One of the all-around yoga exercises is the 12-step salute to the sun. Do it once or twice
when you get up in the morning to help relieve stiffness and invigorate the body. Multiple
repetitions at night will help you to relax; insomniacs often find that six to 12 rounds help
them fall asleep.
1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest
2. Inhale deeply while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as
possible, while tightening your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.
3. Slowly exhale and bend forward, keeping your knees straight, until your fingers touch the
floor outside your feet. (If you can’t touch the floor, go as close as you can.) Bring your
head in toward your knees.
4. Slowly inhale, bend your knees, and if your fingertips aren’t outside your feet on the
floor, place them there. Slide your right foot back as far as you can go, with the right knee
an inch or so off the floor, (a lunge position). Now look up as high as possible, arching your
5. Before exhaling again, slide your left foot back until it is beside the right one, and with
your weight supported on your palms and toes, straighten both legs so that your body forms a
flat plane. Make sure your stomach is pulled in.
6. Slowly exhale, bend both knees to the floor, bend with your hips in the air, lower your
chest and forehead to the floor.
7. Now inhale slowly and look up, bending your head back, then raising it, followed by your
upper chest, then lower chest. Your lower body – from the navel down – should be on the floor,
and your elbows should be slightly bent. Hold for three to five seconds.
8. Exhale slowly and raise your hips until your feet and palms are flat on the floor and your
arms and legs are straight in an inverted V position.
9. Inhale slowly and bring your right foot forward as in position 4. The foot should be flat
on the floor between your fingertips. The left leg should be almost straight behind you, with
its knee slightly off the floor. Raise your head, look up, and arch your back.
10. Slowly exhale and bring your left foot forward next to your right one. Straighten your
legs and stand, trying to keep your fingertips on the floor, and try to touch your head to
your knees as in position 3.
11. Slowly inhale, raise your arms up and stretch back as in position 2. Don’t forget to
tighten your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.
12. Slowly exhale, lowering your arms to your sides. Relax. Repeat the series.