Do you do sun salutations in the morning? If you are familiar with them, it is an incredible way to wake up for the day.
I’ve created a simple practice with warm up and cool down stretches to round out your time on the mat. Add more repetitions of each of the included Sun Salutations to determine your practice length.
1. Ankle Stretch – Standing at the top of your mat, lengthen the tailbone down and pull the belly in engaging the core. Bring the right foot out in front of you. Lifting the heel up and pushing into the ball of the foot. Point the toes, curling them under and do the same thing. Then roll the ankle a few times.
2. Side Bend Forward Fold – Step the right foot behind the left one, rolling onto the outer edge of the right foot. Reach your arms overhead, clasping the right wrist with left hand. Reach hands to the left for a big side body stretch. After a couple breaths, continue the motion until you can bring the hands down to the left side of mat. Releasing the clasp of the wrist. Bending into the left knee as needed. Let head be heavy.
Repeat 1 and 2 on the other side.
3. Sun Salutation A – Stand at top of mat. Inhale hands up, palms touch. Exhale, fold down. Bend knees as needed. Inhale, half lift with hands to shins. Exhale to fold again. Inhale to step back to plank. Exhale to lower to belly. Inhale to cobra. Exhale to down dog. Pause for a breath. Look to top of mat and step or hop up. Inhale half lift. Exhale to fold. Inhale to rise up, arms overhead. Exhale hands to heart. Repeat a few times (more if you want a longer practice).
4. Sun Salutation B – Standing at top of mat, bring big toes to touch and heels an inch apart. Bend your knees to chair pose with weight in heels. Exhale to fold. Inhale, half lift. Exhale to hold. Hop back to chaturanga. Inhale to upward dog. Exhale to down dog. Step right foot between palms, turning left toes out to 45 degrees. Bend into right knee as you lift to Warrior 1. Circle hands back down. Step back and take a vinyasa. Repeat Warrior 1 on left side. Circle hands down and take Vinyasa. From down dog, step or hop to top of mat. Inhale, half lift. Exhale to fold. Inhale to chair pose. Press up to stand. Repeat as many times as desired.
5. Wide Legged Forward Fold – Turn to the long edge of your mat, opening the feet out. Turn the toes in slightly. With hands on your hips fold down. Evenly distribute weight through your feet. Relax the neck, shoulders and jaws. Hold for a few deep breaths.
6. Goddess – Lift upper body parallel to floor. Turn the heels in and toes out. Bring your forearms to the inside of the thights. Keep the hips low. And torso parallel to floor. Sway a little, rocking side to side. Take it in to a twist, bringing right hand to right knee. Drop right shoulder forward and pull left one back. Repeat to other side.
7. Yogi Squat – Heel toe the feet to just wider than hips. Turn toes out and heels in. Sink the hips down, bending the knees. Bring the hands to the chest, and elbows press into the knees to squeeze them open. Lengthen from crown to tail.
These poses come from a 15 minute morning sun salutation class I posted on YouTube. Check it out below.