Rising Hands Of Faith Salutation (No 14)

This Sun Salutation is dedicated to the moments of deep faith in our life. Both faith and conviction seem to rise and fall throughout our lives. Many external events cause deep faith but sometimes it is an overwhelming force with no apparent cause.

This sequence halts on plank for a moment before flowing straight into Cobra pose. Then there is a nice transition into Crescent Moon pose (a low lunging pose). Then the flow moves into a higher lunge pose that tests the quadriceps muscles.

Two postures allow the step forward to be progressive and easy. The first pose is a pose called Parsvottanasana. Translated this means Intense Side Stretch which is strange because there are so many postures that do actually stretch the side of the body.

In the next pose the arms stretch up. The legs are a step apart making the transition back to Uttansana the standing forward bend simple. Then it's an inhalation into a backbend then Tadasana.



Stand in Tadasana.

Visualize energy traveling up through the top of the head.

Feel all around the neck and make sure no area feels tight around the neck and if so adjust for more space. The head often tilts slightly.



Inhale into a backbend.

A mild backbend is preferable. Deep backbends have a tendency to leave your back sore the next day. If Sun Salutations are performed everyday repetitive injuries can often occur.

Exhale into a forward bend.

Enter a mild boundary when bending down. 

Bend the knees slightly if you have a lower back injury or if the hamstrings are not flexible. This will also make breathing easier.



Inhale step the right or left leg back. In this case the left leg is shown stepping back. 




Exhale into Downward Dog.

Tip! Make a long line of energy and mind awareness from the wrists to the hips.  

Inhale forward into Plank Pose

If the wrists strain make modifications. Bring the knees down if it helps. 


Hold and exhale.  



Inhale into a pose that looks like Upward Dog but is actually Cobra pose. (The pelvis is down making it slightly different and a greater stretch.)

Exhale back to Downward Dog Pose.

Take a quick breath and release out of Downward Dog Pose.

Exhale back to Downward Dog this time raising the left leg up.

You can have the hips aligned horizontally or with a tilt.


Inhale and step the left leg forward.

Exhale and place the hands in a prayer position beside the chest.

Inhale and raise them up again while sinking down with the hips.

Push on the inside of the left big toes to stabilize the leg.

Exhale and place the arms beside the chest in prayer again.

Inhale and stretch the arms up. Raise the right knee up by standing on the ball points of the toes and straightening the back leg.


The arms can be together in prayer position. They can also be open to signify more freedom.

On an exhalation straighten the left leg and hop the back leg halfway forward. Have a hip width between the heels rather than having the feet in line.

If the hips are apart it is quite easy to align the hips horizontally.

Inhale and raise the upper body up. The hands can be interlocked, placed together  or open. They are shown together which complements the other poses.

Vinyasa Tip!
You can simply exhale and step forward to Standing Tadasana) at this point.

Exhale into a forward bend.

Vary the posture by interlocking the hands behind the back.

Inhale and raise the arms up.

(It is not necessary to bend the back. The hands can be stretched up in a circular motion.)

Exhale into Tadasana with the hands in prayer position.

Yoga Posture tadasana

Salutation Pose

asana utanasana




Lunge Pose




Downward Facing Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana


Downward Facing Staff Pose
Adho Mukha Dandasana




Downward Facing Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Dog
Eka Pada Adho Muka Svanasana

Anjaneyasana lunge pose



fish pose matsyasana

asana utanasana

Salutation Pose

Yoga Posture tadasana

Yoga Breathing Techniques

Perform Ujjayi Pranayama.

Stage 3
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".

Don't hold the breath yet just warm up and work on smooth sound when inhaling and exhaling. Work on the changes in breath becoming smoother and longer also. This occurs when the breath crosses from inhalations to exhalations and exhalations to inhalations.
Download the Ujjayi Pranayama mp3

Do this for at least 5 minutes.

Then progress towards holding after the inhalation and then the exhalation as well.
Inhale restrict the air flow to make the sound "sssss". Keep the sound constant and smooth.

Pause at the top of the breath (antara kumbhaka).
Exhale and make the sound "hhhha" keeping the sound constant and smooth.
Pause at the bottom of the breath (bahya kumbhaka).
Ujjayi Pranayama mp3

Stage 2 - Pratiloma Pranayama
Block the left nostril completely and inhale through a partially blocked right nostril. The traditional hand clasp can be taken up to the nose each inhalation or kept up there throughout a whole cycle of breathing which consists of inhalation and exhalation, retentions can be added in more advanced stages.

Exhale through both nostrils unobstructed.

Block the right nostril completely and inhale through a partially blocked left nostril. Control the nostrils so that the pressure and air flow is equal to the previous inhalation.

Exhale through both nostrils unobstructed.

This completes a cycle of Pratiloma Pranayama alternating nostrils on inhalation.

Pratiloma Pranayama mp3

more about Pratiloma Pranayama


 Aum Pranayama - Stage 2
Inhale and restrict the air flow to make the sound "sssss". Keep the sound constant and smooth.

Create the sound of Aum on the exhalations for as long as possible.

Aum Pranayama

Do this breath as for as long as it takes to feel open through the energy flow that the breath takes. Look for blockages and remove them as you perform this pranayama. They can be opened by creating more space or by thinking the flow open with the conscious mind but first the flow of air and energy must be understood by continual observation and practice.

by Mark Giubarelli

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