The Classical sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) was taught when I began taking yoga in the early 70’s. We would do a few rounds as a general warm-up at the beginning of every yoga class. I always loved the sun salutation because it offered a variety of poses in a rhythm that drew me into my breathing and quickly pulled me away from the whatever was overtaking my mind.

There is so much you learn from sun salutation. Surya Namaskar has 12 movements. If you see each movement as part of a prayer and a homage to life as the sun rises every morning, it is quite beautiful.  The poses move from a bowing down (forward bending) to an opening of the heart (back bending).  Forward bends to back bends all moving inward and outward.

I was thinking to suggest starting with the intention to practice three complete sun salutations.  So of course that’s what I did.  Just three.  I have a lovely yoga timer that plays a one minute gong with ocean sound in between.  I start off holding each pose for one minute which in itself can be very interesting.  As I continue I may feel like holding some poses longer such as cobra or Downward Facing Dog.  I eventually add variations which I will list below. 

The design and structure is completely up to you depending on your mood of the moment and your physicality.  

The intrigue for me in this practice is that I get a complete body involvement.  I am both strengthening and stretching.  With variations I can address different subtleties. I can also practice my breathing in a rhythm with each posture and the movement in-between. 

I would wager that your intended three Salutations will stretch into more.  Regardless of how many you do, you will feel better after even one complete cycle.

Variations (some)

Hold a poses for different timings for a fun challenge

lunge with your back knee off the ground, then with the back knee on the ground, Add Pigeon pose to the lunge add a front split (Hanumanasana)

From Uttanasana as you come up try chair pose or from Tadasana before you go forward into Uttanasana.

Downward Facing Dog lifting one leg up (Adho Mukha Shvanasana )

Downward Facing Dog with bent elbows for one minute

Cobra to Upward Facing Dog

Let your own spontaneous whim guide you. It’s fun! Enjoy the rest of your morning. I am sure that you will.

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