A great way to start your day and to sow the seeds of gratitude to the universe around you, Tim Feldmann walks us through the Sun Salutation and the challenge of moving through Chaturanga
The Centre of Everything
First of all, why are we doing Sun Salutations? In the old Indian tradition, the sun was the centre of everything. The sun is what gave life to all things. Therefore, the Sun Salutation is considered a grateful act towards the physical source in the universe that gives life to everything. Another way that we use it is that it gives us a chance to warm up a little bit before we go into some of the further stretches and strengthening exercises in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series.
Lift the Rib Cage
Come to the front of your mat, and put your feet together. Place your hands along your sides. Inhale lift up your arms. Use your arms to lift your ribcage away from your hips. Keep this length, and lean forward. Keep the knees straight for now, you can bend them if you want to.
Palms Down (Images 1-3)
Inhale lift your head again, come all the way to your fingertips.
Bend your knees, put your palms down. Step one leg back. Step the other leg back. Drop your knees down, and come all the way down to the ground.
Drop the Hips (Images 4-5)
Straighten your arms, keep your knees on the floor. Look to the ceiling. Lift the whole chest up, drop the hips down. Tuck your toes under, straighten your legs, and just breathe here.
Drop the knees again, and then pivot back all the way up to Downward Facing Dog. From here, again, if you have flexible legs you can straighten the legs. If that’s not really possible for you, feel welcome to bend the knees a little, but keep pushing your hips back with your arms. Begin to inhale, walk your feet easily towards your hands. Lift the head. Exhale, fold.
Try To Keep The Rib Cage Lifted
Lift the head. Come all the way up. Lift the arms again. Put your palms together, look at your thumbs. Use your arms here to move the whole ribcage up. As you exhale you try to keep the ribcage lifted. Lift your ribcage by your arms, and exhale. Keep that length as you drop the hands down.
The Beginning Of Your Practice
When you start out, do at least 10 of these, and let that be the beginning of your practice. That will be a fantastic way at the start of your day to set yourself in the body, get a little bit more healthy, and get in touch with that seed of gratefulness that we sometimes tend to forget in normal living. Namaste.