Sun Salutations are the most amazing form of exercise, adaptable for days when you need to do more movement and days when you want to do less. They can be adapted again to suit your personality type, your mood and accommodate illness or fatigue. However, when you are learning about Yoga, or you are carrying injury, you might prefer to do a softer program. Modified sun salutations are just that; a softer version that treats the body kindly. They are also easier to do if mornings are not your best time of the day. Best thing is that you can do them at the same pace as a Yogi performing full sun salutations.
So, how is it done ?.
Start standing in prayer pose, allowing your focus to come to the body and your breath to settle. Keeping the hands together, lift the arms up above your head, stretching towards the ceiling, then lean back a little. Keep your feet stable and feel the connection to the earth.
Take the hands apart and sweep the arms out to the sides, pushing the world away with your hands as they come down to the floor, either side of your feet. You are now in a forward bend. If you can keep your legs straight that it fabulous, but bent knees are ok too.
Take your left knee back to the floor. Then your right knee. You are now in table pose.
Let your bottom drop to the heels, leaving your hands where they are. You are now in extended childs pose.
Now come up to table and arch the back to angry cat pose. Drop the tummy muscles down, head and bottom in the air to cow pose (aka happy puppy) Do this twice. The return the bottom to the heels for extended childs pose.
Bring the body back to table. Left foot forward, right foot forward, slow rise up till your hands are stretched above your head, then repeat on the right.
Easy, smooth and slow is good for these. Enjoy, safe in the knowledge that these are helping you to get fitter.
As with all yoga, if anything in the above causes discomfort or pain, please stop immediately and talk to your doctor.