Series of 8 poses- 12 positions. Minimum 15 mins every morning.
(Attempt to do at least 10-12 fast and 1 slow hold each position for 20 seconds.)
The best time to practice is early morning empty stomach after a bowel movement. But can be easily done at any other time of the day that suits you.
45-50 seconds for each round if practiced at normal speed
10-15 seconds for each round if practiced as an exercise.
Slow holding each position for 15-20 second.
Benefits of sun salutations are many:
Warms up the body.
Lubricates and increases the blood supply to the joints.
Stretches and strengthens the whole body.
Improves efficiency of the internal organs.
Helps to detoxify the body.
Increases energy (prana) in the body and helps to remove energy blockages.
Inhaling, stand erect with feet together. Exhaling bring palms together, thumbs at 90 degree angle from the fingers, pressed against the sternum (the hard bone at the center of the chest).
Inhaling, raise the arms over the head, locking the thumbs and keeping the arms alongside the ears. Bend backward gently arching your back, looking up at the hands, with feet firmly planted on the ground.
Exhaling, bend forward in the waist coming into the standing forward bend, trying to place the palms flat on the floor on either side of the feet. The knees should be kept straight. Try to bring the face to the knees.
Inhaling, step the left foot back into half cobra position, bringing the left knee to the floor and toes tucked in. Press the hips down towards the ground and bend the neck back. Push the chest forward, opening chest and pulling the shoulders back. The right foot remains in between the hands, bringing the calf and thigh of the right leg closer together.
Holding the breath, bring the leg back, joining the legs together. Keep the arms, legs and back straight, creating a plank position. Feet should remain erect, toes tucked.
Exhaling, lower the body down to the ground, in the Ashtanga position (8 points touching the mat). First bring the knees on the ground and then the chest and finally the forehead. Keeping the thighs, abdomen and nose off the mat.
Inhaling, coming into cobra position, straightening the arms, keeping the toes untucked and legs together, knees on the ground. Push the chest forward and pull the shoulders back, gazing up towards the ceiling.
Exhaling, tuck the toes and raise the hips up into a downward facing dog. Keep the arms and legs straight. Tuck the chin in towards the chest, push the forehead down towards the floor. Make sure not to move the feet forward in this position, try to touch the heels down on the mat. Making sure the spine is straight.
Inhaling, step the left leg forward between the hands, coming back into half cobra position, bringing the right knee to the floor and toes tucked in. Press the hips down towards the ground and bend the neck back. Push the chest forward, opening chest and pulling the shoulders back. This position is the reverse of position 4.
Exhaling, bring the left leg forward into the standing forward bend, trying to place the palms flat on the floor on either side of the feet. The knees should be kept straight. Try to bring face towards the knee.
Inhaling, raise the arms over, keeping the arms alongside the ears, stretch and arch your back, looking at the hands as in Position 2.
Exhaling, bring palms together, thumbs at 90 degree angle from the fingers, pressed against the sternum. As in position 1.
Inhale and repeat the same on the other side this time right leg goes back first.
Practice At least 14 times daily.
If the aim is to lose weight at least 30-35 sun salutations out of which 16 fast and rest normal speed and 1 slow where you hold each position for 30 seconds.
After you practice lay down in Shavasan (corpse pose) rest to savor and enjoy the benefits of the Sun Salutations. The external position of this pose is very easy to be Legs spread mat width distance apart heels facing each other toes pointing out. Arms away from the thighs palm facing the ceiling making a half open fist. Tip your chin slightly towards your chest. Focusing your mind on your breath and making conscious effort to relax every stressed part of the body. This is a rare opportunity we experience only in yoga to actually pause and reflect on nothing but your breath and feel the different sensations in our body which usually get missed in the hectic, busy world.
Precautions and Contraindications
Avoid if you have severe back and spinal problems.
High blood pressure.
Abdominal surgery or any other serious abdominal problems.
Avoid if you have knee or wrist pain.
Peptic ulcer, hernia or diarrhea
Avoid during pregnancy and practice the pregnancy version.