12easyyogaposesthatchangeeverything

MOVE

If you've only got time to learn one life-affirming, super-invigorating, get-your-heart-pumping yoga sequence, it's this! So what even is a sun salutation anyway? It’s traditionally performed in the morning to literally ‘salute’ the rising of the sun, but is beneficial whenever you have time.

The key is to breathe correctly, as this is what drives the movement of the body from one pose to the next. The first few times you attempt the sun salutation you might find this to be the hardest part - but don’t worry, you’ll quickly relax into the motion and begin to naturally breathe as you should!

1

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Stand at the top end of your mat with your feet together, toes and heels rooted into the mat, with a strong straight body and lifted chest. Bring your palms together in front of your chest.

Exhale, and inhale as you move into pose 2.

2

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

Bring your arms out to your sides and join your palms above your head while arching slightly back.

Exhale as you move into pose 3.

3

Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Release your palms and slowly dive your arms forward and place your palms onto the mat, just in front of your feet. Your knees should be slightly bent (or straight if your hamstrings will allow!). 

Inhale as you move into pose 4.

4

Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

Sweep your right leg back behind you into a lunge. Keep the left knee directly over the ankle and the right (back) leg firm. Palms are on the floor either side of your left (front) leg. Push your hips into the stretch. 

Exhale as you move into pose 5.

5

Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Bring your front leg (left) back to meet the back leg to form the plank. Your back and legs should be in a straight line and stomach shouldn’t sink to the floor – keep your core strong!

Inhale as you move into pose 6.

6

Eight-Limb Pose (Astangasana)

Drop to your knees and lower your chest, with your bottom high and your elbows hugging your ribs.

Exhale as you move into pose 7.

7

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Push your body forward with your legs and feet flat on the mat, straight arms and arched back.

Inhale as you move into pose 8.

8

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Flatten feet on the mat and push your bottom up and back, into a triangle shape (or upside-down ‘V’ shape). Stretch into your legs, lifting your heels off the ground if your body permits.

Exhale as you move into pose 9.

Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

Lunge pose again! Sweep your left leg back behind you into a lunge. Keep the right knee directly over the ankle and the left (back) leg firm. Palms are on the floor either side of your right (front) leg. Push your hips into the stretch. 

Inhale as you move into pose 10.

9

Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Bring your left leg up to meet your right with your palms still flat on the mat, head tucked under to your knees.

Exhale as you move into pose 11.

10

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

Bringing the sun salutation to an end, roll up to a standing position and join your palms above your head while arching slightly back, into the upward salute from pose 2. 

Inhale as you move into the final pose. 

11

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Bring your palms together in front of your chest, keeping your body straight and grounded. 

Inhale, and exhale once more.

Congratulations, you've finished! If you’re feeling up to another round, go for it. Once you’re confident with the poses remember to focus on your breathing - you can do as many repetitions as you like, however make sure the focus is on quality over quantity!

Enjoy taking this time out for yourself. Namaste!

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