Sun Salutations build heat in the body and are often used as warm-up sequences for a yoga practice. The components of a Sun Salutation also make up a "vinyasa" — the series of movements and poses coordinated with your breath. Remember to breath through your nose.
Step 1: Standing Mountain Pose- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press your palms together in prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum and take a deep breath in and out through your nose
Step 2: Inhale as you sweep your arms out to the side and overhead. Gently arch your back and gaze toward the sky.
Step 3: Standing Forward Fold - Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Rest your hands beside your feet and bring your nose to your knees. Bend your knees if necessary.
Step 4: Inhale as you lift your torso halfway bringing your fingertips to your shins and lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor.
Step 5: Chaturanga - Exhale as you step or jump back into Straight Armed Plank Pose (Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and flex your feet back through your heels.
Step 6: Upward-Facing Dog - Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.
Step 7: Downward-Facing Dog - Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones toward the sky. Stay here for a few breaths. On your last exhalation, bend your knees and look between your hands.
Step 8: Inhale as you step or jump both feet between your hands. Lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Bring fingertips to your shins.
Step 9: Standing Forward Fold - Exhale as you fold your torso over your thighs. Bend your knees if necessary. Rest your hands beside your feet and bring your nose to your knees.
Step 10: Inhale as you sweep your arms out to the side and extend up once again. Gently arch your back and gaze toward the sky.
Step 11 Exhale as you come back into Mountain Pose. Bring your hands into prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum.
Repeat! Don't forget to breathe!
Image from londonyogi.com
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