Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, are historically done in the morning to welcome the new day. Surya Namaskar Bks Iyengar. The sequence of 8 postures may be a full practice in itself, or can prepare you for a longer asana regimen. Sun Salutes are typically done in sets of 5, however if you are new to the practice it’s recommended to begin with 2 or 3. Each time you move through this sequence, coordinate your breath with the motions of your body.
To begin, stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) (Mountain Pose). Distribute your weight equally across both feet. Establish a calm, steady rhythm for your breath. Find your center.
Next, inhale and extend your arms out to the side and above into Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hand Pose) (Upward Hand Pose). Reach your heart and arms to the sky, offering your welcome to the sun.
As you exhale, empty down your abdomen and fold into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), connecting down into the ground. Keep your legs firmly engaged. Surya Namaskar Bks Iyengar.
Inhale and extend your spine forward into Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend) (Half Standing Forward Bend). In this posture, the gaze is raised, the spine is stretched, and the fingers may remain on the floor or rise to the shins.
Exhale and step or gently hop your feet back behind you into Plank Pose. Your wrists should lie level on the floor, shoulder-distance apart, and your feet should be at hip distance. Take a deep breath in as you extend through your spine.
Exhale and descend into Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), maintaining your legs straight and pressing back into your heels or bringing your knees to the floor. Build heat in the core of your body as you hold this difficult position. Surya Namaskar Bks Iyengar.
Inhale and slice your chest forward into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog), directing that energy out from your heart. Pull your shoulders back and open your collarbones. Engage your legs but relax your gluteal muscles.
Exhale and roll over the toes, entering into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). Ground down through your hands and feet while you extend your spine. Remain here for five breaths. Surya Namaskar Bks Iyengar.
On your sixth exhalation, bend your legs and gaze between your hands. Then inhale and walk or gently bounce your feet between your hands, returning to Ardha Uttanasana.
Exhale back to Uttanasana, surrendering into the fold.
Inhale, extending your arms out wide to your sides and coming to stand through a flat back. Feel a fresh feeling of energy as you raise your arms above into Urdhva Hastasana.
Exhale and return to Tadasana, your home base. Remain here for a few breaths, experiencing the flow of energy through your body, or go on to your next salutation.