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Season 2 - Episode 10

Functional Sun Salutations

20 min - Practice


Robert guides us in a sequence that utilizes functional body weight movement. We incorporate seven primal movements into our Sun Salutations: pressing, pulling, lunging, twisting, bending, squating, and gating. This practice is designed to be repeated to increase your strength, mobility, and stamina. You will feel solid, centered, and focused.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hey there, what's goin' on? My name is Robert. Welcome to Yoga Anytime. It's really good to see you again. If I've not met you yet, welcome.

This video here is all about utilizing functional body weight movement. So, when you say functional movement, there are seven primal human movements that they call functional movements. There's pressing, we use that motion in life. There's pulling, lunging, squatting, bending, twisting, that's six. And the the seventh is what they call gait, and that is how you walk, run, et cetera.

What I wanna share with you, is how to put all of those different movements into like a sun salutation formation. Does that make sense? As we kind of enter into this, why I like it is it's sustainable, it's doable. I can do this as a 45-year-old guy and still feel like I'm working on my strength, my mobility, really ultimately so I feel good in my body. And that's what we're going for.

If you're interested, come along with me and I'll do my best to guide you. Remember, seven functional movements that you do every day. Pressing, pulling, twisting, bending, squatting, lunging, and walking or running, something like that. We're gonna put it all together. The first round, we'll go somewhat slow, so I can give you some details.

And then, we'll go through it faster just to give you that sense that you go, "Why, I can get a real workout doing this." All right, here's your mat. Come to the front of your mat and find mountain pose. Basic standing posture, feet are hip width, strong legs, neutral pelvis, long spine and torso. Take a couple of breaths. (breathing) Inhale, the arms, so you wanna reach the arms out.

This is the first movement of the sequence. You reach up, stretch up as high as you can. If you feel like you wanna bend those arms for more freedom in the shoulders, do so. The exhale, you can bend your knees a little bit, and come into our first functional movement, which is a bend, a forward bend. We do this a lot.

Let's go ahead and kinda fold for a moment, and see what that feels like. You may wanna play around with bending your knees quite a bit, see what that feels like. You can press one leg straight and keep the other one bent, back and forth. Now, you inhale, press your palms into your shins just below the knees, or even on the knees, and lift your body up halfway. So, you're in this half version of the forward bend, now.

Breathe in, (breathing) step back into push-up position. So, push up position, plank, right? If you're kinda just getting back into your body and your strength, you might wanna keep this position, but set the knees down. And the push-up that we're working on doesn't let the elbows flare out. What you wanna do is you wanna really lean the body forward, so your shoulders kind of go beyond your wrists, without dropping your hips.

Remember, plank, knees down, shift forward. Now, watch my elbows. My elbows are gonna post up directly over my wrists to keep my elbows healthy during the movement. So, belly strong, shift forward, inhale about halfway down, and exhale up. And notice how my arms really stay close to my body.

That's another important aspect of the movement. Shift forward, inhale lower, exhale up. That's two, so in this sequence we're looking for five push-ups every time we come to this position. Three, four, five, good. And we'll do this one on our knees as well.

Take a breath in and lower all the way down. Once you lower all the way down, so we just did our pushing, now we're gonna get the pull movement. So, you're gonna take your arms out like so, maybe just keep them in a field goal shape position, and lift up, right, lift the chest up off the mat, and exhale, pull the elbows in the direction of one another. So now, you've got this pulling effect, where you're really activating your upper back. What we're trying to do is balance the strength between the front of the body and the back of the body.

So, there's one, we're doing five. Exhale two, exhale three. And now, if lifting your chest up really bothers your back, just stay low and work this movement. My lower back is neutral and grounded. I'm really just focusing on the upper back and shoulders.

By reaching, breathing in, and pulling, breathing out. So, one more time, breath in, (breathing) and you lower down, breathe in, lift the chest, breathe out, table top. So, even that, right. Even like lifting from cobra and pushing into table, that's a pressing as well. Once you're in table, curl the toes under, and then exhale your way into downward dog.

Now, take the right leg, lift it up, and send it all the way to the right thumb. Step your left foot over to the left a little bit, and walk it up just a little bit. Keep your right knee over that right ankle and lift your body up. So now, we're getting into the lunge version. So, feet are hip width, make sure that that knee never goes out here and that your heel never lifts.

The first part of the movement is going to be you bending your left knee, as if you're reaching it down towards the mat. Bring your arms out in front of you, maybe even close the, bring them like so, palms, forearms, elbows together. Reset your lunge, lower down. You don't need to touch, but notice how if I just brought it all the way down, I'd be in this 90 degree version. 90 here, 90 here.

You're not going to bring the knee all the way down for the movements. We're gonna do five, lowering and raising. Here we go. I've inhaled, now I'm gonna exhale, (breathing) breathe in, breathe out. (breathing) Breathe in, breathe out.

I'm getting the lunge and the pull effect, right? Breathe in, breathe out. Last one, breathe in, (breathing) good. And you can breathe in from here and then breathe out, come down, and step back into plank pose. This is where we have the gait version, the walking or the running, but we're gonna do it from a plank position.

And we're gonna go five on each elbow. We're gonna go, one, one, two, two, three, three, four, four, five, five. You're gonna pause here, and exhale into downward dog. Take a deep breath in, and exhale everything. Take the left foot, bring it forward.

So, lift it and send it. Get that position, maybe in the beginning, you're gonna start down low. Like okay, I got this 90 degrees, 90 degrees, toes are curled in the back. Now, press your palms, elbows, forearms together like we did on the other side, and lift that back knee and come all the way up. And when you come up, you're gonna to, keep the arms in that field goal shape, and really pull the arms back and feel the upper back strong.

Now, what I mean by strong is here, it's kinda disengaged. If you were to put your finger up through like right on my spine, and I pulled back, it's like I'm trying to squeeze my muscles around your finger. Hopefully, that is represented clearly. What we wanna do is do that with this movement. You're gonna lunge, lower, exhale.

And when you also do this, keep this area almost like braced, as if someone were to give your a punch in the stomach, this is actually braced. So, you're working your core all the time. You're just not doing a million crunches. Hopefully, you're with me still. I know I'm off base a little bit.

Here we go, breathe in, (breathing) three, four, five, good. Now, from here, bring that back knee all the way down, bring the hands down, and step back into plank pose. Five more push-ups. Now, I cued you to have your knees down before, but we're gonna do it without the knees. You stay on the knees if that's still where you are.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, (breathing) Now, pause here, breathe in, and exhale, with control lower down. Arms forward, breathe in. (breathing) Last one, five. You can even stay up, breathe in a little cobra action, breathe out, table. Curl the toes under, breathe in, downward dog, breathe out.

(breathing) Step up into squat. Right foot wide, left foot wide, drop the seat down. We'll do five squats. Arms out in front of you, breathe in, (breathing) breathe out. (breathing) every time you come up, squeeze the glutes, strong legs, brace the core, right, for that little stomach punch. And open the chest and strong back.

You're getting a lot of those movements in. So, you're getting the reach, you're getting the pull, and the squat. Two more. (breathing) Arms down, walk the feet back towards hip width, (breathing) okay. So, what we're gonna do now, is I'm gonna go through it.

I'm not gonna do the knees, I'll do the knees down on the push-up on the first one, the second one like I did on that first round, I'll do full plank, just to give you a sense of what it looks like on both. And what I'm gonna do on this one, is add what I didn't do on the first, is the twist. And that'll be done in the low lunge. And that'll complete our seven functional movements, in the sun salutation. So, this will be less cue-y, less information.

If you want more information, stay with the first portion. Let's just kinda get a sense of what it looks like in full flow motion. All right, strong, mobile, stretchy, connected to the breath, all of it. Here we go. So, mountain pose, inhale, (breathing) exhale bend.

(breathing) Inhale, lift halfway, (breathing) exhale, push-up position. Inhale lower, exhale one, inhale two, exhale three, exhale four, exhale five. Pause here, breathe in, use the exhale to lower all the way down. Inhale, reach forward, exhale one, exhale, exhale three, exhale four, exhale five. Keep the hands here, breathe in, maybe lift a little higher.

Exhale, table top, curl the toes under, breathe in, breathe out, downward dog. (breathing) Lift your right leg up, inhale, exhale, send it up. Bring the back knee down, palms together, breathe in, and as your breathe out, (breathing) inhale, exhale two. (breathing) Breathe in, palms to the chest, exhale, left hand to the right thigh, right hand to your back, long spine, and we'll find that rotation in the spine for it's spinal twist. Keep pressing the right hand on that right thigh, and then reach that right arm back.

(breathing) Bring it back over to center, inhale, exhale, hands come down, step back into plank pose, five on each side. And you can run it out if you'd like. You can go one, one, two, two, three, three, four, four, five, five, good. Pause there, breathe in, breathe out, downward dog. Left leg, inhale, exhale, step it up.

Bend the back knee down, set yourself up, breathe in, breathe out, (breathing) breathe in. (breathing) Bring it down, right hand to the left thigh, left hand to your back, lift and twist. And you can see, right, there's a gentle expansion of the stomach as I breathe in, and breathing out, a gentle contraction. Extend, (breathing) bring it back to center, inhale, exhale, plank pose, five times. Breathe in, exhale two, exhale three, four, five.

Breathe in here, breathe out, (breathing) inhale, (breathing) two, exhale three, exhale four, exhale five. Hands underneath the shoulders, a little inhalation here, exhale, you can even take it back into a child's pose for a breath, inhale table, exhale downward dog. Step the left foot up to your left pinky, right foot, right pinky, squat down, breathe in, (breathing) one more, (breathing) arms down. That can be done a few rounds. That was one tutorial round really for you, and then one full round, kinda done at regular pace.

Do two rounds, three rounds, four rounds, five rounds. And use that as like your morning wake-up, your afternoon, sort of shift your attitude, or evening, do it even slower and maybe get a little bit more relaxation out of it. If that makes sense. Basically, do it anytime. So, let's take one moment.

Pause to the front of your mat, bring your palms together at your chest. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. And if you've been doing it with me, you may feel an elevation in your heart rate, you may feel some perspiration on your skin, just a little bit more energy, a little more awareness. Whatever you're feeling, acknowledge it. Sometimes the benefits of yoga are immediate, you can feel them, they're tangible, immediate benefits.

You may be feeling that, I hope. Anyway, thanks for joining me, nice to see you again, if we've met before. And have a good rest of your day, middle of your day, a good rest this evening, good sleep, and we'll see you next time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, namaste.


Simon ?
3 people like this.
That was super fun. Bless you Robert.
Debbie K
1 person likes this.
Robert Sidoti
Awesome, thanks Debbie !! Appreciate you being here! 
Robert Sidoti
Blessing your right back 3 years later Simon !! :) How are you? Still with us here on Yoga Anytime? Feeling good? Sending positive vibes your way!! 
Louise O
1 person likes this.
Loved the work. Thanks Robert.
Robert Sidoti
You got it Louise !! 
Have a beautiful day, happy Sunday! 
Sandra Židan
Nice energizing practice! Thanks, Robert!
Sharon O
Feels so good! Thank you! Marked asa fb! 🙏🏻☮️

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