How to do a Sun Salution

Fit & Training door thijs
The Sun Salutation is often practiced in a flow yoga session. Flexibility, relaxation and the calming of the mind are just some of the benefits that you can achieve through the practice of yoga. The Sun Salutation can give you all of these benefits and is a fantastic way to start the day. You will allow energy to flow, you will awaken your spine and start your day with a smile on your face. In this article we will demonstrate a classic sun salution A, but the most important thing is not the particular variation, rather it is the synchronization of the motion of your breath with the movement of your body. In short, the motion of breathing is what drives the movement of the body into, through, and out of each of the poses in the sequence.

An easy way to apply this is to allow all upward movements to be coupled with the motion of inhalation and all downward movements to be coupled with exhalation. For example – raising your arms overhead and stretching up is coupled with your inhalation and hinging forward and down (as in touching your toes) is coupled with your exhalation. In this way all movements and breathing motions are in yogic union as you greet the sunrise of new day by awakening/stimulating your body with these poses and breath flow. Suitable for all levels.

1. Start: 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.
2. Inhale through your nose and raise your arms up to the side, palms facing upwards. Extend your arms above your head.
3. Exhale, swan dive to forward bend, be sure to bend your knees especially if you have tight hamstrings. This will protect the back. 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.
4. Inhale, lengthen the spine.
5. Exhale, step back to 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 and slower lower down to low plank (modification: bend the knees and place them on the floor)
6. Inhale, cobra/upward dog pose. 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.
7. Exhale, downward dog. Lengthen the spine, coming in an inverted V position. Stay here for 5 breaths
8. Inhale, jump or step forward in between your hands, extend the spine.
9. Exhale, fold forward.
10. Inhale come up with a straight spine, keep pulling the belly button on. Extend the arms over the head.
11. Exhale, hands in front of the heart.

Check out the video instructions!

If you want to attend a yoga class for the first time. Yoga studio Balanz is a great place to start. Namasté.