energise your body
calm your mind
SUN SALUTATION YOGA SEQUENCES
Warming and Energising
The sun salutations are a great way to warm up at the beginning of a full yoga practise session and an ideal five to ten minute practise to begin the day. It is a low impact work out that has both weight lifting benefits (helps increase muscle mass and bone density) and cardiovascular benefits (helps improve metabolism, burns fat, improves circulation). Regular practice keeps the body toned and flexible. It helps to trim the waist, strengthen the abdominal muscles, back, glutes, legs and arms. Yoga sequences improve body coordination and balance.
The sun salutation yoga sequence of movements can be thought of as a moving meditation which helps to clear your mind as well as increase focus and concentration. Regular yoga practise as with most forms of exercise helps to make you generally happier by reducing stress and alleviating anxiety. Four to six rounds of the sun sequence are ideal for a ten minute warm up. On each round it is important to alternate the legs in the lunge pose. When flowing through the movements, remember to move slowly and mindfully; you can also take 3 to 5 breaths in each pose to slow down the sequence if that feels good for you.
The definition of the word 'salutation' is a gesture made as a greeting or acknowledgement of another's arrival or departure, rather like the word 'Namaste'. A salutation is a greeting of respect and affection such as a bow or a kiss. While practising the sun salutation yoga sequence we can think of greeting the sun, giving our respect, affection and gratitude for it's life giving energy; and as we do this we extend these same 'salutations' to the earth, the sky, ourselves and everyone around us, leaving us feeling positive, rejuvenated and ready to have a great day.
One round of the Sun Salutation Yoga Sequence can have 9 or 12 steps. Here's an example:
1. Mountain Pose
2. Upward Reach to gentle back bend
3. Forward Bend
4. Half Lift
5. Lunge (right leg first round, left leg next round)
6. High Plank (option to lower knees) to Low Plank
8. Cobra (option) or move to Upward-facing Dog
9. Downward-Facing Dog
10. Lunge (right leg first round, left leg next round)
11. Forward Bend
12. Upward Reach, gentle back bend, mountain pose.
How To Do a Yoga Sun Salutation
Yoga video via www.yogajournal.com