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Yoga Sun Salutations for a Good Burn

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Photography by Ina Jacobe

While your first order of business this year was to get in shape, even a warm up might have been hard to warm up to. But what if getting warmed up was already a workout in itself? “You usually put it at the start of a series,” says Beyond Yoga’s Rianna Gatus of the sun salutation, a sequence of movements often practiced before a yoga session. “But if you do it enough, you can take it up to a cardiovascular level. There are some people who do it 10 to 25 times, some even more. That makes it the perfect whole body workout.”

With Beyond Yoga branches in Tomas Morato and Greenhills, the start of getting firm and fit is just a stretch away from 53 Benitez. Otherwise, begin exercising at home by following these sun salutations that Rianna demonstrates for The Start. Try doing as many of Sun Salutation A on one day, then alternate to Sun Salutation B on another day. Either way, you can rely on that sun to get a good sweat going.

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SUN SALUTATION A 

Start by standing up and raising your arms into to the sky. Touch your palms over your chest and look up at your thumbs.

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Now fold forward, bending your knees if you need to.

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Bring your hands down to the floor, step back into a plank pose or the top of a pushup. Lower halfway down or all the way down in a straight line as much as possible, like a low pushup.

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Slide your heart forward and press through your hands and feet into upward facing dog. Stick your chest out and puff it up.

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Then, lift your hips into the sky into downward facing dog, which looks like an inverted V. Hold it for five breaths.

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Then step your feet in between your hands again and look up, keeping a flat back and extending the spine. Arms reach up again and palms touch, allowing you to repeat Sun Salutation A.

SUN SALUTATION B 

Sun Salutation B starts with the chair pose, which is great for your thighs and hips. There’s a slight backbend because of the extension of the chest. Hold this for a breath.

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Now fold forward, bending your knees if you need to, and look up and straight ahead.

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Bring your hands down to the floor, step back into a plank pose or the top of a pushup. Lower halfway down or all the way down in a straight line as much as possible, like a low pushup.

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Slide your heart forward and press through your hands and feet into upward facing dog. Stick your chest out and puff it up.

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Then, lift your hips into the sky into downward facing dog, which looks like an inverted V. Hold it for five breaths.

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Then, you step your right foot forward into Warrior One. The back heel surrenders to the floor as you extend both your hands into the sky. “It’s kind of like a squat on one leg while stretching the inner thigh of the back leg. And a slight backbend also because your arms are extended,” says Rianna. After finishing one leg, you can step back with the other leg and repeat Warrior One. By stepping or hopping forward, you can return to chair pose and repeat Sun Salutation B.

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