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A graceful greeting to the sun

Fitness | GOOD FORM

December 20, 2004|Karen Voight | Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

The Sun Salutation is a combination of yoga poses done by smoothly moving from one to the other while coordinating the breath with each move. It is often used as a general warmup for the entire body. Before practicing the Sun Salutation, it's a good idea to first understand each of the poses. This is Plank to Chaturanga. There are two ways to perform this movement, with bent legs or straight legs.

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1 Begin in a pushup position with your arms and legs straight. Walk your hands down so that your fingers are just below your shoulders, hands shoulder-width apart. Look forward slightly, pull your abdominals in toward your spine and rest your knees on the floor with your toes curled under. Bend your arms, point your elbows back and lower your body almost to the floor, but don't let it touch the floor. Hold this bent arm position for three breaths. Lie on the floor to rest before repeating or push up and repeat the pose two more times.

2 As you become stronger, you can practice the same movement with your legs straight and your feet 6-8 inches apart. Make sure that you keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Avoid lifting your hips too high or sagging in your belly. Hold this position for three breaths, push up and repeat this pose up to three times.

-- Karen Voight

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