The sun salutation is a series of poses combined with breaths that yogis usually do to warm up during a yoga session. The theory behind the name is that 'light' is seen as good in every culture, and the sun is the first and ultimate source of light. I interpret this to mean this salutation celebrates light and all things good.
It really is a perfect series for warming up the body because it involves the use of the whole body. For the next few days, I want to walk you through the different poses in the series, and then I'll show you how they flow into each other. Just remember, the high poses involve a deep breath in, and the low poses involve a deep breath out. Breathing deeply helps guide you from one pose to another.
The first in the flow is the extended mountain pose. Above is a demonstration of the pose. Here are a few important things to note:
- Keep your shoulders rolled back and down
- Raise your arms
- Look up, if possible
- Keep your heels firmly in the ground
- Feel like you're stretching your whole body upwards
- Try not to put strain on your neck
Some people throw their heads back and it just kills your neck. Rolling your shoulders down and your chest up should help.
The next pose in this flow is the forward fold. You come into this pose from the extended mountain pose through a "swan dive", which just means your arms are stretched out to the side, and your back is completely flat as you lower down.
You can fold your arms under your head, wrap them around your legs, or bring them to the floor. Notice how my legs are bent a little? The tendency is to force your legs straight, but keep them bent if you are new to this to not strain your knees. Pull your back down towards your feet straightening your spine, so stretch from your spine NOT YOUR HEAD. The more you do this, the looser your back and sides should get.
Tomorrow, we'll talk more about sun salutations. I hope you're learning something!
Cheers Eights & Weights!