Gliding Through the Step Kneeling Salutation

If you aren't quite ready to tackle the 12-step sun salutation, the following 7-step variation can give you many benefits and also help you get in shape for the standing variety. Use focus, chest-to-belly, or belly-to-chest breathing

1. Sit on your heels in a bent-knee position, bring your back up nice and tall, and place your palms together in the prayer position with the thumbs touching the sternum (breastbone) in the middle of your chest (see Figure 13-2a).

2. As you inhale, open your palms and slightly raise your arms forward and then up and overhead; raise your buttocks away from your heels, arch your back, and look up at the ceiling as illustrated in Figure 13-2b.

3. As you exhale, bend forward slowly from the hips, placing your palms, forearms, and then your forehead on the floor and pause relaxing your hip. as Figure 13-2c shows.

4. Slide your hands forward on the floor until your arms are extended and then slide your chest forward, bending your elbows slightly, and arch up into cobra II as shown in Figure 13-2d.

Flip to Chapter 11 for instructions on cobra II.

5. As you exhale, turn your toes under, raise your hips up, extend your legs, and bring your chest down keeping both hands on the floor for the downward-facing dog (see Figure 13-2e).

6. As you inhale, bend your knees to the floor and look straight ahead like in Figure 13-2f.

7. As you exhale, sit back on your heels and return your hands to the saluting position as in Step 1 (Figure 13-2g).

Repeat the entire sequence 3 to 12 times.

Shedding light on the benefits of sun saluting

Respected for its excellent effects, the sun salutation reputedly provides an array of benefits, including the following:

✓ Stretching your spine and strengthening the muscles that support it

✓ Strengthening and stretching your arms and legs

✓ Improving your posture, coordination, and endurance

✓ Complementing the delicate balance between muscle tension and muscle relaxation

✓ Linking body, breath, and mind

✓ Granting (in most of its forms) aerobic benefits

✓ Improving your lung function and the delivery of oxygen to your muscles (including the heart)

✓ Working well (with modifications) for people of all ages, from children to seniors

The Yoga masters claim that the sun salutation has deeper psychological and spiritual implications because it stimulates subtle vital energies leading to states of higher awareness. No wonder so many Yoga videos on the market today include the sun salutation!

If you are not able to sit on your heels in Steps 1 and 7, simply keep your palms in prayer position and stand on your knees instead. You can also fold a blanket under your knees for comfort.

If you find this 7-step salutation too difficult for you, head to the following section and try Steps 1 through 3 only of the 12-step version until you're ready to do more.

Lessons In Gnagi Yoga

Lessons In Gnagi Yoga

This book is a beautiful explanation of Yogi Philosophy. Everything about Hindu philosophy for the non-Eastern reader. It talks about nature, forces and reason. The Yogi Philosophy and its several branches or fields are presented with great detail.

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