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Sun Salutation: The Best Warm-Up Part 1

Lenka Pagan

It is considered as the best exercise and suitable for people of all ages from kids to the elderly. It stretches and strengthens all the major muscle groups of the body. Sun Salutation is the best way to burn the calories and reduce weight and therefore often recommended for obesity, but it is also a great warm-up before starting your workout.

Regular yoga practice will help you to overcome stress, improve your muscle tone, blood circulation, concentration, flexibility, personality development as well as clarity and peace of mind.

It is also very helpful for lower back pain, headache, migraine, blood pressure, digestive problems and many more health benefits.

Positions (called asanas in Sanskrit) are designed not only to stretch and strengthen your muscles but also to stimulate your nervous system and massage internal organs.

1 round consists of 10 positions.

I would recommend starting with 3-4 rounds if you are a beginner and gradually increase it up to 12 rounds.

Before practising yoga: Try not to eat 1.5 to 2 hours prior to the session/class. If that is not always possible, just have something light, easy to digest such as a piece of fruit, vegetables or some salad. Wear comfortable clothes and no shoes or socks are needed.

There are some poses you should avoid if you are pregnant, having high or low blood pressure or recent injuries…Please tell your yoga teacher/instructor prior to your class so they can modify those positions to suit you the best.

Let’s break down each pose:

  • Position 1: Standing Pose 

Standing pose with your back and neck erect, hands joined together near chest and feet together as well.

Benefits of this pose: Establishing a state of concentration and calmness. 


You can also use this intermediate variationInhale and stretch your arms up and slightly back, tilt your head back as well. Be careful not to overdo or lose balance.

Benefits of this variation: Stretching arms, strengthening abdominal and neck muscles. A great chest opening exercise, great for heart chakra and the respiratory system.


  • Position 2: Standing Forward Bend 

Exhale and bend forward in the waist as low as you can. Do not worry if you cannot touch your toes yet, it will come soon with practice. 😉

Keep your legs straight, do not bend your knees in this pose and relax your neck.

Benefits: It makes the spine supple, reduces abdominal fat and makes the body feel light. Stretches the hamstrings and muscles of the neck. Increases blood supply to the brain. Tones the spinal nerves. Relieves constipation. Relieves sciatica and low back pain. It improves digestion and blood circulation. Mobilizes the joints and invigorates the entire nervous system.

  • Position 3: Low Lunge Pose, variation

Inhale and take the left leg back, the knee touching the floor and toes erect. Press the waist downwards, hips towards the floor and keep your neck straight. Open your chest by bringing it forward and push your shoulders down. Ensure both arms are straight, palms or just fingertips on the floor. Keep your right leg bent, at a 90-degree angle to prevent knee pain!

Benefits: It tones the abdomen and the muscles of the thighs. It opens the groins and hips, making them flexible.

  • Position 4: Plank Pose

Hold the breath. (Some people find holding the breath difficult in this position, so here is a variation: Exhale, Inhale and on another exhalation, go into position 5). Straighten both legs and arms. All toes are erect and keep all body parallelly to the floor, in a straight line. Try not to drop the hips/waist towards the floor and neither lifting into the air. Do not bend your arms.

Benefits: It strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, arms, legs, shoulders and back.

  • Position 5: Ashtanga Pose

Exhale and bring 8 parts of your body – forehead or chin, palms, chest, knees and toes to the floor. Bend elbows and keep them pointed to the sky and close to the body. Bring your forehead or chin to the floor and your hands next to the shoulders. Ensure your knees and toes are also touching the floor.


Benefits: It strengthens the muscles of the arms and shoulders. Also, whilst trying to lift your belly, the abdominal muscles are contracted. This causes pressure on internal organs, resulting in an increased efficiency of liver, spleen and other organs of the digestive system.




Here is the video of all 10 poses:


Next – Sun Salutation: The Best Warm-Up Part 2

Lenka Pagan
Lenka supports women to live happier and healthier life. :-)

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