Thanks to Silvia Naska at YogaPollensa • www.yogapollensa.com

Yoga Sun Salute A: For Strength and Stamina

Now into Autumn and darker days, think about moving your exercise inside. Yoga is a superb way to strengthen the body, these foundation poses build strength and stamina. During the practice breath deeply and focus on linking breath with movement. Inhales open and move the body against gravity, exhales release and fold the body, taking us with gravity.

In Mountain Pose, stand at the front of your mat, feet together, arms by your sides. Press down with your feet evenly, lift up with your thighs, draw your lower belly in and up, spread collarbones and extend your crown towards the ceiling. Keep this length and space. Bring palms together in front of your heart. 

Sweep you hands sideways and up into the Upward Salute. If you’re tight around the shoulders, move your hands shoulder width apart, then, as you exhale, fold over hinging at the hips into the Standing Forward Bend.

Inhale raising up half way, look forward, heart forward, draw shoulders away from the ears into Half Standing Forward Bend. With the next exhale, step back to Plank

In the Plank, hands are shoulder distance apart and your shoulders are over the wrists. The body is long and narrow with the feet hip distance apart. Press the heels back and pull your heart forward, engage your lower belly by pulling it up so that you lose scoop in lower back. If the Plank is too difficult at first, drop your knees to the floor.

With an exhale lift your hips back and up into Downward Facing Dog. Hands shoulder distance apart, each hand pressing into the floor evenly. The shoulders extend back and up away from the hands, the hips extend back and up away from the shoulders. The heels press back and down away from the hips. Push the floor away with your hands to create greater space between palms and hips. The head hangs freely and the back of the neck is long. If it’s difficult to get the heels to the floor bend the knees so you don’t strain the hamstrings.

At end of an exhale, look forward and step your feet to your hands. In two long steps or in several steps, either way is fine. Inhale come up half way into the Half Standing Forward Bend. With exhale fold back in, crown of head extending to the floor into the Standing Forward Bend. With an inhale bring yourself all the way up with palms touching above your head. Exhale and bring the palms together in front of your heart. 


Sun Salute B: For Strength and Stamina

Sun Salute A will have started your strength and stamina. Now, we move into Sun Salute B, which adds three new poses:
The
Chair Pose, which strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves and spine.
The
Upward Facing Dog, which strengthens the spine, arms and wrists.
The
Warrior 1, which strengthens the legs, spine and shoulders.
Follow the programme every day and in the next issue we will begin adding some of the ‘Magic 10’ poses. 

 

Start in Mountain Pose, palms together in front of your heart, inhale sink down as though you are about to sit in a chair, take your arms to the side then up. Touch your palms or keep your hands shoulder distance apart. In Chair Pose, your feet and knees are together. Move your shins back, shift weight into your heels and drop the tailbone towards the floor so the lower back can lengthen and isn’t scooped. Inhale, sit deeply as you reach up and energize the arms.

With an exhale, keeping your knees bent, fold forward. Once your hands reach the floor, firm and lift your thighs to straighten your legs. Inhale, raise halfway up, take your heart forward, shoulders back, Half Standing Forward Bend.

Exhale, step back to Plank position and, on the same exhale, lower down, then inhale into Upward Facing Dog. Exhale, Downward Facing Dog

Warrior 1. Step your right foot forward, spin your left heel flat. Adjust your right foot slightly to the right and make sure that your heels line up with each other. Bend your right leg to a 90° so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor. With an inhale, raise your torso out of your legs and sweep your hands above your head. Look forward and keep hands shoulder distance apart. Rotate the back hip forward so that the frontal hipbones point in the same direction. To find this alignment in the hips, reach actively into your back heel and push off it. Lift up out of your hips, lengthening your spine and waist. Final inhale, touch your palms if you can, then exhale, release your hands to the floor

Exhale, step back to Plank position and, on the same exhale, lower down, then inhale into Upward Facing Dog. Exhale, Downward Facing Dog.

Step your left foot forward and spin your right heel flat and repeat Warrior 1 on the other side.

Step back to Plank. Lower down, inhale Upward Facing Dog, lift your heart, lift your thighs, exhale Downward Facing Dog. Take a few breathes. Lengthen spine and waist and release heels to the floor. Exhale, step your feet to your hands. 

Inhale raise up halfway, Half Standing Forward Bend, raise your heart, exhale lengthen your spine as you fold. On your next inhale, lift up into Chair Pose. Drop your hips and take your arms out to the sides and up, exhale press to standing. Bring your palms together in front of your heart

Repeat one more time, this time a little faster.