Salute the Sun with Heart-Healthy Yoga

Yoga is a great way to get in some low-impact exercise. It improves circulation, reduces stress, and provides a low-impact, full-body workout. The Sun Salutation is a great place to start, but make sure that you are prepared. 

Each position complements the one before, stretching and strengthening the body in a different way, so that by the time you have finished, you feel flexible and energized from head to toe. 

One round of Sun Salutation consists of 2 sequences, first leading with the right foot (during stepping poses) and the second leading with the left.

If you are new to yoga, some of these poses may be too challenging at first, so do the modifications until you feel more comfortable. Modifications are included in the text descriptions. Be sure you read the entire description before attempting the pose.

If you have heart problems, these moves may be too strenuous and are not recommended unless approved by your doctor. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor if you have arthritis or other serious medical problems.

How often you practise the Sun Salutations is entirely up to you. Serious yoga students sometimes do 12 routines a day, but you can calm stress, increase flexibility and improve your general well-being by doing it as little as once a week.

Remember to breathe evenly and fluidly throughout your practise, inhaling and exhaling as you begin each move. As you become more used to the positions, the 12 steps of the Sun Salutation will flow together as one continuous exercise. Be sure to perform the routine on a comfortably cushioned surface, such as a yoga mat or a carpeted floor.

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