Sun Salutation 10 Tips
Sun Salutation Tips
1. The first few times you perform Sun Salutations raise the arms up but don’t tilt back too much. This will protect your spine. The picture shows what looks like a little backbend but it is actually quite deep and can aggravate inflammation and repetitive injuries in the lower back.
2. It may be tempting to come down as far as possible but you will find your legs open up just as quick when you enter a mild boundary the first few times. Try bending the knees for a better flow on the way down. It still stretches the hamstrings and you can straighten once you get the blood flowing and they loosen. So go lightly until warmed up.
3. A slight bend of the knees before the step back makes all the difference. The mechanics of motion just flow better. The leg steps back easier.
4 . Inhale when the leg is halfway back. You will find your inhalation in a lot deeper and you can embrace the posture for a few seconds longer.
5. Drop the back knee a little and you will find the step back into Downward Dog Pose has more spring and momentum.
6. Drop the knees, chest and chin down into Astangasana rather than Chaturangasana. You will find the strain on the wrists and shoulders is reduced greatly. The arms are still toned well and your next breath will be better.
7. Delay your inhalation into Cobra pose. Breathing in early results in the air hitting the diaphragm too early. It is much better for this element to be inhaled when the lift is quarter or halfway up. You will feel like your lungs are 3 times as large.
8. Enter a mild boundary when entering Cobra pose until your spine is warmed up.
Always wait and go lightly for at least 5 times or until it gives you the feeling it wants to open. Communicate with your body rather than forcing it. It will work better for you. If you have a back injury always choose mild boundaries.
9. Keep the arms straight in Cobra pose if possible (Depends on your back flexibility). It will reduce the load on the biceps and pec muscles which when tight can interfere with the breath. It you have back pain or a condition raise only a little. Keep some space back there. i.e. not into you boundary at all. This is healthy for your back the other way aggravates it.
10. When stepping forward you can exhale or inhale depending on your flow. It is best if you learn to inhale on the step forward. If inhaling wait until the leg is almost halfway forward before drawing the air in deeply. The breath will be much larger and the next pose will flow better.
If you exhale on the step forward you may want to enter the enter half fold (legs together forward bend half way down) because entering a full forward bend would make it hard to breath.
If you are inflexible you will probably fling your leg up. This is dangerous on your lower back, hamstrings and knee. Perhaps take it up as far as possible then grab the ankle with the other hand and pull it forward between the hands. If this is still too hard be happy where your leg lands then slowly walk it forward coming out of the flow and stepping the back leg forward a little to help. Then the front leg can easily be brought to the front of the mat. The back leg can the be stepped back again if standing postures are going to be performed. This is however a lot of work so get your hamstring flexible.