Monday, July 18, 2011

Yoga Pose of the Month: SUN SALUTE


As we wrap up the month of feeling, emotion and nurture, I wanted to leave you with the series of postures that represents flow like no other. The Sun Salute. The Sun Salute reminds us to breathe. Expanding the breath on the inhale and contracting on the exhale.

The Sun Salute asks us to feel our way through. Modifying and adding postures as needed. Going at our unique pace on any given day. I almost always begin my practice with Sun Salutes.

Here is a basic breakdown and a video at the end.

FLOW. In this month, we want to GO WITH THE FLOW. And FEEL OUR WAY THROUGH. The word “vinyasa” is “flow”. So one of the most popular forms of hatha yoga is FLOW yoga. Any pose you do can have a vinyasa or flow between sides. See below for instructions on how to use the vinyasa to string together your poses.

Mountain Pose is a foundational pose which is essentially “home base” in your yoga practice. You will come back to it again and again. It can be found within all hatha yoga poses and can be used as a guide to asses alignments and lines of energy. 

Feet should be touching, side by side. Lift your kneecaps and engage your thigh muscles. Tuck your tailbone just slightly, and draw your belly in and up, while lifting up out of your waist. Draw your shoulders back and down. Lengthen through the crown of your head.Mountain

Make sure your hands are below your shoulders. Step your feet together. Keep your body in a strong, straight line by engaging your core muscles. Plank

Exhale breathing, slowly lower down, keeping your elbows close to the sides of your body. Stop when your shoulders and your elbows are aligned. We build strong arms, so that we can love and nurture our families. Lower Down

Turn the tops of your feet on the floor. Inhale, look up and press your palms into the ground to lift your upper body until your arms are straight, allowing your upper thighs and knees to come up as well. Lifting the heart and opening the chest to allow more love out (and in). Lower down to transition into Downward Facing Dog. Upward Facing Dog

Turn the balls of your feet under, and on an exhale breath, press into the floor with your hands and feet and lift your hips up. Press firmly into the heels and the palms of your hands. Relax your head and neck and make sure your spine is straight. It is okay to bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight. Down Dog

BREATH is also a part of flow. When I breathe, I feel my emotions more. The emotions are the bridge from the mind to the body, and the breath is the vehicle. For me, just being aware of the inhale and exhale, particularly the spaces between, help me to become present to what I am feeling. 


  1. How many sun salutes should one do?

    1. Energize your body as you stretch and strengthen all of its main body muscle groups in sun salutations, or surya namaskar.

  2. Sun Salutes - A sequence of 12 yoga poses.. I do it daily.

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