Oh my goodness I love a sun salutation. Jeremy and I are doing them for Lent - we're not sure whose idea it was, but it was Jeremy's idea to add one round each week. (A round is taking the right leg into a lunge and bringing it back and coming back up to standing and then doing the same on the left.) When we were on holiday in Oman we were doing two rounds a day; now we are up to 6 a day. These are 'my' sun salutations, and have been my companions for 20 years. There are many many variations, some of which I do regularly, but this is my home ground.
1 - And as for the sun salutations, settle your feet into the ground (ideally not wearing flip flops), settle the hands against each other, heavy from the hips down, long to the crown of the head. Breathe. Continue to breathe freely without blocking your breath throughout the sequence. This may not be as easy as the instruction seems. You can wait for out-breaths to move on each time, follow the breathing sequence as I've put it in here, or adapt; just make sure you're not moving without breathing. Stand and breathe till you feel ready to move.
This photo is at the Sahab Hotel on Jabal Al Akhdar in the western Hajar mountains. It is a beautiful thoughtful building, and the views are ridiculous.
3 - To get down into the forward bend you can crumple gently on an out-breath, or you can sweep dramatically. See how you feel.
4 - Next take the right leg back into the Lunge on the in-breath. You can wait to make all the moves on out-breaths, but I love an in-breath for this - it's how I learned it. Let the hips drop and the spine lengthen.
This is a balcony at The View
5 - You go into Plank on a held breath. If it's too much any day put your knees down but be in a straight line from knees to crown of head.
6 - Fold into Child on an out-breath. You can flatten the feet and rest here for a while or leave the toes turned under. You can also leave this move out altogether and drop straight into the number 7.
7 - You're breathing out and sliding forward till your toes, knees, chest, hands and chin are touching the floor. (8 Points). In fact I think you'd be well advised to keep your chin off the ground.
8 - You breathe in and lift into Cobra - often this morphs deliberately or because it's easier into Upward Facing Dog, which is similar, but with straight arms.
9 - And we're back to Oman, with a Dog pose on the balcony walk of Oman's Grand Canyon, Wadi Nakhar. To be honest, I did not slide through into Cobra from Child and then lift into this on the out-breath as I normally would, and as a result my hands are much nearer my feet than you are likely to find yours. But you get the general idea. Let your head be heavy, for instance, to give your neck muscles a break and your back relax after the work of Cobra.
Sun salutations at dawn on the roof of the amazing Misfah Old House - an adobe house in the middle of a village in the middle of a date plantation. Best thing ever.
10 - You bring the right foot forward again, on an in-breath, so that you're doing the lunge on the opposite side. Some teachers advise keeping the knee above the heel, but as long as you're not twisting the knee, I think the extra fold at knee and ankle is absolutely fine; in fact, absolutely heavenly.
The Wahiba Sands. We did 'wild camping' (it was incredibly luxurious) through the Safari Desert Camp.
11 - Breathe out into a forward bend again.
12. And breathe in sweeping or unwinding to vertical, hands lifted. You can also go into a backbend.
This photo is in the grounds of the Intercontinental Hotel, Muscat. It's a 1970's design dream, and I really do mean that in a good way.
In summary, do sun salutations, and if you possibly can, go to Oman. Ask me about it, I dare you.