Sun Salutation aka Surya Namaskar
The Sun Salutation sequence will open your day every day with vitality. After only a few days in a row of doing these poses, your body will begin to naturally wake up early. No alarm clock or coffee needed.
- Begin in mountain pose standing with your hands by your sides or hands in prayer position.
- Breathe in while you reach your arms to the sky making a circle as you bring them up over your head. Keep your shoulders back and down.
- Exhale your breath out as you take a swan dive down, bending at the waste and touch your toes. Your knees can be bent as much as you need.
- Plant both hands on the floor in front of you while you step (or hop) your feet back. Press into your hands as you move your hips up and position yourself in downward dog.
- Move your body down into a plank (chataranga dadasana) or four-limbed staff pose.
- Drop your knees and then hips and move into upward dog as you look to the sky.
- Move back into downward facing dog while you bring your heels as close to flat on the ground as possible.
- Step or hop your feet back up toward the top of your mat and fold your arms and head down touching your thighs.
- Reach up to the sky again and bring your hands back down to where you started.
Special notes: This is a foundational series of poses for anyone starting a yoga practice as well as seasoned yogis. It is also a complete set of poses, meaning, if you do no other yoga for the day, you can be assured that doing this daily will still get you towards your yoga goals. This sequence is also thought to balance out the seven chakras of the body and aid in stress and anxiety relief by linking movement with the breath.
Similar poses: Moon Salutation/Chandra Namaskar
If you want a similar sequence to do at night, this one is very similar to the Sun Salutation. In fact, the only difference is to add in Child’s pose after the Plank pose in Step 5.