Why Practice Sun Salutations As A Warm Up

  1. To increase decomposition of oxyhaemoglobin - the oxygen-carrying molecule in the blood. When oxyhaemoglobin decomposes, the oxygen set free is more available to the exercising muscle.
  2. To increase the body's temperature, thus reducing the risk of injuries to the otherwise cold skeletal muscles and connective tissue.
  3. To increase blood flow to the muscles, thereby bringing glucose and fatty acids where they are needed. The elasticity of muscle, tendon and ligament depend on the level of blood saturation.
  4. To increase the flow of blood to the heart, thus reducing the risks of exercise induced cardiac abnormalities.
  5. To decrease viscosity of the muscles, thereby making their actions more efficient and powerful. Without the warmth of flowing blood, the elasticity of the connective tissue will be inhibited.
  6. To promote early sweating so as to cool the body before heavier exercise.
  7. To increase the speed of nerve impulses, so that neuromuscular coordination improves.
  8. To increase the blood saturation of the muscles, thus making them warmer and more elastic for stretching.
  9. To bring the cardiovascular system up to speed to prepare for the tasks that are to come.
  10. To ease into more strenuous work so that muscle soreness is minimised.
  11. To increase lubrication of the joints prior to moving them to the limits of their range of motion.
  12. To enhance the activity of muscle enzymes.

These reasons show us that sun salutations are not only a good warm up for yoga, but also any exercise that you may undertake! Even doing them first thing in the morning along with your squat sequence before going about the day, will leave you energised, warm and flexible in your muscles and joints. They are definitely a go-to sequence. Follow along with my video below.