Component parts for Sun Salutation

What in the body needs to strengthen and lengthen for the Sun Salutation?

To follow up on my workshop on sequencing, here are some things to take into consideration when setting up your students or yourself for the sun salutation. I’m not saying you have to warm up all of these every class but you can pick and choose from them, also from what you see that your students need or if they express that they feel pain anywhere. I have walked through the body this time since there are so many poses in the salutation. I haven’t included Surya B.

Component parts for Sun Salutation

Wrists, mobilize and strengthen and palms pressing down evenly (down dog, plank, cobra, updog)

Shoulders, mobilize, strengthen and stabilize (down dog, plank, cobra, updog, press up and lower to belly)

Shoulder flexion, without moving other joints (down dog and urdhva hastasana) this requires strength and access to your back body and core.

Fill up between shoulder blades (protraction) (plank, down dog, chaturanga, lower and lift to belly)

Widening across shoulder heads evenly front and back (all poses and especially cobra and chaturanga) of course you can play with other movements as well like retracting the shoulderblades in salabhasana. Just know why you are doing it.

Upper back, chest, mobilize and strengthen all four sides (urdhva hastasana, cobra, updog, ardha uttanasana)

Core, stabilize and strengthen all four sides (urdhva hastasana, down dog, cobra, plank, ardha uttanasana)

Create length and space in spine (all poses of sun salutation)

Hipflexors open, (updog, lunge (hatha or moon salutation), uttanasana

Hipflexors strengthen (to step forward)

Pelvis placement in the different positions, explore these.

Leg work, lift thru thighs, release thighs back and length between buttock and back ribs (all poses of sun salutation)

Hamstrings and calves, open and activate hamstrings to avoid overstretching.  (uttanasana, down dog)

Press calves to shins to avoid hyperextending in knees if you do that (tadasana, uttanasana) and lift through thighs.

Ankles, mobilize (down dog, updog, cobra)

Other things to consider

Consider looking at your students in the salutations to see what component parts they seem to need the most.

Consider lowering (slowly with control landing in one piece) from plank all the way to belly for backbends to build strength in shoulders instead on doing chaturanga to updog) you will be surprised how many people can’t manage this. Also with the knees down.

Consider pressing up in one piece to knees or plank to build strength in shoulders.

On the subject of lowering and pressing up, remember that most people need to strengthen and stabilize their shoulders, this is a very mobile joint and easy to injure. Specially the glenohumerus joint but also consider all the muscles around the shoulder blade. It’s not a coincidence that many physio therapy exercises include strengthening the backside of the body, how many of us have heard that we need to strengthen our triceps, lats etc? People are weak here so use the salutation to help your students strengthen this area. It’s also a great way to prepare for chaturanga.
I made a video on this recently

Consider different placements for arms, shoulders and wrists in Down dog for different people and different needs. Where can they create space around the neck and stability around the shoulders? It’s probably not by hanging back in the shoulders or pointing the fingers inwards.
Someone who is stiff might benefit from having the fingers point out more and someone who is hyperextending their elbows might NOT benefit from the instruction of firming the arms towards each other, etc… you might want to explain why you are adjusting their arms also so they understand.

Consider to not mess with their arms at all if you don’t know what you are doing!

Consider breaking down updog and giving modifications and only teaching it to regular students who can really work their entire body in cobra pose first.  Or consider simply not doing updog at all and choose from all the other wonderful backbends from the belly like cobra, salabhasana variations or an active dhanurasana without grabbing the feet.

Consider adding salabhasana (reaching the arms back or clasping) also for the simple reason that most people don’t move their arms behind the body all day! their shoulders are constantly in flexion.

I can go on and on  but also consider breaking down all of poses for a sun salutation seperately, specially for beginners.

Remember that the salutation only moves in the sagittal plane so it will be nice for them to move in the other planes in the rest of the class or add stuff in the salutation like a sidebend or twist, hip opener etc…







29 sept
Handstående, Yogiyogini (Tollare torg)

20 okt
Restorative, Atmajyoti

3-5 nov
Helgkurs – AWAKENING YOUR CORE, Atmajyoti
Fredag 17:00-19:00, lördag & söndag 10:00-12:00

9 dec
Restorative – Supported backbends, Urban Om

Anmälan till samtliga workshops sker via studions egen hemsida.

Jag kommer även assistera på Yogayamas 200 h TT i Göteborg som är fullbokad.

How to work with a bendy body

(please see link at the bottom for videos that come with this post)

As a yoga teacher I am very passionate about helping people with bendy bodies. Coming from the dance world, I used to really hang into the joints for my first years practicing yoga.

I am focusing on a few different standing poses in this post. Use Tadasana as a blueprint pose for all the other poses and notice what tendencies you have. For bendy bodies the tendencies are often in Tadasana or Utthita Hastasana (lifting the arms up) to tilt the pelvis into an arch and popping the front ribs forward. This will also be your tendency in pretty much all the other poses.

So your focus will be firming the other hips into the midline, lifting the frontal hipbones up to the lower ribs and dropping the sit bones down to the floor and softening the front ribs back AS you lift through the back ribs.

I am trying to show the direction with my hands in the video. Do not tuck the pelvis, pelvis is neutral. All though your direction will be towards tucking, apply the pelvic wheel actions (see pic 4). When working with different actions think more about firming the muscles than tensing up and gripping. This is an important difference between how we work in yoga compared to fitness. You want to find just the right balance (sthira sukha). This is not easy and of course sometimes we have to overdo it to then find the balance. I am trying to exaggerate a bit in the video so it’s clear.

I will not go into hyper extension here for knees and elbows but that’s also something you need to be aware of so you are not putting pressure on the joints.

For the standing poses, remember Tadasana in your upper body, front and back body and side body equally long. When using a block, try using it on the inside instead of the outside. This will help you to even out the bendiness. Think of taking the front body into the back body.

Instead of going so far into the pose, try backing off to properly work the actions. Please let me know if you have questions.

IMG_0598 2.JPG

WordPress won’t let me post videos anymore so please see this link to my instagram



VÅREN 2018 – schema + workshops

VÅRSCHEMA 2018 (med start i februari)



17.30-18.45 Relax, Urban Om
19-20.30 Yoga Basic Course, Urban Om – boka på

18-19.15 Basic, Värmdö Yogacenter

17-18 Restorative, Nacka Yogastudio
18.15-19.45 Inversions

7-8 Hatha flow, Värmdö Yogacenter
11.30-12.30 Hatha flow, Yogiyogini


10.00 – 11.30, Nacka Yogastudio
8 tillfällen
Kursstart: 8 april 2018
Lärare: Martina Cederqvist
Pris: 1600 kr
KOD: NybSön2


After work flow
Fre 16 feb, 17.30-18.30, Nacka Yogastudio


Värmdö Yogacenter


Lör 10 feb kl 10-13

Stöttade bakåtböjningar med Restorative

Lör 14 april kl 10-13


Urban Om

Stående positioner

Lör 25 februari kl 12-15


Nacka Yogastudio


17 mars kl 10-13


Lör 28 april kl 10-13


Privatlektioner och massagebehandlingar

mer info på

Supine forward folds

These will be suitable for anyone who might experience difficulties with seated forward folds. Maybe your lower back is hurting or you have trouble finding length in the spine. Here, your pelvis will be fixated on the floor and spine kept in neutral.


Janu Sirsasana


Upavistha Konasana


They feel very good in my body 🙂
Of course the Supta Padangusthasana series are also wonderful variations.

Yoga Bhakti Flow – Event lör 9 dec

namaste mc redigerad

Välkommen lördagen den 9e dec till en härlig yogaklass i hängivelsens tecken!

Yogaklassen är öppen för alla för fri donation i mysiga studio Kärleken i Skärmarbrink, 10 min Gullmarsplan.
Detta blir ett test inför våren för något jag längtar efter att skapa och bjuda in till regelbundet.

Vi skakar loss, rör oss fritt en stund och jag guidar dig in i kroppen i ett Vinyasaflöde. Vi utforskar sårbarhet, långsamhet och djup. Kraft, lekfullhet och gudomlighet.

Bhakti står för devotion, hängivelse. Vi bugar oss inför något större och ger oss själva till det, vad det än må vara för dig.

Kom som du är med ett öppet sinne, sekvensen är anpassad även för nybörjare.

Plats: Studio Kärleken, Skärmarbrinksvägen 6, Johanneshov.

Ca 5 min gångavstånd från tunnelbanestation Skärmarbrink och Blåsut. Eller 10-15 min promenad från Globen och Gullmarsplan.
Betala: Frivilligt bidrag, förslagsvis 150 kr via swish eller kontant.
Kom i tid för garanterad plats
Bokning krävs inte men attenda gärna här på eventet: