Maybe it’s your partner, your bedroom or your phone. Whatever it is, the one thing that actually allows for this is LIGHT! The history of practicing a sun salutation goes back thousands of years to honoring the source of energy and light for the world – hence a sun salute!
A Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. It serves as an all-purpose yoga tool. You can make it more challenging by moving through the poses quickly or more calming by moving through them slowly…almost like a moving meditation. You can either make a whole practice out of many sun salutation repetitions or place them into a larger yoga class. Yogi’s choice!
Start with hands at heart center, or Anjali mudra, which is meant to serve as an offering, greeting or initiation of something.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with arms lifted
Inhale your arms above the head while standing with your feet a few inches apart with equal weight distributed in each. Palms face one another, shoulder blades are away from your ears and down your back, pelvis is neutral, upper abs are tucked in. Greet the sun!
Exhale and hinge at the hips, moving your arms in prayer position down your center line towards the mat. Slightly bend your knees if you feel pressure on your lower back. Hands move towards the floor, behind your ankles for a deeper stretch or towards blocks for added support.
Inhale and place your palms on your shins as you lift your torso away from your thighs creating a long spine.
Exhale and either step or hop back into plank pose. Shoulders are directly above your palms and feet are hip-width distance behind you. Inhale and ground into the earth with all 10 fingers.
Chaturanga Dandasana (High to low push-up)
Exhale as you lower from a high to a low push up with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Careful not to dip into the shoulders here. Option to drop the knees to the floor as you lower down.
Inhale as you shine your chest forward and pull your shoulders back and away from your ears, flipping your toes to where the tops of your feet push into the floor. Your thighs are off the mat, legs are engaged and glutes are relaxed.
Exhale and either roll over the toes or come down on your knees before flipping your toes, coming into downward dog as your press your hips towards the back of the room and press the heels down. If your heels don’t reach the mat (completely okay!), add a bend to your knees – whatever you do, don’t compromise a long spine. Ground down through your hands and feet as you lengthen your spine.
Inhale and either step or hop towards your hands at the front of the mat placing your palms on your shins and lifting your torso to lengthen your spine.
Exhale and hinge at your hips keeping a slight bend your knees if you feel pressure on your lower back. Hands move towards the floor, behind your ankles for a deeper stretch or towards blocks for added support.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Inhale and begin to move your torso up to form a straight spine, lifting your arms and returning to Tadasana.
Exhale to Anjali mudra, prayer hands, exactly where we started 🙂 Repeat 5x.