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Mini Salute to the Sun

April 4, 2011
We know how important it is to keep the body moving, to keep the joints and muscles flexible and well lubricated. The benefits of Surya Namaskar have become quite popular, the body’s energies are balanced, leading to a balance between body and mind, tiredness is relieved as the lungs are filled with oxygen, revitalising the body and increasing vital force as toxins are eliminated. However not everyone is able to do full sequence with ease first thing in the morning. Below is a variation of Surya Namaskar as taught to me by one of my yoga teachers. I often use it in class as an alternative to the full option, especially for students who struggle with lunges and have back problems. I hope you enjoy this version which we call the Mini Salute to the Sun. 

1)      Start kneeling. Sitting on your heels bring your hands into Namaste ` at the heart space and take a few breathes to settle the body and mind.

2)      Inhale and extend the arms up as you lift up off the heels into the Raised Serpent.

3)      Exhale and with awareness bring your hands onto the mat so that you are now on all fours in a cat stretch position with your back rounded.

4)      Inhale into the cat stretch as you gentle hollow your back and look straight ahead. Tuck under your toes as you do this.

5)      Exhale and push yourself up into Downward Facing Dog. You can stay here for 6 breaths or keep it dynamic and complete the sequence by:

6)      Inhaling onto all fours into a cat stretch position again.

7)      Exhale round the spine and you look towards your navel.

8 )      Keeping the abdominals engaged, inhale and lift up into the raised serpent again and

9)      Exhale lower yourself to your heels with awareness, bring the hands to the heart space into Namaste` again.

10)   Do this sequence 3 times to bring about a feeling of openness and centeredness to the whole body.

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Nina Saacks, yoga teacher and publishing editor of YAA, loves life’s little challenges and when she’s not teaching or practising yoga you can catch her spending time with her dog and friends on the mountain www.saacks.com | info@yogaaa.co.za

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