Here comes the Sun (Salutation)

Yeah, the title of this post is campy but the sunlight reflecting off the yellow maple leaves outside my window inspired me to be a little lighter today.  Hee, hee!

This month at yoga school, we’ve started to teach each other some basic poses using the Universal Principles of Alignment.  I like these mini yoga labs because each of us gets to try out our instructions in small groups.  Everyone has been very kind and patient with each other as we learn to find our individual voices as teachers.  I love seeing how we are all just a little different.

As homework, Dianne had us find or create a Sun Salutation and then teach it to the class.  A Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is a vinyasa or flow of poses that helps to warm up the body and focus the mind before diving deeper into the practice.  In repeating this series of postures, the vinyasa becomes a moving meditation.   Inhale on expansion and exhale on contraction.  For a beginner, it’s best to keep it simple and just breathe deeply while moving through each asana.  The breath finds itself naturally anyhow.

What’s interesting is that each school of yoga has its own Sun Salutation series.  Ashtanga, IyengarJivamukti, Sivananda, etc.  There are so many variations on the theme that you could do a different one every day and make that your complete practice.

I’m playing around with my own Sun Salutation at home.  Finding out what feels good for me.  I like just enough movement to get me loosened up but not too much that I feel I am straining.  Remember the old fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare?  I tend to be like the tortoise, a slow and steady type.  Observing my breath as I flow is how I know that I’ve got the right sequence of postures.  Once I’m more limber, then I’m ready to work a little harder in my practice.  (“Motion is lotion!”, says Dianne.)