By Ocak 20, 2017 No Comments

Recall from the previous post that we got into yoga for its help in preventing and ameliorating the unpleasant effects of the “sniffles”.

When I decided to give the three suggested postures a try, I shamefully realized how inflexible I had become.

My first yoga class was in East Lansing more than 40 years ago; my incentive was becoming as flexible as possible, which is a must for martial art practitioners.

Enough reminiscing; suffice it to quote my yoga instructor:

         “You are as young, as your spine is flexible.”

Before getting into the “Sun Salutation” routine, let me briefly go over how yoga also benefits your brain functions, mental health, and health in general:

  • Yoga has been shown to combat cognitive decline
  • Regular yoga practice has also been shown to have a positive effect on mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and schizophrenia
  • Other health benefits from regular yoga practice include improved immune function, reduced risk of migraines and heart disease, improved sexual performance, better sleep, and reduced stress

How about that; are we ready to get started?

Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar


If you are pressed for time and looking for a single yoga posture to stay fit and healthy, here is the answer: A sequence of 12 yoga asanas (postures), consisting of 2 sets. The leg you push back initially is the first set and you push the other leg back in the second set. So you do 2 rounds of 12 asanas and that is ONE SET.

I will give you instructions on each asana separately but one asana follows the other and the 12 asanas are really one exercise, in a way.

Here is a picture of half a set.


If you look closely, you’ll see that she has pushed her right leg back (figure 4) and she brings it back (figure 9). In the second ROUND she will push back her left leg (as in figure 4) and bring back the left leg (as in figure 9).

So the two rounds make ONE SET.

One yoga master suggests that you do 12 SETS every morning; it’s up to you of course.

1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)


Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balanced. Expand your chest and relax your shoulders. As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides and as you exhale bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.

2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)


Breathing in, lift your arms up and back, keeping your biceps close to your ears. The effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tip of the fingers.

3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)


Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping your spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor besides the feet.

You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Make a gentle effort to straighten the knees.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)


Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and look up.

Make sure that your left foot is exactly in between your palms.

5. Dandasana (Stick Pose)


Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chin and chest on the floor. Raise your posterior a bit.

The 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 knees, chest and chin; 8 parts of the body touch the flo

As you breathe in, take your left leg back and bring the body into a straight line.

Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Points)


Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chin and chest on the floor. Raise your posterior a bit.

The 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 knees, chest and chin; 8 parts of the body touch the floor.

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)


Slide forward and raise the chest up into the cobra posture. You may keep your elbows bent, shoulders away from the ears. Look up.

As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward. As you exhale, make a gentle effort to push your navel down. Tuck the toes under. Ensure you are stretching just as much as you can; do not force.

8 Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)


Breathing out, lift the hips and tailbone up. Chest downward, in an inverted V posture.

If possible keep the heels on the ground.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)


Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, and the left knee down to the floor. Press the hips down and look up.

10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)


Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees if necessary. Gently straighten the knees if you can.

Try to touch your nose to your knees.

11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)


Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards. Your biceps should be beside your ears.

Try to stretch up rather than backwards.

12. Tadasana


As you exhale, first straighten the body, and then bring the arms down. Relax; observe the sensations in your body.


That’s it.


Now, the perfect ending; Yoga Nidra.


Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Lie down, relax and close your eyes. Starting with your right foot, relax all the muscles in your leg. Now the right leg. Then your stomach, chest, back, neck and head.

Total relaxation for 10-15minutes.


You should be feeling great.

See you all next week.

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