When I took my first yoga class my freshman year of college (for credit!) the goal of the semester was to learn The Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation is great for both the beginner and the advanced. Learning the Sun Salutation for beginners is a great way to become comfortable with different yoga poses and to learn how to move from pose to pose. Its also great for those who are advanced because it can take you to the next level physically and spiritually depending on what you want to get out of the practice.
Honoring The Sun
I love being outside in the sunshine. I feel more awake and alive when the sun is out. The sun energizes me and simply makes me happy. In yoga, one way to honor the sun is through The Sun Salutation asana sequence. Richard Rosen of Yoga Journal describes this well:
The Sanskrit word namaskar stems from namas, which means "to bow to" or "to adore." (The familiar phrase we use to close our yoga classes, namaste—te means "you"—also comes from this root.) Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart. This placement is no accident; only the heart can know the truth.
Not only is practicing the sun salutation a great workout, it also improves blood circulation, inner focus, and strengthens and stretches your muscles all at once. Since practicing even just 10 Sun Salutations in the morning before I start my day, I feel more energized, focused, and calm.
I promise, you won't regret learning the Sun Salutation. Because, really, who ever regrets a yoga practice?
Here's a video from The Ultimate Yogi's 108 Sun Salutation practice: