Today’s contribution is by Tanya Jesunas, RYT-200, Corporate Health Unlimited Group Fitness Instructor
Whether or not you have practiced yoga before, chances are you are familiar with the many benefits a yoga practice offers. It turns out, you don’t have to commit to a full hour of yoga practice to reap its many benefits. Sun Salutations are a complete exercise as the engage every part of the body, connecting body, breath and mind.
Sun Salutations provide a vast range of mental and physical benefits. They improve cardiovascular conditioning, strengthen the heart, tone the digestive tract, prevent fatigue, promote calm, relieve stress and so much more! When practiced at a fast pace, Sun Salutations provide an excellent cardiovascular workout and aid in weight loss. When practiced at a slower pace, the routine is calming and grounding, making your body flexible and toning your muscles.
Here are a few suggestions for practicing Sun Salutations:
Connect Breath with Movement – Allow your breath to lead the movement. Inhale as you reach both arms up, exhale as you fold into forward bend, inhale as you lift and lengthen, etc. Each inhalation and exhalation should draw you into and through the next pose and not be forced to fit a predetermined pace.
Be Centered and Grateful – Dedicate each round to one thing you are grateful for, no matter how small or big. Soon after you will feel the uplift in your mood and spirit!
Respect Your Body – We are different every day, and the practice should reflect this. Some days the body feels supple and capable. Other days it may feel stiff and tired. Modify your Sun Salutation sequence as needed, trying not to let your ego dictate the practice.
Rest and Integrate – Close your practice with a couple of moments in sweet Savasana, final resting pose. Lay flat on your back, close your eyes and gradually relax one body part, muscle and thought at a time.
Boost your body, mind and spirit with Sun Salutations, and enjoy the difference a few rounds make in your day!