STEP 1: Stand on your mat in the Mountain Pose. Bring your palms together in prayer position.
STEP 2: As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms together into an extended mountain pose.
STEP 3: Exhale while bending forward reaching for your feet (if possible). Drop your head down, touch knee with the head if possible. Knees locked - if possible.
STEP 4: As you inhale, step the right leg back into a lunge, arch your back and lift your chin.
STEP 5: Exhaling step the left leg back into Downward facing dog; lifting your hips up into an inverted V position; hips are up, knees are locked (if possible) heels touch the floor. Keep head between your arms with chin pointing to the chest.
STEP 6: Retaining the breath, move into 8 point pose; lower your knees, chest and then your chin, keeping your hips up and toes curled. Elbows stay close to the body.
STEP 7: Inhaling, slight chest forward into Up dog (flatten your feet to protect the lower back. Inner thighs are squeezed, glutes are active, back slightly arched) chest is open. and bend back. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
STEP 8: Exhaling, curl your toes under, press down into your heels, and lift your hips up into downward facing dog again.
STEP 9: As you inhale, bring your right leg forward into a lunge, with the top of the foot stretched out flat on the floor, and lift your chin.
STEP 10: Exhale and then bend forward until your hands touch your feet.
STEP 11: Inhaling stretch your arms forward and over your head into an extended mountain pose. Slightly bend backward.
STEP 12: Exhaling, gently come back to mountain pose.
After you finish your right leg, you do the same sequence starting with the left leg. Both legs make 1 Salutation.
THE SUN SALUTATION
The Sun Salutation Pose is a flowing series of 12 poses that help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column. There are many different sequences, each with some variations (Depending on the Yoga lineage practiced) some more advanced than others, but all the poses can be modified according to your fitness level and flexibility.
This level 1 sequence is the original salutation. Start slow, and with practice, your flexibility and strength will significantly improve. This sequence is also great as a warm-up before your weight training exercise.
YOGA to Improve Flexibility
The best time to improve your flexibility is during your regular workout time. Include five minutes, as minimum, of stretching in your warm-up and 5 minutes in your cool-down.
Stretching should not hurt. Make sure you stretch just to a slight discomfort,holding each exercise for 10-30 seconds. Over time you will see improvements.
In the illustration below you can find the basic stretches that work for most exercise routines.
Gentle Movements for:
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