23 March, 2009

modified sun salutation

Sun salutation is an excellent exercise for focusing on the breath and balance while loosening the spine. It is a lovely way to start the day, something of a thank you note for the gift of another day and, if the sun is shining, even more reason to feel gratitude. For anyone with conditions which affect the functions of the nervous system it is an important tool for slowing the progression of the symptoms. It is effective in strengthening balance. Each repetition is about 60 seconds or 10 repetitions can be accomplished in 10 minutes. You could continue the repetitions for 30 minutes for cardiovascular benefits. The video posted here is a simple variation originally designed to be performed standing in water, armpit deep at the side of the swimming pool. The sequence can be performed very slowly, with up to 3 minutes holding in each pose, or even more rapidly than in this video. There are 12 positions starting with Mountain Pose and an inhale breath.  

1)  Stand behind a stable chair in Mountain Pose, then exhale as you
2)  Flex knees to squat in prayer pose. Inhale while you tuck your tailbone and move into 
3)  Mini Back bend with no discomfort in back of neck or lower back. Exhale into  
4)  Forward Fold hinging from hip joint, head and neck relaxed, hanging loose. Inhale and 
5)  Step left foot back into Lunge, heel may be up or down. Exhale as you place
6)  Hands on back of chair for Plank Pose, spine is a diagonal line, inhale. Step close to chair,
7)  Push up and away into Cobra. Exhale as you  
8)  Pull hips back into Downward Dog. Inhale and   
9)  Step right leg forward into Lunge. Exhale for second 
10)  Forward Fold. 
11)  Mini Back bend
12) Prayer Pose.
and finish or begin again with: 
1)  Mountain Pose.

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