12 Steps Salute to the Sun - The All-Around Yoga Exercise

One of the all-around yoga exercises is the 12-step salute to the sun. Do it once or twice when you get up in the morning to help relieve stiffness and invigorate the body. Multiple repetitions at night will help you to relax; insomniacs often find that six to 12 rounds help them fall asleep.

1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest.

2. Inhale deeply while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as possible, while tightening your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.

3. Exhale and lean over slowly, holding your legs straight until your toes reach the bottom of your feet. (If you can't reach the floor, get as close as you can.) Put your head down to the knees.

4. Inhale gradually, bend your elbows, and if your hands are not on the floor outside of your feet, bring them in there. Slide your right foot back as far as you can (a lung position) with the right knee one inch off the floor. Aim as high as you can now, and arch your back.

5. When exhaling again, move back your left foot so it is next to the right one, and straighten both legs with your weight balanced on your palms and toes so that your body forms a flat plane. Make sure it draws your stomach in.

6. Exhale slowly, bend your knees down to the floor, turn in the air with your shoulders, lower your chest and lower your forehead.

7. Now inhale and look up slowly, lean your head back, then lift, followed by your upper chest, then lower leg. Your lower body should be on the floor-from the navel down-and your elbows should be bent slightly. Keep in for 3 to 5 seconds.

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8. Slowly exhale and lift your hands until your feet and palms are flat on the floor, and your arms and legs are straight in a V-position.

9. Slowly inhale and bring forward your right foot, as in position 4. The foot in between your fingertips should be flat on the surface. The left leg will be almost straight behind you and the knee should be slightly off the table. Look up, lift your head and arch your back.

10. Exhale slowly, then push your left foot alongside your right foot. Straighten your legs and stand, try to hold your hands on the ground and try to hit your knees as in position 3.

11. Inhale slowly, raise your arms and straighten back as in position 2. Don't forget to keep your buttocks close. Keep in for 3 seconds.

12. Exhale slowly, then drop your arms to your sides. Relax and unwind. The show replay.

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Tags: sun yoga, sun salutation, sun salutation yoga, surya pranam, sun salutation steps, sun salutation for beginners, yoga sun

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