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An Introduction to Sun Salutation
Begin in mountain pose. Place your hands in a prayer position in front of your heart and set an intention. Sanskrit term ~ Tadansa
Inhale and raise your hands towards the sky in an upward salute. Sanskrit term ~ Urdhva Hastasana
Exhale and “plunge” into standing forward bend, which is also called Sanskrit term ~ uttanasana
Gently inhale and extend your spine into a standing half forward bend. Sanskrit term ~ Ardha Uttanasana
Depending on how experienced you are at yoga, either step or jump back to four-limbed plank pose. Sanskrit term ~ Chatturanga Dandasana Sana
Inhale and come forward to a Upward dog or low cobra. Anchor your pelvis and the tops of your feet to the floor but try not to press into your hands as you come up into the backbend. Sanskrit term ~ Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Exhale. Push back to downward facing dog. You can come through hands and knees on the way if necessary. Stay here a few breaths (or more) if you need to take a break. If you are going for a brisk pace, just stay one breath. Sanskrit term ~ Adho Mukha Śvānāsana
Step the right foot next to the right hand and then bring the left foot to join it in a standing forward bend. You may also choose to jump forward instead. To do this, bend the knees on an exhalation and jump your feet to meet your hands. Try to land with your toes in line with your fingertips.
From here inhale into a half lift extending your spine.
Exhale and fold completely forward into standing forward bend. You’re almost done with your first round of Surya Namaskar!
Inhale and rise into into an upward salute. You’re ready to come full circle like the sun. Inhale and rise up radiantly by bringing your prayer hands towards the sky in urdhva hastasana. Gently arch your back as you look up towards your hands.
Exhale and return to Prayer position. Bring your prayer hands back to your sides as you exhale and return to Mountain Pose.
Take a minute or two to enjoy the heart-opening effects and energizing effects of Surya Namaskar ~ Salute to the Sun.
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