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The Sun Salutation, Suryanamaskara, Yoga Asanas Exercises

Sun Salutation - This series of 12 yoga asanas is traditionally performed at dawn, as a greeting to the sun. It forms a gentle warming up exercise from which you can go on to other yoga asanas. Alternatively, you can practise the cycle several times a day, to stretch the muscles and bring flexibility to the spine. Sun Salutation will also trim the waist.

Steps for performing the Sun Salutation

1. stand with your back straight and feet together. Press your palms together in the prayer position. Feel balanced. Exhale.

2. Inhale and stretch uo your arms, arching your back from the waist and pressing your hips forward. Keep your legs straight and let your neck relax.

3. exhale and bring your body forward and down so that your hands touch the floor. In time you should be able to press your palms flat alongside your feet.

4. Inhale and push one leg out behind you, touching the floor with the balls of your toes and your knee. Stretch your leg and arch your back. Lift your chin to form a continuous curve.

5. Holing your breath, stretch the second leg back to join the first. raise yourself up on hands and feet. Keep your body in a staright line.

6. Exhale, lowering yourself to the ground - first the knees, then the vhest, then the forehead. Keep your toes curled and your hips straight.

7. Inhale, lowering your hips to the ground and raising your torso. Point your toes and completely arch your back.

8. Exhale, raising the hips, curling your toes under and bending head inwards. Be conscious of making a regular inverted V shape.

9. Inhale, stepping forward with one foot between your palms. this position is the mirror of that held in step 4.

10. Exhale, bringing the second leg forward to join the first as in step 3.

11. Inhale, lifting your torso up and stretching your arms forward, then back over your head. Arch your back, relax your neck and push your hips forward as in step 2.

12. Exhale, returning to an upright position. Let your arms fall gently by your sides.

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