FitnessU: Energize your morning with sun salutations

Stand facing forward with your arms at your sides. Maintain a narrow stance with feet parallel. Actively reach towards the ground with your fingertips as you begin five deep breaths.

Inhale and bring your arms overhead, actively reaching towards the sky.

Exhale and slowly lower your arms. Simultaneously bend your torso, bringing your head down. Actively reach your hands towards your feet. Inhale and raise slightly, relaxing your arms.

Exhale and lower your hands all the way to the ground. Step one foot back at a time with a slightly wider stance into the plank position. Hands should be directly below your shoulders and hips neutral so that your back forms a straight line. Lower your body so that it hovers over the ground. If this is too difficult, simply lay down all the way.

Keeping your knees and hips low, inhale and press through your hands so that your chest comes up. Your body should form a curve in this position.

Alternative — Cobra pose: If upward dog is too difficult, perform cobra pose. This is the same movement, but with knees on the ground for less resistance.

Hands and feet remain in the same position. Exhale as you raise your hips and bring your head between your shoulders, pushing into the ground with your heels.

Alternative — Child’s pose: If downward dog is too difficult, perform child’s pose. Move your feet slightly closer and widen your knees on the ground. Keep your hands where they are and exhale as you bring your hips back and sit over your feet.

With your knees off the ground, inch your feet between your hands back to the forward bend position. Inhale and raise slightly before exhaling and lowering your hands to the ground for a greater stretch.

Inhale as you simultaneously unbend your torso and raise your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky.

Exhale and gently lower your arms to your sides. Reach your fingertips towards the ground and begin five deep breaths.

Repeat this sequence three to five times.

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