Sun Salutation Warm-Up Exercise For Full Yoga Workout

By Patricia | April 13, 2009
Sun Salute Warm-Up Routine

Yoga is a traditional physical and mental discipline that whose origins can be traced to India several centuries ago. The Sanskrit word 'yoga' refers to 'union', in other words, a union of the body and mind. One type of yoga is the 'Surya Namaskara' or salute to the sun. The sun salutes is a series of twelve poses performed dynamically. As the name suggests, it is advisable to perform the sun salute early in the morning. The sun salute is also an extremely useful warm-up exercise to begin a full yoga workout routine.

Although these exercises are physical, it is important to concentrate on your breath as well to achieve maximum benefits. You should inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract.

The first position is Tadasana, or the mountain pose, where you need to stand upright with your feet together. This is a pose of deep concentration and increases the entire awareness of your body. The second pose is the Urdhva Hastasana or the raised hands pose. Make sure you take in a full breath while performing this pose. This pose gives your body a well-needed first stretch. This is followed by the Utanasana, or the flat back pose, where you bend down to touch the ground. Exhale while you do this pose. This pose releases any tension in your body.

The fourth position is a lunge, which improves overall body flexibility. It enhances the strength of your back and legs. The next position is the Adho Mukha Svanasana or the downward facing dog pose. To perform this pose, keep your hands and feet on the ground and face downwards with your hips arched. This position opens up the chest, and helps build upper body strength. The sixth position is the plank position, where you keep your body in a straight line and support your weight on your hands. This is a wonderful exercise to keep your arms fit. The seventh position is the Urdhva Muhka Svanasana or the upward facing dog pose. For this pose, you need to lie on your stomach, and arch your body backwards. This gives your body a lateral stretch.

With the eighth position, you start performing the same positions backwards. Therefore, you do the downward facing dog pose, followed by the lunge as the ninth pose, the flat back pose as number ten and the raised hands pose as the eleventh position. The final position is Tadasana once again to help you complete the regimen.

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