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Sun Salutations in Yoga

During the physical practice of yoga, the session will sometimes begin with an exercise known as sun salutations. This series of twelve moving postures (asanas) are timed with breathing (inhaling and exhaling). The series is repeated anywhere from three times or more. Due to the nature of the sun salutation's constant movement, breath work, stretches and mental concentration, they encompass many common components of fitness, and makes for a challenging and effective total body workout.

Five Benefits of doing Sun Salutations

1. Postures such as chaturanga, (negative tricep push up), the Crescent pose, (lunges) and plank are body weight strength exercises that will burn more fat while at rest, decrease risk of injury and maintain bone density. Sun salutations strengthen the core very well, and yoga is commonly prescribed for low back injury and rehabilitation.

2. Sun Salutations have the potential to be very cardiovascular and burn a lot of calories while exercising your lungs and heart. Consistent movement, inverted poses (head lower than heart) like downward dog, and holding poses will improve heart and lung capacity, increase endurance and aid weight loss.

3. Poses like forward bends and downward dog will increase flexibility when practiced regularly. Sun Salutations are fantastic for releasing tension in the hamstrings and hips.

4. Focusing on timed breathing will increase mental focus and reduce stress. It teaches perseverance, mental toughness gives you a goal and something to think about to clear your mind during practice.

5. Sun Salutations will give you an all-around nice body! Yogis are known for their elongated muscles, lower body fat and over-all athleticism. Many martial artists also do yoga.

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