Sun Salutation: The Only Yoga Exercise You Need to Know
If I told you you could get a healthy and flexible body by dedicating 5 minutes a day to one yoga flow, would you believe me?
I know it sounds too good to be true. However, the Surya Namaskar (Sanskrit: Surya = the light, Namaskar = greet), commonly known as the Sun Salutation, is said to be a natural remedy for common health issues, such as high blood pressure and gut problems, as well as being a wonderful and easy way to get dewy skin, lustrous hair and a calm mind.
Keep reading to discover:
How your body and mind benefit from sun salutations
Whether you are a frequent yoga practitioner or a complete novice, the asana sequence of the sun-salutation can work wonders on your neck and back muscles, making it a great counterpart to the many unfavourable poses we hold in our day-to-day lives.
It’s an excellent way to warm up for longer yoga sessions and makes a fantastic stand-alone practice. During a sun-salutation, your body bends, stretches, and rotates. Your breath synchronises with your movements, allowing you to ground yourself and unwind.
Traditionally, it is said that the element of the sun is a constant presence in our lives, wherever we go. Practising the Surya Namaskar allows you to awaken your inner Sun by activating your heart chakra. We recommend doing the sun salutation in the mornings with the sunrise.
Ready? Grab your yoga mat and let’s get right into it.
Your 8-step guide to the perfect sun salutation
1. Bring your feet together at the front of your mat. Your arms are dangling beside you. Close your eyes for a moment and focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath in and exhale to empty your lungs. Place your hands in front of your heart.
2. On your inhale, reach your hands over your head and raise your ribs from your waist, stretching your torso toward the sky.
3. As you exhale, bend over from your hamstrings, resting your hands as far as it is possible on your shins, ankle, toes or floor.
4. Take another deep breath and lift your body halfway until you are level with your hips. Maintain a forward-facing stance with the head and shoulders upright. For the next step, you can rest your hands on your shins to bring your chest forward.
5. Inhale, then take a step back with your feet until you're in a plank position. Exhale, drop your legs to the mat and arch your back to stretch before lowering your chest. If you are more advanced in your practice, you can also go into a full chaturanga.
6. Take a deep breath in as you slide to the front of your mat and slowly shift into a cobra pose. Raise your sternum and pinch your elbows while placing your palms alongside your lower ribs. If you are more advanced in your practice, you can also go into an upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana).
7. Inhale whilst sending your hands into a downward-facing dog pose. Spend a couple of moments here to focus on your breathing again before you step towards your hands and walk your body up into a half-lift.
8. Breathe out, tuck your head back, and press onto your heels as you ascend. Now, looking forward, put your hands together and let them move from your chest above your head to your arms. Slowly open your eyes and step off your mat.
This traditional yoga flow allows you to set your intentions for the day and helps you lead a healthier and happier life. What more could one want? All you need to do is to dedicate a few minutes to yourself every morning. Wake up, have a glass of water and grab your KG Physio yoga mat for a successful start in the day.
Now, over to you: How did you feel about your first sun salutation? Have you tried doing the Surya Namaskar to the beat of your favourite song?