Author Erich Neumann said it best when, in his book The Origins and History of Consciousness, he wrote, “The world begins with the coming of light."
That, in essence, is the very foundation of the single most important component of my yoga practice.
When people learn that I'm a yoga instructor (I earned my RYT 200 certification from Sattva Yoga Center, a Yoga Alliance registered school, in 2011), chances are pretty good that their discovery will prompt the following response: Yoga? Cool! I can't do yoga, though. I'm not flexible.
But guess what?
Literally every body stands to benefit from stretching their muscles and calming their mind.
The more inflexible we are, the more we need yoga.
And the Sun Salutation is a fantastic place to start.
The Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit, is a sequence of 11 (or 12; depending on the variation) yoga postures performed in a single graceful flow with each movement coordinated with the breath. The Sanskrit word namaskar stems from namas, which means “to bow to” or “to adore.” (The familiar phrase namaste — te means you—also comes from this root.)
It is recommended that three to five Sun Salutations be completed prior to starting your yoga practice as a means of warming up the body, which is what I instruct my students to do -- and this is what I did myself, back when I was afforded the luxury of enjoying a one-hour-plus daily yoga practice.
And then I had kids.
I'm telling you, it became a struggle to simply set foot on my mat every day, let alone practice for an hour or more.
But I always convince myself that there's enough time to do a few Sun Salutations.
Even in the final minutes of my children's nap time, I'll unroll my mat, set my timer for, say, 10 or 15 minutes, turn off the noise in my mind, and repeat Sun Salutations.
Check out my video below in which I demonstrate a classic Sun Salutation, also known as Sun Salutation A.
Lastly, here's another awesome resource on your road to better health: Check out the American Heart Association's My Life Check. It's a simple tool that let's you know where you stand on your road to good health.
Thanks for stopping by, and Namaste. :-)