The Sun Salutation is one of the better known yoga exercises and is one of the first practices many new to yoga learn. Ideally, Sun Salutations are practiced daily (just as the sun rises each day) but even practicing Sun Salutations 2-3 times a week will you can expect to see improvements in posture, flexibility, muscle tone and coordination.
Sun Salutation is a sequence of movements guided by the breath, which stretches and tones all the main muscle groups of the body and is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the practice of asanas.
Those previously mentioned are the most known benefits but
How to get started
Before you start, sit comfortably for a couple of minutes with your eyes closed. Stay still, listen to your surroundings, smile. This quick meditation will allow you to reconnect with your body, be in the present moment, and ready to focus on your practice.
Practicing the Sun Salutation regularly is a simple way to regain and maintain excellent physical shape and it is also a way to reconnect with the sun, the most vital source of energy in the universe. This practice and connection with the sun can allow oneself to rebalance both physically and energetically,
At the beginning and end of each cycle (12 position on each side, which I'll describe shortly), a mediation should take place, much as described earlier. The light of the sun is a mirror of your inner light. Guide to focus towards that sentiment throughout your mediation and Sun Salutation.
Feel the energy of the particular moment you are experience, the day/week/year you're having, the cycle of life in which you are a part of. We are now in the descending phase of solar energy, a favorable moment for recollection and introspection, to reconnect with your inner sun.
How to perform Sun Salutations
Starting with an inhale during the backbend in step two below, alternate inhaling and exhaling with each step that follows throughout the exercise. I have indicated the posture in the picture above as a reference.
- Being in Pranamasana with your hands folded in front of the heart (1)
- Bend backwards in Hasta Uttanasana (2)
- Bend forward first with your back straight then in Padahastasana (3)
- Step back with your left foot in Banarasana (4)
- Step your right foot back into Chatturanga Dandasana (axis) (5)
- Lower down to the ground in Ashtanga Namaskar (knee rest, chest rest) (6)
- Rise up from the chest in Bhujangasana (7)
- Enter Adho Mukha Shvanasana (8)
- Bring your left foot forward and open up into Banarasana (9)
- Step forward with your right foot in Padahastasana (10)
- Lift up and back in Hasta Uttanasana (1)
Repeat the 12 positions starting this time with the right leg in step 4. This will complete the Sun Salutation cycle. Repeat the cycle for as many times for for as long as you feel right for you. End your practice in Tadasana (mountain pose) with a big stretch and feel the effects this practice has had for you. Physically and mentally.