Yoga: Sun Salutation II
Thank you for joining us for another Workout Wednesday! Whether you have practiced last week’s poses or you’re just starting out today, I encourage you to take a few moments to breathe deeply and focus yourself. We are working on the Sun Salutation vinyasa, a yoga series that celebrates the rising of the sun and the light within each of us. Begin by standing tall in Mountain Pose, and then bend at the hips to come into Standing Forward Bend. Rise up into Halfway Lift, and as you exhale, we will begin to learn three new poses.
From Halfway Lift, exhale into Standing Forward Bend, and then walk your hands out in front of you to come into Plank. Your shoulders should be stacked directly over your elbows and wrists, arms shoulder-width apart. Keep strength flowing through your core. Holding your abdomen tightly, try to make a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. This pose is very good for strengthening your arms and abdomen, and it helps to relieve tension in the neck while elongating the spine.
As you hold yourself steady in Plank, exhale and lower your hips to the ground for Cobra. Press up through your palms to support your torso and look up towards the sky. Relax your spine as you enjoy the gentle stretch in your back and neck. This posture opens your heart and lungs, which can be very therapeutic for asthma. Cobra also helps relieve stress, fatigue, and sciatic nerve pain.
Downward Facing Dog
Now move out of Cobra by lifting your hips and straightening through your wrists, shoulders, and spine all the way to your tail bone. This is Downward Facing Dog. Focus most of your weight through your thumbs and forefingers, and feel the stretch through your shoulders. Ground the balls of your feet and strive to relax your heels towards the ground. You may remain here for several breaths as you relax your neck and settle into the pose. Downward Facing Dog can help relieve depression and anxiety while simultaneously strengthening your limbs. This asana has also been found to prevent osteoporosis and ease menopausal symptoms.
Allow yourself time to practice these postures once daily, or even several times per day. Focusing your mind on deep, relaxed breathing while challenging your flexibility, balance and stamina will be very beneficial for your health.
Use this time to think positive thoughts and let go of negativity. If you suffer from chronic pain, bring love and compassion to that part of your body. Please work on moving through these poses fluidly, and check back next Wednesday for the next portion of our Sun Salutation vinyasa.