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  • Self-Healing Yoga Techniques: Sun Salutation
  • Back Strengthener
  • Sun Salutation Treatment
  • The Effects
  • How It Works
  • The Sun Salutation Technique
  • Yoga Breathing Exercises

  • sun salutation


    While yoga is an excellent practice that integrates the body, mind and spirit, learning the correct forms for the myriad poses takes time and can even be a bit intimidating for beginners. The series of yoga postures known as the sun salutation, or Surya Namaskar, combines 12 basic poses into a single fluid, rhythmic movement that is easy to learn, fun to do and can be repeated as often as you choose. It is a great way to start and build a daily yoga routine. Usually done in the morning, the sun salutation stretches all the major muscle groups, increases circulation and eases fatigue and tension. This basic series teaches you "posture flow," meaning you do not have to think about the next pose, which deepens the meditation that accompanies yoga. The sun salutation is adaptable and can be refined to meet your particular needs. Performed with the specific abdominal breathing for each position, the posture series can give you a relaxing and strengthening yoga workout.

    sun salutation


    The sun salutation series can be hard on the lower back. If you do have back problems, consult your health care provider or yoga teacher before trying these poses. A yoga instructor can help you modify the poses if you have back problems. It can even result in a stronger, healthier back. After every workout, it helps to do the "child pose" to rest and release your back muscles.


    The sun salutation begins in a relaxed, standing position and coordinates and inhalation or an exhalation with each new pose. Hold each pose for as long as you wish, taking time to feel the stretch. Gently and smoothly flow into the next posture, breathing deeply from the abdomen. Face east, toward the rising sun.


    Like almost all of the philosophies and therapeutic practices from the Far East, yoga's sun salutation series has a holistic orientation that unifies body, mind and spirit. The series strengthens and stretches the muscles, massages the internal organs, stimulates circulation, increases flexibility and stamina, lessens fatigue and helps to promote a general sense of well-being.


    The combination of abdominal breathing and gentle exercise focuses the mind and induces relaxation and tranquility. Increased circulation also nourishes the internal organs and glands.

    EXTRA TIP: Yoga is a non-competitive exercise based on the principles of compassion and self-awareness. There is no need to stretch yourself to the limit and perform each pose perfectly. Finding your way into your yoga practice takes time, patience, intuition and sensitivity to your own needs and abilities.


    1. Stand with feet hip-width apart; bring palms together in front of the chest.

    2. Inhale; slowly raise arms above head; gently arch the spine backwards. (See right image.)

    3. Exhale; bend forward from the hips; place your hands on each side of your feet; bring your chest to your knees.

    4. Inhale; stretch right leg straight behind you into a lunge; place hands on floor.

    5. Exhale; place left leg next to right in a push-up position; keep straight; inhale.

    6. Exhale; bend the knees; touch your chin and chest to the floor; keep hips raised.

    7. Inhale; slide chest forward while straightening legs; arch upper back, keeping elbows tucked close to sides and shoulders back (see image above).

    8. Exhale; curl toes to the floor, raise the hips and form an inverted V.

    9. Inhale; place right foot next to hands, making a lunge position on other side.

    10. Exhale; slide the left foot next to the right; bend forward from the hips.

    11. Inhale; roll up the spine gently; gently stretch the spine by extending arms overhead. (See image in step 2)

    12. Exhale; return to original pose. Repeat.

    sun salutation


  • Ujjayi Breathing: Ujjayi breathing is used during yoga to hold and focus on a posture. Sit cross-legged, and inhale slowly with the mouth closed and the back of the throat constricted to make the sound of the ocean surf. Exhale slowly, still keeping the back of the throat constricted.

  • Kapalabhati Breathing: Kneel on your heels with a straight back. Take a deep abdominal breath, hold it for a few seconds and then release it in slow, small bursts from your nostrils until all the air is gone. Let your abdomen fill with air again, naturally and gently.

  • Abdominal Breathing: Sit or lie on your back with your hands on your belly, just below the navel. Make your breath fill and empty your abdomen, letting your hands rise and fall.

  • Rib-Cage Breathing: Sit or lie on your back with your hands placed on either side of your rib cage. Inhale first into your lungs and then into your rib cage, feeling your rib cage expand and your chest open up. Exhale slowly.

  • Complete Breathing: Sit or lie on your back, and exhale fully. Inhale slowly, filling first the abdomen, and then the lungs and finally the chest. Exhale as slowly as possible.
  • kapalahati breathing

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