My Morning Coffee

Posted: January 11, 2014 by writingsprint in Yoga
Tags: , , , ,

Taking a break from fiction today. This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a while, sharing a little modification that I made to the Sun Salutation sequence in yoga.

One of my favorite things about the Sun Salutation sequence in yoga is how easy it is to customize it to add poses you like. I’m going to share the sequence I’ve been doing lately, which adds a three-legged dog pose, some twisting, and some Warrior poses. I hope you like them. (This will just be a quick overview of the poses I added, not an instruction of how to do Sun Salutation. There’s no substitute to having a good teacher.)

Yogis and yoginis will recognize the roadmap below:

Sun Salutations

Where I like to modify things is in the high lunge pose of Sun Salutation B, the outer circle. Rather than just the high lunge, I do this after downward dog:

Inhale Three-legged dog, right leg raised
Exhale Hugging the chest, bring right foot forward and plant it between hands, getting ready for high lunge
Inhale High lunge, right leg forward
Exhale Bring hands to prayer and twist to the right, hooking left elbow on right knee
Inhale Open arms so that the right arm is pointing skyward and the left arm is pointing toward the floor
Exhale Return to twist
Inhale Release from the twist, opening the arms and turning the other way, coming into warrior II
Exhale Extended side angle pose
Inhale Radiant warrior pose
Exhale Pinwheel the arms down, frame out the right foot, bring the right leg back, coming into chaduranga

After chaduranga, up dog, and down dog, repeat the series above on the left side.

The three-legged dog is where it all started, because it was easier for me to come into lunge by lifting my foot up high and then bringing it forward. Adding just one pose messed up the breathing sequence, so I focused on inhaling when the leg went up, exhaling when the leg came forward, and inhaling as I came up into lunge – back in sync with the regular pose.

Originally I just added the warrior, side angle and radiant warrior poses, because I felt like Sun Salutation needed a little edge. The opening movement with the arms to get into warrior felt like it should be an inhalation, not an exhalation. I went from high lunge to side angle to warrior, but that made me want to do radiant warrior to get the stretch on the other side.

Lucky for me, I love twists, and they’re ideal for the exhalation moves. The sequence adds a gentle back stretch, some time in prayer pose during all the movement – a little touch of meditativeness – and I think it sets up the poses from warrior really well.

I usually do three rounds of Sun Salutation A to warm up, then three rounds of “my” Sun Salutation B to really warm up, before going into the rest of the workout. By the time I’m done with “B,” my head’s clear, my heart’s pumping, I’m limber and I’m ready to go. I hope you find this useful, and maybe it’ll give you some ideas for your own practice.

Comments are welcome. Namaste 🙂 !


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