To continue on your path to positive energy and a mid-morning or afternoon boost, I want you to understand why it’s important to really focus on the transition from Plank to Up Dog/Cobra and Down Dog when ending the sequence.
In a perfect world, we always connect our body, mind and soul in yoga. However, sometimes we really just go through the motions. Breaking the Sun Salutation down into breath, intention, and the ways you can check in with yourself can help you get the most out of each pose. Which in turn, increases energy and puts a little positivity back into your day, no matter what time you choose to do your Sun Salutations.
Once you are in plank pose:
Exhale lower your knees down to the floor, Inhale and exhale then bend elbows straight back, lower the upper body down half way to Chaturanga (your upper arms should be in along your rib cage), then lower the upper down to the floor untuck the toes. Inhale push through the hands to lift the upper body for Cobra Pose. As you gain strength you can work into keeping your knees up as you lower to Chaturanga and sweeping your chest up and thru into Upward Dog. If you have the body strength for the second variation, you want to lift your thighs away from the floor, only your hands and tops of feet will be touching the floor, lengthen your sacrum toward your feet, and pull your lower abdominals away from the floor too keep from collapsing your back. Again you can keep your knees on the floor until you build enough body strength to lift off the floor.
Here, Inhale and exhale lift the hips up and back into Downward Dog. Make sure your fingers are spread out and you press down where your thumb meets your hand when you go into Downward Dog; the most important part of Downward Dog is to make sure your back is straight. Inhale and exhale your left knee forward into a lunge. Check in mentally and make sure your left knee is over the left ankle. Bring your right leg forward into forward fold. Slowly inhale roll your body up, sweep the arms overhead and press the palms, exhale and bring your arms back to your heart into Namaste position.
You can balance your left and right sides by doing the next sequence by going into the lunge with your left foot and balancing the right knee over the right ankle. Just make sure you keep your body balanced as you do each for the ultimate mood boosting Sun Salutation.
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