Photo: Jay Sullivan

Jay Sullivan

You’ll feel light as a fluttering butterfly with this controlled, mindful move.

You are probably familiar with the butterfly stretch, which releases tension in several lower body parts like your hip flexors, inner thighs, and lower back.

Sitting straight up, you meet both feet together at their soles, folding your legs out and down at the sides. For the stretch, you hold your feet and lower down, but with this Move of the Week, we have you working a little harder.

Engaging your core, and working those inner thighs at the same time is the name of the game of the Butterfly Extension. As you sit in traditional butterfly position, arms in prayer pose, you’ll bring your spine down, as you extend legs out.

The movement is meant to be performed in a slow, control motion. Do not rely on momentum to bring you back and forth.

Holding for a few seconds at the bottom is key. Focus on your balance and breathing before returning to the starting position.

What to do: Sit with knees bent and open to sides, soles of feet together; bring hands together in front of chest.

Keeping core tight, slowly extend legs, allowing them to hover a few inches off floor (raise them a bit higher if that’s too challenging), and lean back until your mid-back almost touches floor.

Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly return to previous position. Do 10 to 20 reps.