At the start of each day, give 30 minutes to yourself, smile and salute the sun!
“Sun salutations” (Surya Namaskar) after waking up fill the body with energy, clear the mind and set the rhythm of success and positive action, which will resonate throughout your day.
Sun salutations are a graceful combination of yoga asanas (poses), which are practiced sequentially and synchronised with breathing. The sequence of asanas is repeated and beginners can start with 2-3 repetitions. With advancement, the repetitions increase, and true masters can reach above 100 repetitions.
With each repetition the poses deepen and heat is generated in the body, which dilates blood vessels and helps with circulation. Muscles and tendons stretch and become more flexible, while the synovial fluid carries nutrients to the joints. In addition, sweating releases toxins which helps to cleanse the body. Regular yoga practice improves the range of motion of the whole body and helps build strength, endurance and balance.
In addition to the benefits for the body, sun salutations also help us find inner peace and reduce stress. Concentrating on your breadth and senses while transitioning from one pose to another helps us focus on the present moment and start our day with a clear mind and consciousness. With an everyday practice of the sun salutation, you will feel more centred, grateful, joyous and balanced.
Sun salutations transition gradually through the following asanas (poses), each of which is being held only as much as the length of the natural pauses between breadths.
- Stand upright in mountain pose (Tadasana), with hands held in front of your chest (Anjali mudra). Exhale.
- Inhale, stretch your arms forward and upward (Urdva hastasana).
- Exhale, lean forward and downward (Utanasana).
- Inhale, step back with your right foot, knee on the floor.
- Exhale and step back with your left foot (Phalakasana).
- Inhale and slowly relax your knees, chest and chin (Ashtanga Pranam) on the floor.
- Exhale, press your palms on the floor and lift the chest (Salabhasana).
- Inhale, lean on four limbs and rise up and back in downward dog (Adho mukha svanasana).
- Exhale and step forward with the right foot, the gaze is forward.
- Inhale and bend over in Utanasana. Extend your body as you fold your arms back in front of your heart in Tadasana.
After you complete a few repetitions of the sun sequence, your body will be fully warmed up and you can continue with your regular exercise or yoga practice.