Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12 Step Salute To The Sun

A 12-Step All-Around Yoga Exercise

The ’12-step salute to the sun’ is one of the all-around yoga exercises. Do it once or twice when you get up in the morning to help relieve stiffness and invigorate the body. Multiple repetitions at night will help you to relax; insomniacs often find that 6 to12 rounds help them fall asleep.

1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest.

2. Inhale deeply, while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as possible, while tightening your buttocks.

You should hold this position for three seconds before exhaling.

3. Slowly exhale and bend forward, keeping your knees straight, until your fingers touch the floor outside your feet.

You may not be able to touch the floor but you should get as close as you can to it and then bend your head inwards, towards your knees.

4. Now slowly inhale, bend your knees and try again to touch the floor just outside where your feet are.

From there you will need to go into a lunge type position, by placing your right foot back as far as you can, then bend your knee until it is only a few inches from the floor. Next arch your back and look up as high as possible, while holding your breath a few seconds before exhaling.

5. Before you exhale, bring your left foot next to your right one, and support your weight on your palms and toes, then straighten both legs so your body is positioned like a flat plane.

All the time while doing this yoga exercises you need to make sure your stomach is pulled in.

6. Slowly exhale, bend both knees to the floor, bend with your hips in the air, lower your chest and forehead to the floor.

7. In this position begin to inhale slowly once again, bend your head back by looking upwards, now lift up your chest and bring it back down.

Your lower body - from the navel down - should be on the floor, and your elbows should be slightly bent. Stay in this position for 3 - 5 seconds.

8. As you exhale slowly, raise up your hips until both your feet and hands are flat on the floor and your legs and arms are in a straight inverted V type position.

9. Bring your foot forward as you slowly inhale the same way you did in the forth position.

The right foot will need to be flat on the floor between your fingertips. The left leg should be almost straight behind you, with its knee slightly off the floor. Again, you will raise your head by looking upward and arch your back in this position.

10. Slowly exhale and bring your left foot forward next to your right one.

Straighten your legs and stand, trying to keep your fingertips on the floor, and try to touch your head to your knees as in position 3.

11. Slowly inhale, raise your arms up and stretch back as in position 2.

Remember in both position two and eleven you need to tighten your buttocks and hold for three seconds.

12. Slowly exhale, lowering your arms to your sides and then relax.

By repeating these yoga exercises you will improve much of your overall health, both mentally and physically.