Why only salute the sun? To celebrate spring, Masumi Goldman and Laura Kasperzak put a fresh on spin on traditional Surya Namaskar by showing Tree some love, too.
Get ready to lose an hour of sleep: Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Although moving our clocks forward will lead to darker mornings, we’re looking forward to longer, lighter evenings and the uplifting energy of spring. It’s only two weeks away!
To celebrate the start of the new season—and help you “spring forward” before the sun has risen—we’re putting a fresh spin on a traditional Sun Salutation. By keeping the legs in Tree Pose (Vrksasana), each pose within this sequence from Two Fit Moms becomes a hybrid … and a hip opener. Challenge your balance and flexibility as you pay homage to the soon-to-be blooming trees and the rebirth, renewal, and growth of spring.
Begin in Tree Pose with your left leg rooting into the earth. Find stability in this pose by pressing your right foot firmly into your left thigh and your left thigh firmly into the sole of your right foot. Place your hands together in prayer in front of your heart and sweep your arms up toward the sky.
Standing Forward Bend
Hinge forward from the waist, and slowly become accustomed to this Uttanasana variation. Not only will you benefit from the hamstring stretch of the traditional Forward Bend, but you will also have the hip-opening element of Tree Pose.
See also 3 Safe Modifications for Uttanasana
Rather than stepping or jumping back into Plank Pose, as you would in a traditional Sun Salutation, begin to walk your hands forward into Plank. Continue pressing your right foot firmly into your left thigh, and try to make a straight line with your body from head to heel.
See also 6 Instagram-Inspired Pose Variations
Before moving on to Chaturanga Dandasana, which is usually the next pose in the Sun Salutation A sequence, take a short detour into Side Plank. Roll onto the outer edge of your left foot and keep your hips lifted. For an added challenge, gaze up at your extended arm.
See also Two Fit Moms’ Better-Balance Flow
Four-Limbed Staff Pose
From Side Plank, roll back down into Plank Pose and lower your body into Chaturanga Dandasana. This variation will require a bit more focus and strength than the traditional pose. With only one foot planted on the ground, you will need to engage your core to maintain stability and good form.
Cobra Pose or Upward-Facing Dog
Bhujangasana or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Lower your body to the floor, roll over your toes, and lift your chest for Cobra Pose. If you would prefer an Upward-Facing Dog variation (as shown in the slide), push into the palms of your hands and the top of your left foot to lift your legs and hips from the floor.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Complete your Sun Salutation by spending a few breaths in Downward-Facing Dog. From there, walk your hands back toward your left foot. Bend your knee slightly and slowly rise into Tree Pose to complete the sequence.
Repeat the sequence on the other side.
For an added challenge, include an inversion at the end of your Sun Salutation practice. In this Supported Headstand variation, we maintain our tree theme. Remember to keep your extended leg energized to help stabilize your body in this pose.