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The Science of a Sun Salutation

Day 1 of our #ElevatedSocialDistancing challenge is officially kicked here. Up first, Rachel explores the science of a Sun Salutation. This is a sequence you've likely done a time or two and oftentimes in almost every yoga class, even aerial yoga.

So what exactly is a Sun Salutation?

Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a series of postures (or what we typically refer to as shapes in our studio) that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. You move from one shape to the next, transitioning each time you inhale or exhale. It is considered a classic sequence but there are so many variations that have been adopted over the years. By moving slowly and deliberately, you'll feel how this type of sequence can be considered a type of moving meditation!

How exactly do I do a Sun Salutation?

While there are different variations where you can get creative and add in other shapes, traditionally here's what you can expect:

  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) ~ inhale

  3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana) ~ exhale

  4. Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) ~ inhale

  5. Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) ~ exhale

  6. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) ~ inhale

  7. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) ~ exhale (observe for 5 full breaths)

  8. Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) ~ inhale

  9. Forward Fold (Uttanasana) ~ exhale

  10. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) ~ inhale

  11. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) ~ exhale

Here is your day 1 host, Rachel, walking us through more about the science of a Sun Salutation:

So, what's next?

Even after completing 1 Sun Salutation, you should be feeling pretty warm. Start with 5 or 6 repetitions and gradually build to 12 or more or set a timer starting with 3 minutes and gradually increase to 10 or more. Eventually you can try some rounds of Sun Salutation B or C where you're adding in other shapes. You'll feel energized and ready for your day!

How do I join the challenge?

It's simple and free to join the 10-day challenge. Simply head over to our Instagram to get started. Be sure to follow each of our hosts and sponsors and then participate daily by posting your variation of the daily 'thang, tagging all hosts and sponsors and using our #ElevatedSocialDistancing tag so we can find you. At the end, there are some prizes you could win! Who doesn't love some fun prizes? And, you'll find motivation, inspiration, and maybe bring some new, healthy routines into your day.

Questions? text us (602) 456-2762 or email us

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