Yoga: The Sun Salutation
Yoga: The Sun Salutation
Flexibility, relaxation and the calming of the mind are just some of the benefits that you can achieve through the practise of yoga. The Sun Salutation can give you all of these benefits and is a fantastic way to start the day.
Step 1: You will need
- Comfortable clothing
- Yoga mat
- Bare feet
Step 2: Mountain pose
Start by bringing your feet and legs together, spread your toes. Make sure your heels are rooted and firm your legs. Then, roll your shoulders back and down and spread and lift your chest.
Step 3: Extended Mountain pose
Inhale through your nose and raise your arms up to the side, palms facing upwards. Extend your arms above your head with your hands in prayer position.
Step 4: Swan dive to forward bend
Exhale through your nose. Open your arms wide and bend at your waist to a standing forward bend.
Your hands should touch the floor if you can or if not, the front of the ankles.
Step 5: Standing lunge
Inhale through your nose and place your hands next to your feet on the floor and step one foot back into a lunge. Keep the front knee directly over the ankle and keep the back leg firm. Now, exhale and bring the other foot back form to Downward facing Dog position.
Step 6: Downward facing dog
Spread your fingers and press your palms into the mat, they should be shoulder width apart. Now, lift your hips up towards the sky, lengthening your spine.
Gently straighten your legs, pressing your heels down into your mat as far as you can go.
Step 7: Plank pose
Inhale and take your shoulders forward directly over your wrists, extending well with your arms to form Plank position. Keep your thighs strong and firm, your feet flexed and your belly drawn in.
Step 8: Knees-chest-chin pose
Exhale and bend your knees to the floor and then lower your chest and chin to the floor. Keep your chest open and your elbows close to the side of your ribcage.
Step 9: Cobra
Inhale and raise your upper body - to the cobra pose. Roll your shoulders back and extend the shoulder blades down and press them in towards the chest. Your chest should be lifted and open and elbows should stay close to the body. Make sure to lift up your knee caps and firm your thighs. Your legs and feet should be well extended.
Step 10: Extended child's pose to dog pose
Exhale and tuck in your toes while bending your knees and pushing back to the extended child's position. If possible in the same breath move directly back to downward facing dog. Pull the belly up and towards the back of the spine.
Step 11: Standing lunge
Now this is where we repeat in reverse the first three postures that start the sun salutation. Inhale bring your one foot forward in between your hands to the lunge position....Now, exhale bring the back foot forward to join the front foot so that your feet are together. Hands on the floor or ankles.
Step 12: Reverse swan dive transition
Inhale and lift your arms up to the side with your palms face upward to the sky. Now extend the arms above your head in prayer position.
Step 13: Mountain pose
Exhale to return to Mountain Pose to complete the Sun salutation. Now Repeat the Sun Salutation again on the other leg.