Do each phase of this practice very slowly and mindfully.
1-3. Begin in the same stance as for Waist Loosening. Bring both hands together and hook the two thumbs together. Keeping the hands close to the torso, inhale and raise the arms until they are extended straight above the head, with the fingers pointing upward. Gently stretch up in this position, extending the spine slightly backwards. You can even say "Ahhhhhh" as you would when you stretch first thing in the morning.
4-5. Begin to exhale slowly and bend forward, reaching as far out in front as you can, keeping the head between the arms. Try to feel each joint of the spine releasing one by one in a wavelike motion. Bend first from the lumbar vertebrae, then from the thoracic vertebrae, and finally from the cervical vertebrae. At this point you should be completely bent over.
6-9. Slowly straighten your back, once again feel each joint of the spine become open, from the sacrum, lumbar, thoracic and cervical vertebrae. Allow arms and head to hang heavily until you are back in the starting position. Repeat three to five times. Finish with the arms over the head as at the end of Step one.
1-3. Now do the same movements, but in reverse. Point the fingertips downward and slowly lower the arms, keeping the hands close to the torso. When the arms are completely lowered, begin to bend forward. Release the head, cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, and lumbar vertebrae, until you are bent all the way forward as at the end of Step two of the Outer Front Extension. Feel each joint become open.
4-5. Keeping the head between the arms, start to straighten back up. The arms should extend in front as you slowly move back to an erect position. When you finish straightening up, the arms should be straight up above the head. Repeat three to five times.
C. Left Outer Extension (Left Side Bending)
1. Keep your head between your arms in the overhead position, and lean to the left. You should feel a gentle stretch on the left side of the waist. Continue stretching down and to the side until you are bend all the way down to the side.
2. Then circle back up on the right side until you are once again standing straight with the arms overhead. Repeat three to five times.
D. Right Outer Extension (Right Side Bending)
Repeat the side-bending movements as in the left Outer Extension, but to the right. Do three to five times.
To finish, unhook the thumbs and let the arms slowly float back down to the sides.
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