Breaking down the pose into different components
The Sun Salute is a graceful and therapeutic pose that engages the entire body. It begins in a standing position, with feet together and arms at the sides. The first move is to inhale deeply while bringing the arms up over the head, stretching to open the chest and torso. Then exhaling deeply while bending forward slightly at the waist, keeping a flat back and releasing the arms down towards the ground.
Next, entering into a low lunge position on your right leg while bending your left knee; bringing your hands to rest lightly on either side of your front foot. Inhale still expanding through your chest as you arch your spine out of this pose and then exhale as you reach back with your left hand to catch hold of your ankle for a deeper stretch at this point.
Finally come back up into plank position with both hands beneath shoulders, stomach tight and hips in-line with shoulders for stability. Keeping legs involved too: exhale reaching heels towards floor; inhale pressing gently back into downward-dog until arriving in an inverted “V” shape like an upside-down triangle. On exhalation press forward from here into half-way lift or full cobra depending on strength and flexibility level (leave shoulder heads active even while attempting cobra) before returning again onto hands and toes doing 2 more rounds in this direction if desired.
One way to make the Sun Salute more challenging and interesting is by adding a boat pose following the plank position. This variation allows for abdominal muscles to be challenged as well as providing a balance and stability element. Another variation of this pose is to use a block in place of your hands when transitioning from high plank to downward dog – requiring more control and flexibility in order to perform the transition safely and effectively. Additionally, you can add bird-dog movement between each transition in an effort to further challenge your core strength, balance and stability. Finally, another variation could incorporate arm variations such as dynamic side plank or crescent lunge poses during transitions from downward dog to upward facing dog, or any other sun salute pose that you like.
Demonstrating the Pose
Sun Salute yoga pose, or Surya Namaskar, is an incredibly versatile and powerful yoga sequence. It can be used as part of a warmup routine or even as a standalone full body workout. This sequence consists of 12 poses that flow from one to the next:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Start by standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width apart and arms relaxed down at your sides.
2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana): Inhale and bring both arms up into a U shape above your head, stretching fingertips towards the sky. Elongate the spine.
3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): Exhale and fold forward from the hips, bringing your palms to rest on the floor in front of you between your feet. Allow your chest to drop between your thighs while keeping you legs straight. Keep breathing!
4. Low Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana): Inhale and lower yourself into a low plank pose, elbows bent at 90 degrees directly underneath shoulders, torso parallel with the ground, legs extended behind you.
5.. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana): As you exhale press into hands to lift chest off the ground while keeping elbows slightly bent back by ear level and pressing down into tops of feet while lengthening legs back behind you so that shoulders stay over wrists maintaining neutral alignment in neck/spine .
6.. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Inhale and push hips backwards towards ceiling extending arms out in front of body pressing palms flat into floor come onto tops of feet heels pressing towards ground maintain neutral spine/neck extend crown of head back towards heels opening through chest & shoulders bring breath here for 5 breaths .
7.. Step or jump feet forward ,landing just outside hands then inhale arms up come back into Upward Salute(urdvahastasana) building off last position in Chaturanga Dandasana extenfing crown of head towards sky & drawing inward energy
8.. Standing Forward Bend repeat same action as 3rd step but reverse motion instead flexing forward to plant hands between feet, maintaining length/space in lumbar spine pushing butt slightly back as forehead drops toward knees one inhales & stays here for 1-3 cycle breaths
9.. Upward Salute repeat same action as 2nd step inhaling while lifting arms reaching up above head stretching fingers toward sky elongating spine through each vertebrae visualize warrior two energy throughout body before moving on to downward dog
10.. Downword Dog remain for several deep inhalations & exhalations activating hip extensors & slowly allowing shoulder blades release down away from ears opening through upper chest as if rolling thru door frames from back corners to middle keep core engaged heeling pressing actively pushing foward with each exhale
11.. Low Plank hold yogic breath here creating intense heat throughout body pushing strongly against floor visualizing energy surging up centerline while continually engaging abdominals coming into full expression
12..Mountain pose repeat actions 1st step lightly draw toes together & spread them wide apart framing hips outwards bend knees slightly before slowly rising erect squeeze shoulder blades together reach crown upwards & slowly roll entire spine down again coming in true prayer until coming all way back up smile heartenergy directed outward now we have returned to start position 🙂 Enjoy!
Asking For Feedback
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences with Sun Salutes! This yoga pose can help increase flexibility, strength, and endurance. But we’d like to know how it has worked for you ” what kind of results have you had from this yoga exercise? What did the process feel like for you, and how quickly did you start seeing improvements? Have you found any additional benefits that weren’t mentioned in this article about Sun Salutes? Or have you experienced any struggles or challenges along the way? Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts with us and all of our readers!
Recommended Reading and Resources
– Sun Salutations: A Beginner’s Guide by James Bandy
– The Power of the Sun Salutation by Victor Chinaliza
– Sun Salute: An Introduction to Surya Namaskar for Health and Fitness by Adriana Svaldi
– Yoga Sun Salutation: Understand, Practice and Master the Sacred Movements of Yoga by Elizabeth Finley
– 365 Days of Sun Salutations: A Daily Guide to Surya Namaskar by Indrajit Mukherjee
I am passionate about yoga and this is my blog. I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 5. Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways and I love being able to share that with others. My hope is that through this blog, I can help people learn more about yoga, connect with other yogis, and find inspiration to live a healthier, happier life.