Today’s Move-It Monday puts together a number of poses I’ve presented in the last few weeks to create the basic building block of most “flow” or “vinyasa” classes~a Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar.  There are a number of variations, but learning this one basic sequence can give you the power to set up a flow of your own to warm up or cool down after workouts, link together poses you are working on, or simply to stretch and strengthen all of the major muscle groups in just a few moves.

If you want a detailed description of each pose, follow the link back to a more detailed description of the pose!

Begin your Sun Salutation by coming into Mountain Pose or Tadasana.

From Tadasana, inhale and stretch your arms overhead.  Exhale, hinge from the hips, and reach your fingers towards the mat into a Forward Fold or  Uttanasana.

If your fingers do not easily reach the ground, remember to keep a slight bend in the knees or place your hands on a block (shown in this picture).

From Forward Fold, inhale, flatten your back and rise up to Ardha Uttanasana  (remember that Ardha = Half).  Press your fingertips into the floor or a block, or slide your hands up your shins as you press forward through the crown of your head and back through your hips.  Your hand placement will be determined by the openness of your hamstrings and the length of your arms.

Exhale and release back to Forward Fold or Uttanasana.

Exhale, bend your knees, place your hands to frame your feet and step back one foot at a time to Plank Pose.  Exhale, keep your elbows pointing towards your waistband, and lower your body to the floor (chaturanga).

Inhale, roll your shoulders onto your back, press you toes and pelvis into the ground and lift your chest up for Cobra Pose.

Tuck your toes, exhale and lift your hips to Downward Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana.  Lift your gaze just past your fingertips at the front of your mat, inhale, and step forward to Forward Fold.

Lift your gaze just past your fingertips, inhale and step to the front of the mat back to your Mountain Pose or Tadasana.

Inhale, stretch your arms high overhead, lift the gaze to the fingertips.  Exhale and draw your hands back to your heart.