Classical sun salutation sequence
Before you start any type of yoga practice it is important to warm up the joints and muscles to prepare you for the asanas.
Use blocks, bolsters or blankets to cushion the knees or just to help you achieve the poses comfortably.
Yoga is a practice of getting to know your own body so if at anytime you feel uncomfortable or tired please ease off or rest in childs pose, regroup and then gently carry on.
Please be mindfull of any injuries or restrictions you may have, this is your practice, enjoy it and try to take note of what your body and mind felt like before and what it feels like after.
Start standing tall in mountain pose, engaging calves, thighs, buttocks and core, try and raise the core up into the chest feeling the flow of energy radiate up from your grounded feet, up through you body into your chest, take a few breaths here.
Keeping everything engaged we will open the chest bringing the shoulders back by opening out the palms and keeping the chin parallel to the floor, with every inhale we expand the chest.
Take a few mind-full breaths and on the inhale we will slowly raise the arms up and clasp the fingers together, with every inhale we reach up keeping the core and legs engaged, stretch up and feel the energy move up through the legs and the torso up into the hands as we reach to the sky, take a few breaths here.
On the next inhale reach up as far as possible and exhale those arms back into a little back bend arching the spine slightly, inhale forwards into mountain pose once more before exhaling down into standing forward fold placing the hands wherever feels comfortable keeping the legs as straight as possible, from here we bend the knees slightly and place our hands either side of the feet and extend the right leg back into low lunge, making sure to keep the knee of the left leg over the ankle and the hips facing forwards, on an inhale raise both arms up and clasp the fingers together extending the torso and spine up towards the sky, from here on the exhale slowly relax into the hips, again inhale elongating the spine and then exhale relaxing into the hips, take three breaths here.
On the next exhale lower the hands down to the mat making sure the fingertips are spread apart and pointing forwards, grounding the hands bring the body into plank position keeping the hands in line with elbows and shoulders, keep the legs and the torso engaged whilst drawing the core and navel into the spine, if this position is to intense you can lower the arms down to the floor and rest the arms on the elbows again keeping the elbows in line with the shoulders, take a few breaths here.
On the next exhale slowly lower the knees, chin and chest to the floor keeping the buttocks raised and take a couple of deep breaths before you inhale and slide forwards from the feet and hands into cobra, in this pose you’re supporting the torso with the lower back so the weight shouldn’t be in your hands, rounding the shoulders back and keeping the chin parallel to the floor breath here for three complete breaths and on the last exhale push through the hands and knees in to active childs pose, rest the buttocks on the heels of the feet and if possible the forehead on the mat, with your arms out stretched in front of you inhale and fill the torso with air feeling the active stretch opening up the back and chest, on the exhale walk the fingertips forwards feeling the side of the torso and shoulders release, keep taking these active complete breaths and consciously work with the breath opening then releasing.
On the next inhale we tuck the toes and push through our hands and feet up into downward dog pedalling the feet and easing into the calves, with the hands firmly grounded and the finger tips spread apart we rotate the shoulders out, raise the sit bones up and gaze towards the knees, thighs or stomach and breathe here for five breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling those complete breaths.
After the last exhale we inhale our right foot forward into low lunge making sure the foot is firmly grounded and that the front knee is directly above the ankle resting the left knee down to the mat, roll the shoulders back and keep the chin parallel to the floor, inhale the hands up and clasp the hands together, on the exhale release down gently into the hips, take three breaths here extending and releasing, on the last exhale lower the hands back down to the mat and as you inhale bring the left leg forwards into standing forward fold, breathe here lowering the hands as much as possible to the mat, inhale filling the chest and torso with air, exhale release from the hips to the mat, if there’s pain in the knees its ok to give them a slight bend in any pose, on the next inhale slowly raise the torso rolling up each vertebrae at a time coming into mountain pose, slowly raise the arms then gently exhale the hands back down to heart Centre standing tall in mountain pose.
We then repeat this process on the left side.
Repeating sun salutations on a daily basis as many times as you like creates equilibrium throughout the body and calms the mind.
Namaste Adam constable.