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Movement As Medicine


Photos by Hugh Hamilton

Published Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM


No matter what your age or fitness level, "movement is medicine," says integrated fitness expert Amanda Jane Avis '96 of Santa Monica fitness studio Mala Motion and a former UCLA Dance Team member.

1. Stand tall with feet together, shoulders over hips, hips over heels. (This is called Mountain Pose.) Begin to lean your torso forward.

2. Slide the left leg behind you to create a T shape, trying to create a parallel line to the floor. Allow the arms to move flush alongside of the body. Maintain your connection to the abdominal muscles in order to protect your back.

3. Ensure that your eyes either gaze downward or slightly forward and in front of your standing leg. Think of drawing the inner thigh and quadriceps muscles of the right leg up, while rooting the lower leg muscles down into the earth.

4. Reach energy through your left leg and heel to achieve maximum stretch of the hamstrings. Hold this pose for five full breaths.

5. Return to Mountain Pose and change sides.