I am always intrigued which strategies work for my students so they will gradually begin to craft their own yoga practice. A good way to begin with is a sequence called Surya Namaskar – the Sun Salutations.

The beauty of the Sun Salutions is - once you have understood the basic principle of the postural alignment and  flow - you will be able to adjust, modify and expand it to your own needs and desires!

What are the Sun Salutations?

The sun salutations are a  flow of yoga postures linked up with one another. There are many different variations, but the basic principles are for all pretty much the same.

The yogi moves through standing postures, inversions, core strengthening poses and gentle back bends which tone and stretch arms, back, core and legs.

When performed correctly it will  give a deep release of muscles in the neck, shoulder girdle, back, hips and legs.

One of my teachers in India performed the routine 108 times every morning. He reminded us, that in this way and depending on the speed performed the practitioner will also increase the heart rate  and therefore his cardiovascular strength and metabolism.

Another noticeable benefit is that through the repetition of movement and breath the Surya Namaskar will eventually become a profound breathing exercise and moving meditation.

A few things to consider when practicing:

KNEES: Watch your knee alignment (especially in the lunges) closely.

NECK: Please look forward if you have any neck problems, do not compress your (oh so delicate) cervical spine.

LOWER BACK: Bend your knees in the standing forward bends and in the cobra pose (Bhujanghasana) only lift up until your bellybutton.

CORE: Frequently remind yourself to engage your core (lift up your pelvic floor muscles and draw your navel in gently).

Be kind to yourself – yoga is a journey. The goal is not to do it perfectly right – the goal is to be present with what is; what your mind and body give you to work with – what ever it may be – this is exactly it.
As you become confident with the flow, try the following options:
focus only on the breath and movement connection, move with the same pace as your breath;

  • do the flow with closed or gazing eyes
  • focus on your core engagement – do every movement from your center
  • hold each pose for 10 breaths
  • be creative – listen to music and flow.

With my master piece of  stickmen art you can practice the Sun Salutations I teach in my classes anywhere.

Enjoy the Sun~ and let me know how you go. 

xx Alexa 


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