Say yes to yoga with a sun salutation

A yoga sequence anyone can try

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Yoga is a great exercise that can both energize and relax the body. According to healthline.com, yoga has numerous benefits, including decreasing stress and improving strength and flexibility. Try out this yoga sequence — a sun salutation — whether a beginner or a pro.

Take as much time as needed to perform the first and second cycles of the sun salutation. It’s more important to do each pose correctly than to finish the sequence as quickly as possible.

Warm up for a few minutes by sitting comfortably and just focusing on breathing. Stretch out by rotating the neck, wrists, shoulders and ankles. Once ready, slowly move to a standing position and begin the sequence.

SUN SALUTATION

Mountain pose: Stand with a straight spine and feet shoulder-width apart. Relax the shoulders while engaging the core.

Upward salute: Take a deep breath in and reach arms straight overhead. Keep pulling shoulders away from the ears.

Forward fold: Exhale while reaching fingertips down to the floor. Keep the back flat, and bend the knees if there is too much strain in the hamstrings.

Half forward fold: Inhale and place hands on shins while looking up and straight ahead. Engage the core to maintain a straight spine.

Lunge: On the exhale, move the left leg straight back and keep the right leg bent at a 90º angle to come into a lunge. Distribute body weight equally between each leg.

Chaturanga: Move into a push-up position on the inhale. With the exhale, lower down towards the floor first the chest, then the pelvis. Come all the way to the floor if needed, and adjust the feet so that the top of each foot is touching the ground.

Upward-facing dog: Breathe in and press into hands to lift the whole body off the floor, including legs. Keep leg muscles active while pulling shoulders down and back from ears. Look straight ahead or upwards if it’s comfortable.

Downward-facing dog: Exhale and adjust the feet so that the soles are now touching the floor, then push up and back into an inverted V-shape. Straighten the spine and bend the knees if necessary.

Lunge: Take a breath in and move the left leg forward into a lunge.

Forward fold: Exhale and relax into forward fold.

Upward salute: Inhale and reach arms upwards.

Mountain pose: Return to an engaged standing position with an exhale.

Repeat this cycle three to four times, then take a few minutes, either sitting comfortably or lying on back, to cool down and once again focus on breathing.

A demonstration of the sun salutation sequence can be found on our website, wou.edu/westernhowl, and our Instagram @thewesternhowl.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

 

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