Each class begins by warming up the body with a deep breathing exercise (Pranayama) and several Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). Sun Salutations generate an internal heat that warms up every area of the body.
Sun Salutations target the hips and hamstrings while encouraging chest strength and flexibility, as well as core stability.
Athletes: Use Sun Salutations as a warm-up for training, as a mid-day stretch, or as a loosener after a short or easy workout.
Home Practice: If practicing yoga in unheated rooms, at home or on the road, always start with a few Sun Salutations to warm up the body and prevent injury.
The Sun Salutation Series of postures includes the following 7 postures:
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
- High Lunge
- Plank (Dandasana)
- Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Legged Staff Pose)
- Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)