This practice has its roots in Hatha yoga and is a very effective way of preparing the body for the day.
It is typically performed in the morning as the sun is rising but can also be performed as part of full yoga practice.
It is said to honour the movements of both the sun and the moon within us.
12 postures on the right side of the body representing the movements sun and 12 postures on the left side representing the movements of the moon honouring the 24 hours of the day.
It's a beautiful way of warming the body and stretching the meridians which effect the internal organs.
There are said to be 12 meridians representing the internal organs which span from the internal to the external body.
Sun salutation helps to unify the breath and the physical body in a beautiful harmony that benefits the mind, body, and soul.
How to practice…..
Stand tall with feet together in mountain pose (Tadasana)
1. Inhale - Extend arms up above the head in extended mountain.
2. Exhale – Bring hands down to floor in forward fold.
3. Inhale – Step right leg back to long lunge.
4. Exhale – Step back into Downward facing dog.
5. Inhale – Move forward into plank.
6. Exhale – Lower body to the floor.
7. Inhale – Upward facing dog.
8. Exhale – Move back to Downward dog.
9. Inhale – Step right foot forward to lunge.
10. Exhale – back to Forward fold.
11. Inhale – Rise up to extended mountain.
12. Exhale – Come back to mountain pose (Tadasana).
Repeat cycle on the left side.
There are many forms of salutation, including moon salutations (which lead with the left side) which are typically performed in the evening).
Some variations are shorter, and some are modified to incorporate yoga poses such as warrior 1 and crescent lunge. Some practices use mantras and chants to empower the positions.
All in all, this is a full body practice which has many physical benefits as well as calming the nervous system, detoxification of lungs and releasing negative energy from the organs.