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Yoga teachers often say that if you do only one asana a day, it should be the Sun salutation (Surya Namaskar). 

For people with limited time, the Sun Salutation is excellent because it stretches and strengthens all the major muscle groups in the body and exercises the respiratory system.

These are 12 asana (postures) performed in a single graceful flow.

 
 
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Pranamasana - (Prayer pose)
 
Yoga Posture/ Position - PranamasanaStand erect with feet together. Join the palms together at the heart centre, elbows open. Focus your attention on your body; feel that you are stable, balanced and relaxed in this pose.
 
 

Hastha Uttanasana - (Arms stretched posture)
 

Yoga Posture - Hastha UttanasanaRemember: your inhalation is filled with the energy of the Sun. Visualize the warm rays of the Sun entering your body and filling you with its vitality

Inhale and raise the arms upward, Arch the back and stretch the whole body.

  • This opens out the chest and stretches the abdomen. Your inhalation is filled with the energy of the sun; visualize the warm rays of the sun entering your body.
 

Uttanasana - (Forward bend pose)
 

Yoga Posture - UttanasanaExhale bend forwards, keeping the spine straight, bending the knees if necessary and resting the hands by your feet.

Remain in this position for 6-8 breaths.

  • This lengthens your spine, increases its flexibility
  • Stretches the Hamstrings
  • With this fwd compression to the abdomen tones the liver, spleen and Kidneys
  • Soothes and calms the mind.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana - (Equestrian pose)
 

Yoga - Ashwa SanchalanasanaOn your next inhalation, extend the right leg back keeping the knee off the ground; Keep the left foot between the hands. Raise the head. Lift the spine and open the chest. Concentrate at the eyebrow centre.

  • This lunge opens the hips and chest, stretches the groin and legs
  • Lengthens the spine and strengthens the lower body.

Dandasan - (Plank)
 

DandasanExhale and bring the left foot together with the right. Keep the arms straight, raise the hips and align the head with the arms. Have your gaze down at the floor. Now hold this position and Inhale.

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, back and spine.
  • Develops your core strength and abdominal muscles.
  • Tones the triceps.
  • Good for improving your nervous system.

Ashtanga Namaskaram - (Salute with eight limbs)
 

Ashtanga NamaskaramExhale and lower the body to the floor until the feet, knees, hands, chest, are touching the ground.

Bhujangasana - (Cobra pose)
 

BhujangasanaInhale and slowly raise the head and bend backward as much as possible, bending the spine to the maximum. Concentrate on centring yourself and relaxing your body, breathe normally.

  • Strengthens the spine
  • Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Firms the buttocks
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve stress and fatigue
  • Opens the heart and lungs
  • Soothes sciatica
  • Therapeutic for asthma
  • Traditional texts say that cobra increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini.

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana - (Downward dog pose)
 

Adho Mukha SvanasanaExhale tuck your toes under and lift your knees away from the floor... Lengthen your tailbone away from the back ,lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, Then, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees. This posture has many benefits.

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Ashwa Sanchalanasana - (Equisterian pose)
 

Ashwa SanchalanasanaSlowly inhale and draw the right leg forward. Keeping the hands firmly rooted, place the right foot on the ground between the hands. Lift the head upwards.

Uttanasana - (Forward bend pose)
 

UttanasanaExhale draw your chest forwards and sink down to your legs, head resting against the knees.

Hastha Uttanasana - (Arms stretched Posture)
 

Hastha UttanasanaTake a deep breath as you lift your arms up and slightly behind your ears, stretch your entire spine, your chin is lifted and head is tilted back.

  • This will give you a feeling of being invigorated from head to toe

Pranamasana - (Prayer Pose)
 

PranamasanaLower the hands back to the heart centre breathe slowly and get a sense of stability.

Now you have completed half the cycle of the sun salutation, now repeat working with the other leg. When completed with left leg...Do 3 more complete cycles.

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, feel your feet and big toes touching and flat on the floor. Your weight is evenly distributed on the balls and the heels of your feet. Get a sense of how that feels-the soles of your feet and your toes are connected to the earth beneath you (in your mind, of course!).

 
  To know more or for any other queries about Yoga (Yoga Postures/Positions/Asanas/Mudras) contact alkathakor@yahoo.co.uk  
   
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