Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) is a wonderful Vinyasa (flow) which prepares the body for the practice of Asana (poses) and is also a great practice in its own right.

But what if you can’t or don’t want to practice it?

Firstly, there is no mandatory element to yoga practice. Different styles each have their own poses and intent for practice. Some practice types do not include Vinyasa at all.

You may also choose not to practice certain poses for anatomical, physiological or psychological reasons.

Surya Namaskar can be challenging and may not be suitable for everyone. There are some modifications that can be made to each pose of the flow – but there may still be times when you don’t want to or can’t practice Sun Salutations even when modified.

Four Part Daoist Breath

Four Part Daoist Breath may be a good option if you are able to stand or sit on a chair.

This video demonstrates three rounds of this wonderful flowing practice. The movement is led by the breath and the body is moved in multiple ways that can help prepare you for ongoing practice.

It’s also great for anyone who works at a desk – I practice this at least once an hour when I’ve needed to sit for long periods!

Please remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new form of exercise or if you have any pre-existing condition or injury.

Here are the instructions if you prefer to read through them!

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with the feet and knees hip distance apart
  2. Inhale and sweep your arms up over your head
  3. Exhale and twist to the right from your waist, taking your right arm out in front and your left arm behind you
  4. Inhale to the front with your arms overhead
  5. Exhale as you twist to the left with your left arm in front and your right arm behind
  6. Inhale to the front with your arms overhead
  7. Exhale as you take your hands behind your head and then push the palms of your hands out to the sides, as if you’re pushing away two walls
  8. Inhale and bring your fingertips to your shoulders as you draw your shoulder blades together
  9. Exhale, tuck your chin, round your upper back and push the palms of your hands forwards
  10. Inhale as you turn your palms upwards and lift them to the sky, taking your gaze upwards if this is okay for your neck
  11. Exhale and bend your knees as you sweep your arms back and move your chest forwards
  12. Inhale to lift the arms as you straighten the legs and continue for as many rounds as you wish

I hope you enjoy this practice in your own unique way!

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