathing ratio is 1 : 2 : 1 as described for the Upward Stretch exercise.
Contraindications: Serious lower back problems, hernia,
Benefits: This is the only posture which stretches the side walls of the abdomen. It reduces extra fat from this area – and stimulates the kidneys and other organs of elimination, helping to detoxify the body and clear up skin problems. (Skin problems are usually an attempt of the body to detoxify itself).