Why you should practice Sun Salutations
So what are sun salutations? Suryanamaskara literally means “salute to the sun” (surya = sun, namaskara= salute). The sun salutation is a sequence of postures (asanas) traditionally they are designed to be practiced in the direction of the sun, everyday at sunrise to express gratitude to the sun . . . as without it we would not be alive.
Why should you practice sun salutations? You will probably find sun salutations in most yoga practices. They are a great workout for the whole body . . . they provide movement for the body to stretch, build strength, make you sweat and feel like you’ve had a workout. In addition to the physical, sun salutations can also be meditative in nature, repeating them provides a rhythmic movement, which linked to your breath can help to calm your mind and leaving you feeling more peaceful and ready to take on your day.
Sun salutations are a great way to start your day to awaken the body, inject some energy and to get to tune into your body.
How many sun salutations should I practice? If you are a beginner, you might want to start with 2-6 Sun Salutations, building up to anywhere between 10 and 20.
How fast should I practice sun salutations? It depends on what effect in the body you want to create Slowly can be great to provide strength and also effective for slowing the mind and using it as a moving meditations. Moving quickly can be a great cardio workout, build heat, sweat and build some energy.
Add on a more mindful aspect to the practice by bringing mantras into the sequence I’m able to deal with any challenge throughout my day.
Start with Sun Salutations A or Traditional (I’ll cover Sun salutation B in a different post)
Sun Salutation A
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) - stand tall, hands together in prayer next to your heart, connect with your breath. Inhale and reach your arms up to the sky Uttanasana (forward bend) - Exhale and fold from your hips, bend your knees if you need to. Ardha Uttanasana (Half standing forward bend) - Inhale, look forward with a flat back, lengthening your spine, fingertips on floor or on hips. Chaturanga (four limbed staff pose) - step back to high plank pose, top of push up, Exhale lower your body to the floor (you can drop your knees to the floor)keep elbows by sides Cobra or Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) - Inhale, draw heart forward, straighten arms, for Upward Facing Dog - firm thighs, press into feet and lift thighs off the floor. Keep elbows tucked in. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - Exhale, lift hips up towards the ceiling and press into the hands. Down Dog is an upside down letter V. Stay for up to 5 breaths. Ardha Uttanasana (Half standing forward bend) - Inhale, look forward with a flat back, lengthening your spine, fingertips on floor or on hips. Uttanasana (forward bend) - Exhale and fold from your hips, bend your knees if you need to. Tadasana (Mountain Pose) - Inhale and reach your arms up to the sky, exhale hands together in prayer next to your heart, connect with your breath.
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