What better way to celebrate the arrival of summer (and bikinis) than to whip out a fresh batch of Sun Salutations (and sweat)! Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) are used at the beginning of yoga classes to build heat in the body to prepare yourself for the deeper postures. Try these salutations at the beginning of the day to greet the sun and set your energy. If that isn't possible, use this sequence anytime you need extra energy or want to build up a sweat. Repeat this sequence 5-10 times to lift your heart rate, create sweat (detox) and get bikini ready!
Break it Down:
Begin in Tadasana (Moutain Pose). Feet together, stand tall with arms at the sides.
Inhale, reach the arms wide until the palms press overhead. Gaze up relaxing the base of the neck.
Exhale, release the arms wide into a forward fold, extending the chest from the hips until the hands touch the floor to either side of your feet . If the palms won't go flat come onto fingertips or hands to shins.
Inhale, keep the hands or fingertips on the ground, extend through the chest as you gaze forward.
Exhale, step back into Plank Pose (pre-push up position).
Shoulders are directly over the wrists, arms are straight. Shoulders, hips and heels are in one long line. Keep gaze forward and bend elbows halfway to the ground keeping them tight to the body.
This push up position is called Chaturanga. Jump back into this pose from the last inhale if comfortable.
Inhale, drop the pelvis, roll onto the toenails and lift the chest with straight arms (Upward Facing Dog).
Exhale, lift through the tops of the thighs and belly to pull the body into Downward Facing Dog (create and upside down V extending the hips up and towards the back of the room).
Take 5 deep breaths in and out through the nose (Ujjai breath) in Downward Facing Dog.
At the end of the fifth exhale, gaze in between the hands and either step the feet forward to meet the hands or lightly jump forward.
Inhale, keep the legs straight, hands down, extend the chest long and look forward.
Exhale, keep the length in the chest, fold long over the legs (Uttanasana).
Inhale, keeping the belly strong, open the arms wide, lift the chest until the palms press with straight arms over head. Look up.
Exhale, release the arms next to your sides.
Repeat this whole sequence 5-10 times.
Want to see it in action? Visit my YouTube site to watch the full sequence HERE
Kathryn Budig is a popular Los Angeles vinyasa flow instructor who's clientele ranges from celebrities such as Bill Murray and Giada de Laurentiis to new mothers and students. She travels nationally and is regularly featured in yoga and health publications. For more information, please visit the sites below.
Want to read more?