This Sun Salutation shows a very nice basic flow. It is very healthy for the spine and can be
performed by all levels. Yoga postures can be added after performing it a number of times and are shown at the bottom of the page.
Yoga postures are usually introduced when a leg is stepped forward. That is after the Cobra pose has been performed.
This Sun Salutation shows a really good way to flow into backbends without even doing Upward Facing Dog, a deep backbend that can be hard on the wrists and a little unsafe on the lower back when
entered with too much haste. It is best to wait until the spine is open a little before
entering deep yoga postures. Three movements are performed in sequence to softly tone and open the back.
1.Cobra - Done lightly to mildly stretch the spin. 2.Locust - Strengthens the spine in many areas. 3.Open Leg Cobra - Allows the whole spine to strengthen.
Bring the knees down soon if the arms are weak or if the wrists
or shoulders are injured and this exercise feels it may worsen your
safety Tip! Place the knee down with ease and care. The joints in the body are at greater risk of injury when they are twisted and bent during movement. The risk is even greater when a large force like the bodies weight falls upon them.
Exhale down with the chin and chest.
This posture moves blood to the neck. Good for the thyroid.
It is often quite hard to raise the legs for many of us. If you cannot raise then at the same time try raising one. Just a little is very effective then switch before continuing. This is very healthy for your lower back. Too much is not good.
Inhale into Cobra look up and back.
Injured people and beginners please perform lightly. Those of you
with neck injuries this may be good for you.
Try to go through the sequence gently if you are not flexible. Enter everything with slight resistance for this is safer and healthier. Better results come form lightly stretching and less chance of injury.
One of the times you may have most difficulty is in the step forward with the legs. This is hard and requires a sudden flinging of the limbs. If this is hard for you
step the leg forward to a comfortable spot then pull it up with the hand. This is a good way to transition and safer but work on hamstring and lower back flexibility.
The boundaries shown are deep but in general flexibility is not that good in most of us and the stretches in the pictures are currently an unrealistic goal. (Perhaps in the long term.) Remain enthusiastic and touch gentle boundaries.
Additions to the sequence.
Do this sequence at least 4 times. Modify any areas you may feel uncomfortable with any parts and slowly introduce some of the standing yoga positions.
After the Sun Salutations try sitting and performing some
traditional breathing techniques called Pranayama.
Ujjayi Pranayama Instructions
Ujjayi Pranayama for 5 minutes.
Inhale and restrict the air flow to make the sound "sssss". Keep the
sound constant and smooth.
Exhale make a sound with the mouth closed that sounds like "hhhhha".
Bhastrika pranayama for at least 12 times.
Inhale rapidly and forcefully to better deliver the air. Then exhale
rapidly making a sound like "ummph" with the same kind of force as a
Do at least 4 vigorous breaths making the bellows sound. After the
last one release mildly and begin some
(Or other lengthening relaxing breaths)
Hold Antara Kumbhaka after some long relaxing breaths. Measure the
length of time and then do some relaxing breaths again.
Move back into the Bellows breath after retention of inhalation for
a measured period of time and
Breaths have been performed for calming.
Try increasing Bhastrika breaths next time if the lungs are not
Do this a few times doing
Pranayama each time for at least 5 minutes in-between.