Morning Yoga Sun Salutations Video
Wake up and start your day with Yoga! The video below is a great introduction to a basic and common yoga series called “Sun Salutations.” This series of poses is used frequently in many yoga classes as a way to wake up and warm up the body. I recommend that you read through the transcript of the video first, and then do the practice with me. You will get a basic understanding of each pose in the sequence and what to expect as we move through the Sun Salutations. I hope this becomes a regular part of your daily routine and an integral part of your self-care practice. Thank you for practicing with me! Namaste!
Click Here to view a full transcript of this video
Introduction: Hi, I’m Wendy. I’m the founder of Sol Flower Wellness, I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist and also a Certified Yoga Teacher. Today I am here to walk you through a yoga sequence. It’s one you can use in the morning when you wake up.
What we are going to do today are Sun Salutations. This is a great way to start your day. If you have access to the East, you can face the sun as it comes up or you can really do this wherever it is comfortable for you. So you definitely want to have a yoga mat or a towel or something that you can be doing your practice on. Find a place where you have plenty of space and make yourself comfortable and we will get started.
What we are going to do is just start with our breath and then there are several poses that work our way through the sun salutation and then we will just close in child’s pose to bring you back to a resting position and then we will wrap it up.
Series of 7 Sun Salutations, with modifications:
Mountain Pose: Come to the front of your mat, bring your feet about hip width apart, spread your toes nice and wide, feel all four corners of your feet on the mat, bring your hands to your heart into prayer pose. Close your eyes for a moment and just tune into your breath. Take a couple of deep breaths in and out. Centering your awareness and tuning into your body. Preparing for your day. Open your eyes and bring your hands to your sides, palms facing front. And let’s begin:
Forward Fold: Inhale bring your arms up all the way over your head, deep breath up, reach up and look up, (you can add a slight back bend here once you are warmed up) exhale and bring your arms out to the side and all the way down into a forward fold. Hinge from your hips. Nice and slow in the beginning as we are just starting out. (feel free to go a bit deeper with this as you get warmed up) Just hang here for a moment.
Monkey Pose to Forward Fold: Keep your finger tips on the floor or on your shins and inhale extending the top of your head toward the front. Exhale and fold again.
Downward Facing Dog: Bend your knees, plant your hands on either side of your feet, and walk back into downward-facing dog. Keep your knees bent just in the beginning here while we are warming up. Walk your heels down one at a time, just coming into this downward dog. Come all the way up on your toes, then lift your hips and press back and bring your heels down, aim your heels towards the mat. As we repeat the sequences more, focus on extending through the hips and draw your shoulder blades down your back, making a long line from your hands all the way through your tailbone. Let your gaze be towards your belly-button. Good.
Chataranga: Look forward and come all the way forward into a plank position, a high push-up, and then to begin with the first round, we may just bring our knees to the floor, then chest and chin, all the way down. (Advanced option: Chataranga: Come forward into the plank pose, and keep your elbows tucked into your rib cage and come all the way down – do not rest on the floor and keep your shoulders in line with your elbows – a common mistake is to let the shoulders drop forward lower than the elbows which puts a lot of strain on the shoulder and can lead to injury – be careful here!).
Cobra/Upward Facing Dog: Pull yourself through into a cobra (short pause). Keep your hips on the floor, pull through the chest, and draw your elbows and shoulder blades back. (Alternate option: Upward facing dog – pull forward, your arms are fully extended and your weight is on the tops of your feet, open through the chest).
Downward Facing Dog: Exhale, tuck your toes under, and lift those hips back up into down dog. As you wake up your body, warming up. Take a couple of deep breaths here. This is a good place to rest as the sequences go on. (If you need to you can also take a break in child’s pose here). Monkey Pose to Forward Fold: Look between your hands, and walk your feet up between your hands as you inhale, extend through the spine (monkey pose) and then exhale and hang in that forward fold.
Mountain Pose: Arms out to the side and all the way up overhead. Reach up, look up, touch your hands together if you like, and then exhale and bring your hands to your heart in mountain pose and find your breath. Good.
So we are going to run through this sun salutation a few more times, we will speed it up a little bit as we go but please pay attention to your body and modify wherever you need to. That modification that we did the first time through (knees, chest, chin into cobra) you can certainly stay there. I will also show you another option and then you can choose what feels best for you. So finding that breath, take a nice deep breath in and let it out… (repeat/see note)
Note: At this point, we will run through the same sequence above 6 more times. You will see it performed from the front and from the side to get the best vantage point of each pose. Each time I will add modifications and extra cues as necessary. Rather than continue to repeat the transcript for each sequence, I will add to the first one, so that you have all the cues possible to help you run through these Sun Salutations with all of the information that you need. As they speed up and move forward, breathe with each movement and allow the movements to flow easily into each other. Eventually, this is a sequence to memorize and use anywhere you wish, whenever you need it. I have included an abbreviated list of the poses for you to refer to. Just know you can always come back to this video should you ever need a tune up, or to fine tune your form or practice.
Child’s Pose: To complete today’s sequence, let’s just come down into child’s pose. Drop your knees down to the mat, release your toes, and sit back on your heels, allow your head to rest on the mat and extend your hands forward in front of you and just rest. (Pause) Once you feel complete, allow yourself to come back up to a seated position, coming into a comfortable seated pose, easy pose, or lotus pose if that is comfortable for you. Just take a few deep breaths here and allow yourself to re-center, and just notice how your body is feeling, how it may be feeling slightly different now from when you started.
Conclusion: Hopefully you are feeling more alive and awake and ready to start your day! You can use this sequence every morning, or whenever it feels like you need a little bit of a lift to get your day started. Hopefully it will become a practice for you that enhances your well-being and becomes an important part of taking good care of yourself. Have a wonderful day! Thank you so much for watching!
Sun Salutation Abbreviated Pose Sequence:
Mountain Pose/Forward Fold/Monkey Pose/Forward Fold/Walk back into Downward Facing Dog/Plank down into Chataranga/Pull through into Cobra or Upward Facing Dog/Downward Facing Dog/Walk forward into Monkey Pose/Forward Fold/Back up into Mountain Pose.