Yoga Pose of the Month

SUN SALUTATION A

HOW – Sun Salutations are a traditional way to begin a Yoga class. You don’t have to be on your mat to enjoy the benefits. This is a great flow to do first thing in the morning, as a part of your circuit training at the gym, or anytime you need to feel great! Do this at a faster pace to awaken or slow it down to bring deeper calm I have done this in airports in between flights and it shifts any fatigue or drowsiness.

WHY – This is a powerful and effective exercise for overall mobility, and endurance.
The main muscles you are targeting are:

  • The Chest (Pectoralis Major and Minor).
  • Back muscles are a big part of this (Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Serratus anterior and posterior).
  • The back of your arms (Triceps) and Shoulders (Deltoids).
  • All the muscles of your core (In particular Obliques, Erector Spinae).
  • Legs (Quadriceps, Hamstrings) and glutes work as well.

BENEFITS – Sun Salutations are great for overall wellness. Flowing through this is healing for your spine, brings mobility to your hips, shoulders and increases flexibility overall. It gets your heart rate up, awakens your nervous system, and brings blood flow and oxygen to your entire body. You will experience a rush of endorphins when done at a faster pace and a calming effect when done slowly. This is a great flow after sitting for long periods of time, if you experience headaches, back pain, anxiety, depression and/or Fatigue.

MODIFICATIONS – As with all Physical work get clear on what modifications for you and honour that.

  1.  One simple modification is dropping your Knees in Chaturanga (similar to a push up)
  2. Second, rather than coming all the way up in Upward Facing Dog take Cobra (come ½ way up)
  3. From Upward Facing Dog (or Cobra ) drop to your knees as transition to Downward Facing Dog
  4. If you are dipping in your lower back, experience any stain in your wrists, shoulders or back

CONNECT – Connect with your core muscles, squeeze the muscles of your legs. Get mindful in chaturanga and stop at the 90 degree bend or stay higher – not dipping lower. There is so much potential for overall physical balance, strength, flexibility, and health. Connect with all your muscles and – breathe! When breathing inhale to open up and expand – exhale to hug in and contract.

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SUN SALUTATION A

SET UP
– Stand with your feet together and your hands in prayer at your chest
– Take a few moments here to still your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out
– Pull your shoulders back
– Draw your belly button in
– Press down into the floor with your feet
– Your whole body is present and ready

GO FOR IT
– Reach up – Inhale
– Forward fold – Exhale
– Half way lift (flat back) – Inhale
– Chaturanga (Yoga push up) – Exhale
– Upward Facing Dog – Inhale
– Downward Facing Dog – Exhale
– Step your feet forward to your hands
– Half way lift (flat back) – Inhale
– Forward fold – Exhale
– Reach up – Inhale pause with your hands in prayer and take a few deep breaths
– Repeat this whole flow 5 – 10 x

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