Just as the sun rises every morning to give us light and warm our earth, sun salutations are a beautiful way to start our day. Sun salutations are a sequence of yoga poses that can be done as one movement and one breath while honoring the sun (the provider of all energy on earth). This type of free movement allows our body to have greater strength, stamina and flexibility when done consistently.

If you are not an early riser, it’s okay. Just know that sun salutations can be done at any time of the day, but a benefit of doing it first thing in the morning is that it can help get our day started in a positive way by moving our body and perhaps practicing gratitude to the sun and all that it does for us.

Some other health benefits of sun salutations include helping us to be present and grounded, creating focus for the day, gaining muscle and flexibility, boosting immune system, de-stressing, and finding inner calmness.

Join St. Louis VA Medical Center’s yoga teacher and Whole Health Coach Katherine Hillgren for a 10-minute Sun Salutation practice that offers three variations: sitting, standing with chair support, and standing without support.


How can yoga benefit your health?

The various components of yoga—including the postures, meditation and breathing—offer a wide range of benefits related to the Circle of Health and your health and well-being. Learn more here: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/Veteran-Handouts/docs/Yoga-508Final-9-4-2018.pdf.

There are so many benefits to moving the body! You don’t have to go to a gym or out for a run to get these benefits. Any activity that uses your energy to move the large muscles in your body has benefits for both your body and your mind.

Some activities increase your stamina, while others improve your strength, flexibility or balance. Moving your body in these ways can improve your ability to do more of the things you want. Moving the body can help prevent and treat dozens of diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, and improve your mental health.

Learn more about moving your body here: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/moving-body.asp.

By Esperanza Lugo, Ed.D., NBC-HWC

Whole health coach for VA Northern California

Share this story

Published on Oct. 10, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 2,662


  1. TOWER, VENUSVALIERY W October 20, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Thank you for this video as ARMY veteran living in New England age 67 woman. Using the chair and chair support moves.

  2. Andy Przekop October 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    I’m going to try the sitting versionsince I have a bslsnce problem. Thanks

  3. Kelly B. October 11, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Love this!

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • What does connection mean to you? Sometimes we might feel connected to other people, nature, or something else bigger than ourselves. Other times we might feel disconnected. In these times, it can be helpful to reconnect with our body and mind.

  • The turkey is roasting. The house is in order. The table is set. What about the guests? Being surrounded by others is one of the greatest gifts of the season.

  • Tai Chi offers a very gentle way to get the blood flowing and it is something you can do at home. If standing movement is not available to you, Tai Chi can also be done in a chair.