By Sara Ivanhoe
Updated March 06, 2013

My students are always asking me if I had to pick one all-over body toner, what would it be? Of course I tell them that I don't like to pick favorites; I always favor a full practice. But if I had to pick just one, it would be Parsvakonasana, or standing side stretch. It combines upper-body resistance with a serious ab workout, plus it strengthens and elongates the legs. This one pose will have you beach-ready by Memorial Day. Give it a go and youll see why I like it so much.


Stand with your feet four to five feet apart; turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees. Inhale and raise both arms out to the sides. As you exhale, bend your right knee 90 degrees, making sure your knee doesn't go past your toes. Put your right forearm on your right thigh and stretch your left arm up and to the right until it makes a straight line with your left leg. Hold for 5 to 15 breaths, than release and switch sides. Repeat up to three times.