Salutes to the Sun… and mangoes.

Good day friends!

Today, I wanted to talk about some yoga.  I love yoga, and I really believe that it is for everyone.  I will have many posts in the future spotlighting some postures, or groups of postures or any thing else I feel to talk about!

Today I wanted to talk about Sun Salutations.  Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskara, are a dynamic series of postures, traditionally done with one breath per movement.  They are used heavily in Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga yoga, and in many other forms of dynamic yoga.  I did not enjoy sun salutations when I was first introduced to them.   I practiced a much slower, gentler, more precision based style of yoga before my sun salutation introduction in my teacher training.  Now I can’t go a day without!

To Start, come to the front of your mat.  Feet together or shoulder width apart.  Stack the hips over the ankles, the shoulders over the hips.  Collar bones spread wide, arms down at your side.  This is your tadasana.

Tadasana

Next, inhale and reach your arms over your head and look up for samasthiti;

Samasthiti

Exhale as you fold forward into utanasana, keeping your spine long.  If you have tight hamstrings, you can bend your knees, placing your hands where you can reach, thighs, calves or the mat.

Utanasana

Next, flatten your spine to come half way up  for Ardha utanasana on your inhale.

ardha utanasanaExhale as you plant your palms and jump back to Chaturanga dandasana.  Keep your shoulders above your elbows and in front of your wrists.  Hold your lower belly in and reach back through your heals.

Strong like bull!!

Inhale to come up into your back bend, Urdhva Muckha Svanasana or upward facing dog.

I have never seen a dog do this...

Exhale and push yourself back to downward facing dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, and take five deep breaths.

I am a dog.

Next bend your knees, and then jump your feet between your hands as you breath out.

Goin for gold!

Awwwww yeeeeaaaahhhh

Inhale to return to your ardha utanasana

My knees are hyper extending, you shouldn't do that.

Exhale and release into utanasana.

Just hangin

Breath in as you take your arms out to the side to come all the way back up into samasthiti.

You can look up for a slight back bend!Then bring your hands to heart center for tadasana.

Tada!-sana, you did it!

And there you have it boys and gallies.  The traditional salute to the sun.  For beginners, you can skip chaturanga dandasana, and instead step back to plank pose, and then lower all the way down to the mat and do bhujangasana or cobra, instead of the upward facing dog pose.

Plank

Bhujangasana

Why bother?  Sun salutations warm the body up for your practice, connect breath with movement, have a meditative quality which can help to ease you into your practice.  They help you to cultivate strength, as well as increasing flexibility.  The list goes on and on, but these are just a few jumping off points!

I hope you will give sun salutations a place on your mat, they are so good.

In other news, I got so many mangoes today!

Ommm nommm

They were “shady” which means they were dirt cheap.  I look greatly forward to feasting on them this week!

Ok fruities!  I am off to see a friend perform some awesome music!

Have an awesome night!

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