In This Chapter
Trying the 7-step sun salutation
Experiencing the 12-step sun salutation
The sun has long captured humanity’s attention for its life-giving power, but you don’t have to be a sun worshiper to benefit from yoga’s sun salutation (surya namaskara, pronounced soor-yah nah-mahs-kah-rah). This exercise — a special sequence of postures — is considered so profound that many people practice it on its own. It works well (with modifications) for people of all ages, from children to seniors. Respected for its excellent effects, the sun salutation reputedly provides an array of physical benefits, such as stretching the spine and strengthening the muscles that support it; improving posture, coordination, and endurance; and improving lung function and oxygen delivery to cells. Yoga masters claim that the sun salutation, which links body, mind, and breath, has deeper psychological and spiritual implications because it stimulates subtle vital energies leading to states of higher awareness.