February 15, 2015


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 namastete 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. :-)

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  1. Oh Courtney, I love yoga. I don't do it nearly as much as I wish and I am a baby when it comes to yoga. That said I do try, and I find peace when I do it. One of my BBF is an instructor and she is amazing.....

    On another note have you had a chance to See Rosie O'Donnell and her latest stand up routine, it includes an amazing piece on women and heart attacks. As I was watching it last night I thought of you and Going Red.... :)

    1. Hi, Ray! Thanks for commenting...

      You know, I actually haven't seen Rosie's stand-up, but I did just see her pub it recently on Access Hollywood -- and how she explained that it was inspired in part by her heart attack, and I thought, "I should check that out..."

      Thanks for reminding me!

      Have a great week ahead.


  2. I love learning about the mmm, history/roots(?) behind common phrases we take for granted - little tidbits like you explain above are so interesting! Like that a sun salutation is normally 11 or twelve moves... that helps me understand and break it down. Somehow that seems so much easier than struggling to remember what comes next or wondering how much longer the sequence will go. Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much, Dakota! You make an excellent point about the importance of breaking it all down. That cannot be stressed enough...

      I've resumed teaching again, and guess who my most recent "client" is?

      Scotty! (I actually began introducing him to yoga when he was one, but now, since he is older, we are kicking things up a notch...)

      And I've since been reminded that the best way to approach it with him, is to break sequences down and teach him a little at a time...which is quite helpful to those just learning yoga -- no matter their ages.

      Thanks, again, for commenting. I've been loving your FB posts lately!


  3. Awesome! I wanted to get into yoga a few years ago but I heard something that made me change my mind...maybe I'll do the research and decide for myself....tfs!!

    1. Hi, Cookie! Yes, please do reconsider. With regard to further research, read this: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/yogas-totally-a-workout and my absolute best (aka favorite) yoga video you can find here, which is EXCELLENT for the beginner:

      Hope you're having a great weekend!