I would like to introduce what can be deemed as the most well-know yoga sequence amongst yoga practitioners – and for good reason too.
The Suryanamaskar A, also known as the sun salutation sequence, is a wonderful and all-rounded yoga sequence that provides superb benefits. This sequence not only helps to warm the body up, but also tones and stretches out muscles, joints and ligaments all at once.
To tone the body with body resistance training, slow down the sequence to 5 breaths per pose or more. However, to enjoy cardiovascular benefits, one may speed up the sequence and choose not to hold the breath but instead create a flow sequence.
As with all exercises, do get an all clear from your GP should you have any health issues before exercising.
Stand with hands at heart center. Make sure the tailbone is scooped in and the core engaged.
Inhale and keeping the core engaged, raise arms above your head, arching the back slightly.
Exhale and fold forward.
In my personal opinion, it is not important to keep the legs straight. This is because the back may round in the process when keeping the legs straight. What is important is to keep the back flat. Therefore, do bend the knees slightly and bring the thighs to the stomach to ensure the back remains flat. You may feel a stretch in the hamstrings and the back of the knees. If the back of the knee feels tight, do bend the knees.
More sun salutation yoga poses for weight loss on the next page.
Inhale and look straight ahead.
The spine should be straight and core engaged. There should not be any tension at the back of the neck.
Exhale and either walk or jump back. You will end up in a plank pose. From the plank pose, place the knees, chest and chin onto the mat.
Inhale and slide the body forward and up into an upward facing dog.
Exhale and push back into downward facing dog. Stay for 5 breaths.
Remember to keep the back as flat as possible, with the core engaged and chest pulled as close to the thighs.
See the rest of the steps on the next page.
Inhale and look straight ahead, walking or jumping forward.
Exhale and fold forward again.
Remember to bend the knees if the back cannot straighten with straight legs.
Inhale and come all the way up with hands above the head, back slightly arched.
Exhale and bring hands to heart center.
Jessica Sinclair has always been exposed to fitness and sports. Her interests include taking part in marathons, obstacle course races and martial arts. She had Scoliosis; pain and numbness were a daily occurrence until she started practicising yoga. Jessica Sinclair is the founder and Yoga Teacher Trainer at Iha Yoga located at Race Course Road, Singapore.
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