Sun Salutation Yoga Pose Positions

By Heartspring Staff

The joy of cycles. Sunrise-Sunset, hot-cold, inhale-exhale, work-rest, everything has an opposite. Below are a sequence of positions, or poses, known as "Salutation To The Sun". Check with your doctor if your not sure how exercise may affect any health issues you may have.

Sun Salutation Video animation loop, 300K

shavasana
INHALE

Shavasana - Laying down, heels together, arms by the side, palms facing upward. With each exhale let your entire body melt through the floor. Let go and melt until every cell in your body is completely relaxed, allowing each to cell melt over the next. Give yourself a few minutes. And, melt even more.

Next: Roll to the left side and stand.

Surya Namaskar (The Sun Salutation*) includes 12 different positions:

shavasana
EXHALE
1 - Exhale and maintain the position, shown in figure. Standing with hands joined together near chest, feet together and toes touching.
pose
INHALE
2 - Raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head, hips forward.
pose
EXHALE
3 - Uttanasana Exhale and bend forward at the waist, bending the knees to touch the chest. Palms touch the ground. With bended knees, gently raise the hips until there's a slight tug felt in the back of the legs, then slowly exhale. Warning: If knees are straight (without prior experience) there is an increased risk of over stretching muscles and tendons.

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INHALE

4 - Take the left leg back with left toes on the floor, press the waist downwards and raise the neck, stretch the chest forward and push shoulders backwards. Keep the right leg and both the hands in the same position. Keep the right leg folded.

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HOLD THE BREATH
5 - Adho Mukha Svanasana Hold the breath and raise the knee of left leg. Take the right leg backwards and keep it close to the left leg. Straighten both the legs and both hands. Keep the neck straight and site fixed forward. Keep both the toes erect. Take care that the neck, spine, thighs and the feet are in a straight line. - "Dog Facing Down"
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EXHALE
6 - Ashtanga Exhaling bend both the hands in elbows and touch forehead on the ground, touch the knees on the ground, keep both the elbows close to chest. The forehead, chest, both the palms, both the toes, knees should touch the ground and rest of the body does not touching the floor. Since only eight parts rest on the ground, it is called the "Ashtanga" position.
pose
INHALE
7 - Naga asana Inhale and straighten the elbows, stretch the shoulders upwards, press the waist downwards but don't bend the arms. Keep the knees and toes on the floor. Push the neck backwards and look upwards.
pose
HOLD THE BREATH
8 - Hold the breath, bend the neck downwards and press the chin in the throat, push the body backwards and touch the heels on the ground, raise the waist upwards, do not move the palms on the floor.
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HOLD THE BREATH
9 - Hold the breath as in position 8, bring the left leg to the front and place it in between the hands while the right foot stays in place with the right knee and right toes touch the ground.
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EXHALE
10 - Exhale and bring the right leg forward as in position 3 and place it in between both the arms.
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INHALE
11 - Raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head.
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EXHALE
12 - Hands joined together near chest, feet together and toes touching each other.
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INHALE

Completing 1 Cycle:

Shavasana - Laying down, heels together, arms by your side, palms facing upward, breath in and out, letting your entire body melt through the floor. Let go until every cell in your body is completely relaxed, as though you are melting through the floor. Give yourself a few minutes. Now relax, and melt even more !

Optional: Roll to the left and stand, repeat steps 1-12.

Congratulations. You've completed one Sun Salutation cycle. How do you feel? Continue repeating the cycle of Surya Namaskar and Shavasana as desired.

The Sun Salutation is often performed first thing in the morning, followed by drinking water, then again before bed time, followed by more water.

According to the Yoga JournalExit Site, "There's some disagreement among authorities over the origins of Sun Salutation. Traditionalists contend that the sequence is at least 2,500 years old (perhaps even several hundred years older), that it originated during Vedic times as a ritual prostration to the dawn, replete with mantras, offerings of flowers and rice, and libations of water. Skeptics of this dating maintain that Sun Salutation was invented by the raja of Aundh (a former state in India, now part of Maharashtra state) in the early 20th century, then disseminated to the West in the 1920s or 1930s.However old Sun Salutation is, and whatever it may originally have looked like, many variations have evolved over the years."

Consider working with a certified yoga instructor. This information is for educational purposes only.


Simple Exercises Affect Heart Rate Variability

By Roliin McCraty, MD.

Many different techniques and exercises have emerged for reducing stress and shifting heart rate variability from incoherent, jagged, low amplitude patterns to coherent, smooth, high-amplitude forms. The latter are consistent with both a sense of well being and a reduction in cardiovascular risk.

Following are two specific techniques from the Heart-Math® program. The first, called Quick Coherence®, is ideal for on-the-spot situations when longer meditations are not practical. The latter is a longer meditation, which gives the greatest benefits if practiced regularly. Both techniques are enjoyable, easy to learn, and easy to teach to patients.

Quick Coherence

Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Start by taking deep breaths through the heart area. This brings your focus to your heart. Next, think of a positive feeling or attitude. For this you can use an image of a place, person or activity that gives you a positive emotion. Attempt to feel this emotion in your body as you continue to breathe deeply. This technique can be used quickly and effectively to diminish stress in the moment.

Loving-Kindness or Appreciation Meditation

This is a similar technique leading to quick coherence, but done for a much longer period of time, usually 20 minutes or more. In this practice you will use the image of someone you love.

Most people find focusing on those they love to be the most pleasing form of meditation. It intentionally brings the focus to the feeling of love, or being in love. It uses emotion as a focal point. All too often, we focus on something that causes anger. This is a way to inoculate against that habit.

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes. Take slow, deep breaths, until you feel relaxed and calm. Now visualize a person you love and appreciate. See yourself with that person. What do you see there? Are you sitting or standing? Can you feel the ground beneath your feet or the place that you are sitting? Try feeling the air. What does it feel like? Are there any smells you can identify?

Now focus on the person you’re with. Focus on your appreciation and love. In your mind, tell this person how you love and appreciate them. Hear what they say back to you, if anything. Be with them and admire them as you would a great piece of art. Thank them for being in your life. If your mind wanders, bring your focus back to this person or someone else you love.

You may want to walk together in a favorite place. If so, feel the ground beneath your feet. Smell and feel the air around you. Listen for any sounds you might hear. Enjoy the place and whom ever you are with.

When you are ready, say thank you and goodbye to your partner and bring your mind back to the room. By giving yourself this experience, you have altered your physiology as if you had really been there.




Author Rollin McCraty is a medical doctor and founder of HeartMath.org




Related:

Mind-Body Medicine An Overview by NIH/NCCAM. Comments by Dr. McCraty.

Music Therapy research review.

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