SAN RAFAEL, CA--(Marketwire - May 8, 2009) - We stretch every day, but one expert believes it actually may be hurting us.

That's the opinion of mind and body fitness expert Anat Baniel, author of "Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality," from Harmony Books (www.anatbanielmethod.com), who believes that stretching is an activity that actually hurts our muscles.

Baniel has devised a method of stretching that actually increases flexibility and motion without damaging your muscles.

1. Stand up, spread your feet comfortably, gently bend down, and let your hands move toward your feet. Notice how far you go, with forcing, and come back to standing.

2. Stand, spread your legs comfortably, bend your knees a little, and put your right hand just above your right knee, on your thighs. Put your left hand just above your left knee. Then lean on your legs with the weight of your upper body resting on your hands. Begin to round your back and at the same time pull your belly in and look down at your belly. Then gently arch your back, push your belly out, lift your head, and look up. Go back and forth like this four or five times.

3. Come back to standing and simply bend forward and take your hands down toward your feet. Is there some change already?

4. Stand with your feet spread, your knees bent a little, and this time lean with both hands on your left leg, just above the knee as before. Very gently and slowly round your back and look down, then arch your back, free the belly muscles -- push them out -- and look up. Go back and forth four or five times. Then stand and rest for a moment. Feel how you stand.

5. Stand with your knees a bit bent and spread, and this time lean with both hands on your right knee. Very gently and slowly round your back and look down, then arch your back, free your belly muscles -- push the belly out -- and look up. Go back and forth four or five times.

6. Stand up with your feet spread comfortably and simply bend down and feel if you can bend more easily and farther than before.

About Anat Baniel

Born in Israel, Anat Baniel (M.A. Clinical Psychology) is a mind/body/fitness expert.

Contact Information: Contact: Rachel Friedman Rachel@newsandexperts.com