Changes in lifestyle and the added pressures of academic expectations can wreak havoc on the health of new freshmen. It is no wonder this first trying year can cause one to pack on some extra pounds. Determination, organization and composure can combat the prevalent “freshman 15” and the following Sun Salutation (series of 15 poses) can instill just that.
By practicing these yoga poses one right after another while moving with the breath, you will burn calories, increase flexibility and double your stamina. Be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead in your first year of college. Start today.
Sun Salutation Series
1. Intention Setting
To begin, start by sitting or standing in a comfortable position and set your intention. This can be anything from getting an A+ on a test to making it to class on time. Setting an intention will help you realize your goals, and coupled with a yoga practice it will have a little bit more impact.
2. Mountain Pose
Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Activate your thigh muscles and lift the crown of your head toward the sky. Relax both shoulders down and back.
3. Tall Mountain Pose
Inhale to bring both arms overhead.
4. Forward Bend
Exhale, fold from the hips reaching both hands toward your feet.
5. Half Forward Bend
Inhale, lift your head and bring your spine parallel to the floor.
6. Warrior I
Exhale, step your right foot back. With your left knee bent directly over ankle, inhale, come up with both arms lifted toward the sky.
Exhale, bring both hands to the floor and step back with your left foot. Inhale to hold.
Exhale and bend elbows to lower halfway to the floor, keeping both elbows next to your body.
9. Upward Dog
Inhale to come to the tops of both feet, keeping hips slightly off the floor. Straighten both arms and lift the crown of your head toward the sky.
10. Downward Dog
Exhale and roll over toes (or flip feet over) and raise hips high toward the sky, in an upside down V shape.
11. Warrior I
Inhale and bring your right foot forward with your knee over your ankle and raise both arms toward the sky.
12. Forward Bend
Exhale and lower hands down and step forward with your left foot.
13. Tall Mountain Pose
Inhale and come up to standing with arms overhead.
14. Mountain Pose
Exhale and return to Mountain Pose with both arms relaxed by your sides.
*Complete this series again, leading with the left foot in and out of Warrior I. Repeat for up to five rounds.
15. Corpse Pose
Finish with this final pose by lying down in a comfortable position. Take a few moments to reflect on your intention with determination, get your thoughts organized and gather up composure for the tasks that lie ahead.