Say Hello To Your Day
While that first satisfying morning stretch in bed may seem hard to beat, it can get better from there. The Sun Salutation is a series of 12 yoga-style movements that is performed in a single, graceful flow. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. Inhale as you extend (or stretch) and exhale as you fold (or contract). The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility. It can take as little as ten minutes to do, can be done anywhere, and may help you feel more relaxed all day long.
Each round of the series consists of two complete sequences: one for the right side of the body and the other for the left.Do at least two full rounds of the Sun Salutation (2 right and 2 left) to get your day off to an excellent start.
1. Begin by standing in Mountain pose (feet about hip width apart) hands either by your sides or in prayer position (palms together in front of your chest). Take one deep breath.
2. On your next inhale, in one sweeping movement, raise your arms up overhead (extending out to your sides and up) and gently arch your back as far as you feel comfortable.
3. As you exhale, bend forward, bending the knees if necessary, and bring your hands down to rest beside your feet.
4. Keeping your hands on the floor, inhale and step the right leg back.
5. Exhale and step the left leg back into plank position (basically the top of a push-up position). Hold this position and inhale.
6. Exhale and lower yourself (to the bottom of a pushup) until your body is resting on the floor.
7. As you inhale, use your arms to lift your torso, keeping them bent at the elbow. Stretch your torso forward and up, bending at the waist, but only bend back as far as you feel comfortable and safe. Keep your hips pressed against the floor, and roll your feet forward so that the tops of your feet also rest against the floor.
8. Exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your hips into the air until your body forms an upside down “V” shape.
9. Inhale and step the right foot forward to your hands.
10. Exhale, bring the left foot forward and step into head-to-knee position, like from movement #2, still resting your hands at your feet.
11. Inhale and straighten your torso slowly while extending your arms out and up in a sweeping motion.
12. Exhale, and in a slow, flowing movement, lower your arms to the sides. End by bringing your hands up into prayer position.
For the second part of the round, step out with the left leg first and repeat the sequence above.
This series of motions might take you a little time to learn and memorize, but it is a great, quick workout that comfortably stretches your muscles, gets your blood flowing and just feels great in morning. Give it a shot. You may find that it turns into a good habit you can’t do without.
For more info, contact Brian Monahan of TGC Fitness at 775.224.4242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.