We live in a sound-byte age where our daily demands leave us with little time for exercise, at least in the mornings when it may perhaps be most efficient.
However, Yoga offers a systematic combination of poses, deep breathing and meditation that you could practice in 5-10 minutes-or less depending on your choice-and will also leave you invigorated and eager to step into the day feeling more energized.
So what is this quick routine I am talking about? It is known as the Sun Salutations.
They are very simple to learn and just about anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels can learn these simple exercises. In actuality, if you are familiar with ‘burpies’ (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from them.
Besides being an exercise routine, they are quite indispensable as they do the following.
-They alleviate disorders of the skin and waist.
-They mildly exercise the legs and arms at the same time increasing the circulation and restoring flexibility to the limbs.
-They are one of the best ways to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for obesity and depression.
-They are an effective way of loosening up, stretching and massaging all joints and internal organs of the body.
-They stimulate and balance all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive system.
For directions on how to perform them, study, memorize and practice the following:
1. Stand straight with the palms together as in a prayer position.
2. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head.
3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.
4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a big backward step and keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bending the head backward the left knee should be between the hands.
5. Inhale and hold the breath. Move the left leg from the body and, keeping both feet together and the knees of the floor, rest on the hands (arms straight) and keep the body in a straight line from head to foot.
6. Exhale and lower the body to the floor. In this position, only 8 portions of the body come in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead.
7. Inhale and bend back as much as possible bending the spine to the maximum.
8. Exhale and lift the body of the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.
9. Inhale and bring the right foot along the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the ground. Look up, bending the spine slightly (same position as #4)
10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head down to the knees as in the third position.
11. Raise the arms overhead and bend backward inhaling. As in Position 2.
12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.
You have now completed one round.
Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally you want to aim for 6 rounds minimum and up to a maximum of 30. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity and is best practiced with as little clothing as possible before an open air window first thing in the morning.
So when you’ve got little time to spare but need to be energized the way perhaps only physical exercise can, why not try the Sun Salutations. Your body will be glad you did and so will your mind.