The Sun Salutation is the most widely known yoga sequence and has been performed for thousands of years. Even those who don’t practice yoga are usually familiar with and tried it at some stage.
As the name suggest, the Sun Salutation is an ideal way to greet the day. It is performed all over the world at sunrise through many, many repetitions.
By itself, the Sun Salutation is a complete exercise. This makes it ideal not only as part of a yoga sequence, but as a warm-up and cool-down exercise for any physical activity.
Benefits of the Sun Salutation
Learning how to do a Sun Salutation takes a little time for beginners. It is necessary to string together a series of movements and poses to execute properly.
But the beauty of the Sun Salutation and why it is popular are the following benefits:
- Massages internal organs
- Moves the spine through the entire range of motion – maximizing flexibility
- Co-ordinates movement and breathing throughout the body
- Increases strength, flexibility, and endurance of every major muscle group in the body
- Improves circulation, energy and vitality.
How To Do A Sun Salutation
Sun Salutation Instructions
There are a few steps to the sun salutation, but as shown in the video, together they only take one and a half minutes. With practice, you will be able to do this without referring to instructions or a video.
I have broken these down into very simple steps. Take your time to learn them and string the sequence together.
- Start the Sun Salutation from Mountain pose.
- Turn your palms out. Inhale.
- Reach your arms up and over your head. Exhale.
- Bend the knees and go on full four with a flat back all the way down to the floor. Inhale.
Come up halfway with a long spine. Reach the chest forward. Exhale.
- Put hands flat on the floor. Step your feet back into plank pose.Inhale.
Shift the weight forward, shoulders over the wrists. Exhale.
- Knees on the floor bend your elbows halfway. Inhale.
- Push up to upward facing dog, knees off the floor. Exhale.
- Pull your belly in, send your hips back into downward facing dog. Slightly bend the knees here and push your hips back toward the corner of the ceiling. One breath – inhale…exhale…inhale.
- Look forward. Exhale.
- Step your feet forward between the hands. Inhale.
- Come up halfway with a long spine. Chest forward. Exhale.
- Fold down, relax your head down. Inhale.
- Reach your arms up and over the head. Exhale.
- Palms together at the center of your chest.
- Hands down by the side. Back to Mountain pose.
You can repeat the sequence as many times as you would like. Some people perform this as their only form of exercise as it is a complete routine. And it doesn’t matter what your age is, this routine can be done.
If you only learn one sequence, this is the one to master. No muscle or part of the body is left untouched and it will improve your flexibility quickly.