Don't underestimate the half sun salutation!

Sun Salutations seem to be ubiquitous in yoga. You may think that they must be thousands of years old but the truth is they're actually a fairly recent development in our asana practice. So what's the value in this seemingly repetitive and simplistic series of postures?

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Five minute yoga break featuring the Sun Salutation

Welcome to this week's Five Minute Yoga break! If you live (well, I'd usually say in the Northeast but this week it's pretty much anywhere in the east!), you've probably been doing some shoveling. Or stressing about the weather and your loved ones getting to where they need to be. Time to get some relief from it all with the half sun salute!

Here's a visual to help you:

half sun salute
half sun salute

You'll start in Tadasana or Mountain pose.

On an inhale reach your arms to the sky, exhale to fold into a forward fold. (Keep your knees a bit soft (aka bent) here, especially for the first few rounds to give your back body time to open up.) On your inhale, lift the spine half way and lengthen through the crown taking your hands to your shins or thighs for support and on your exhale fold back to the earth. Inhale here and press your feet down firmly, as you exhale start rolling the spine up to the sky. Let your natural next inhale allow your spine to lengthen as you reach and then exhale and bring your hands back to the heart.

Want to go deeper? After a few rounds of the sequence above you could throw in a lunge:


Put this in after that second forward fold (the first frame of the second line in the image above) like this:

Forward fold. Inhale step back into your lunge. Exhale stay there. Inhale to prepare and then exhale to step that foot back to forward fold. Continue as above until you find yourself back in Tadasana. Then repeat taking the other leg back next time around.

You could also hold that lunge for a few breaths if it feels good just to be there.

Want to throw in something else? How about a twist? Or stepping back into a Downward Facing Dog after the lunge? Or dropping the back knee and taking the arms up to the sky from the lunge?

The possibilities are endless!

So set your timer and go see where this takes you! And DON'T FORGET to give yourself a little Shavasana at the end!

Let us know how it went in the comments. :-)