Does the idea of stretching sound about as relaxing as tooth extraction? Author of Yoga for Wimps, and a former wimp herself, Miriam Austin knows how to coax flexibility from a steel girder. Start by forgetting you're even doing stretches—think of them more as rest stops you're taking along the highway of life. Pull into each position, or as near an approximation as you can, and allow your whole body to relax into it as if it's taking a big yawn.

These poses are precursors to yoga, the ultimate stress-dissolving practice. But we may be getting ahead of ourselves. For now, just put down the magazine, undo your belt, kick off your shoes, and...let limber!

Five stretches for the flexibly impaired.