Kung Stina

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Why Sun Salutations Are Important

One of the first sequences in yoga that we all learn, Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit, often comes at the beginning of our practice; and can be appropriate for any level. Although there is no obligation to include them within your practice, they do serve a fundamental key and shouldn’t be left out. Here we look at why Sun Salutations are so essential to be incorporated into your yoga routine. 

  • It Prepares Your Mind

When it’s time to begin our practice, we are often focused on our asanas that we forget that the mind needs to be focused as well. Some days, we may feel as though performing the sequence of Sun Salutations is no more difficult than our drive to work. If you find yourself just “going through the motion” of your sequence, then it’s time to refocus your mind on the task at hand, because you’re likely not doing it right. 

By focusing on all the minute movements and the coordination of breath through the sequence, you are setting your body and mind up for success in what is to follow. The mind needs to be focused on preventing injury from occurring and will set your mind up for the rest of the day, allowing it to remain focused. 

  • It Warms Up Your Body 

If you are anxious to try that challenging pose you have been working on for the past few weeks or are tight on time, I can promise you that jumping straight ahead and skipping your Sun Salutations is not a wise choice. The sequence can be completed in five minutes and will warm up your entire body. 

Remember that Sun Salutations should be eased into just as the other poses you perform. So just because you can add a push-up when you are down in Chaturanga does not mean that you should start that way; build up to it and your body will thank-you. By going through the movements in this sequence, you are allowing your blood to flow through each of your body parts and awaken the body for what is yet to come. 

  • Increase Your Flexibility, Strength, and Endurance

Your joints need to be lubricated before you can push farther into more challenging poses, and Sun Salutations not only provide this for you, but they also ease the tension within your muscles and increase their elasticity. 

With the repetitive movement required, you will find that your spine is strengthened and has more flexibility. The repetition of the sequence increases the blood flow to your muscles, which in turn allows them to become more prepared to accept the flow of oxygen and likewise, will improve your overall endurance. 

  • Aligns Your Body With Your Breath

Proper breathing is such a critical component of any asana we choose to perform, including when we are going through the sequence of Sun Salutations. The movements are precisely coordinated with the breath, as each pose lasts a full breath. It helps set our body and breath up for the rest of our practice, reminding us to breathe through the more challenging poses. 


One of the best ways to fully appreciate all of what Sun Salutations can do for you is to complete them at the beginning of your practice and then a few times again at the end of your sequence. Notice the difference in your strength, flexibility, and your ability to hold parts of the sequence within. 

Sun Salutations are a way to give your body energy, and they have been a key part of yoga sequence for thousands of years. Make sure to include them every time you practice for maximum benefits.