Yoga – The Salute to the Sun

The “Salute to the Sun” is a series of postures designed to limber up, and tone and strengthen the body. It is a moving sequence made up of a combination of Yoga positions.

The Salute to the Sun is also known as Surya Namaskar, from “Sun” and “Greeting” or “Salutation”.

The sequence of movements should be carried out in a fluid manner, “flowing” from one position to the next. This will take some practice and familiarity with the postures and positions, but the benefits are worth the effort. The Salute to the Sun is an excellent warm-up to other work, and will warm up the body and mind on its own.

1. Stand upright with spine extended, legs straight and arms together.

2. Inhale, and raise and extend your arms over your head and bend slightly backward.

3. Exhale and reach your arms and fingers up and forward. Bend forward from the hips and place your hands flat on the ground, or as close as your can.

4. Inhale and place your right leg behind you, making a right angle with your left leg. Sink into your right hip and look up.

5. Bring your left leg to join your right leg so that you are on “all fours”with your knees behind your ips.

6. Exhale and lower your chest and forehead to the ground so that you are lying flat on the ground.

7. Inhale and stretch forward and up, raising the front of your body up off the floor.

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8. Exhale and lower your chest. Push up and back with your arms and raise your hips to form an inverted “V”.

9. Inhale and bend your right leg, and lower your left leg to the ground, as in step 4 above.

10. Exhale and bring your left leg up as in step 3.

11. Inhale and reverse the move into position 2.

12. Exhale, return to an upright “prayer” position, and salute the sun.

These 12 poses or postures are an excellent way to put your body through disciplined series of preliminary stretches. This can form a warm-up to other exercises, or used on its own if you only have a short time to devote to your practice of Yoga.

The “Yoga Fitness” site has a further description of the “Salute to the Sun” at including a brief video of this outstanding warm-up series.

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