THE SUN SALUTATION
The Sun Salutation is warm up exercise which should be practiced before starting the other Asanas. It is made up of 12 different spinal positions giving various vertebral movements to the spinal column. It brings great flexibility to the spine and the limbs. For stiff people Sun Salutation is a great boon in helping to regain lost flexibility. The Sun Salutation helps to regulate the breathing and focus the mind.
How to do Surya Namaskar
Stand erect with feet together and hands by the sides. Take a deep breath
Exhale; bring the hands together at the chest in the “prayer position”, centering the body.
Inhale; stretch the arms over the head. Arch back.
Exhale and bend forward. Put the hands on the floor next to the feet. Make sure that the fingers are in line with toes. Bring the head in to the knees.
Inhale; stretch the right foot back as far as possible. Put the right knee on the floor. Stretch the head upwards.
Retain the breath; bring both legs back so that the entire body is in a straight line from head to heels (“Push-Up” position).
Exhale; drop the knees to the floor. Lower the chest straight down so that it is on the ground between the hands. Bring the forehead to the floor.
Inhale; slide the body forward. Arch up and back. Legs and hips remain on the ground.
Exhale; raise the hips. Drop the head between the arms; stretch the heels towards floor. (“Inverted-V” position).
Inhale; bring the right foot forward between the hands (fingers and toes in line). Drop the left knee to the floor and stretch the head up (same as Position 4).
Exhale; bring the left leg forward next to the right leg. Keep the hips up as high as possible and bring the forehead in towards the knees (same as position 3)
Inhale; stretch up. Bring the arms straight up over the head and arch back (same as position 2).
Exhale; drop the arms down next to sides and relax, (same as starting position).