Move of the Month - Sun Salutations - Surya Namaskar for Modern Stress by Abi Delfico
Here come the holidays......If your mind and body are craving a daily reset to keep you sane, especially during this hectic time of year, try basic Sun-Salutations:
Step-by-Step Surya Namaskar – The goal is to link breath and body movement (If you get lost, inhales-up/exhales-down)
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) - Stand tall, feet together, legs engaged, tailbone neutral, shoulders relaxed into shoulder girdle. Palms face out, chin parallel. Breathe in/out through nose.
2. Slight Backbend (Urdhva Hastasana) - Inhale arms high, slightly lean back, hips forward, chest and chin lifted.
3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana) - Exhale hinge from the waist, hands towards toes, bend knees as much as necessary.
4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) - Inhale step right leg back, keep left foot between hands on floor.
5. Plank Pose - Step other foot back to Plank pose, hands below shoulders, back flat, core tight.
6. Low Push-up (Chaturanga Dandasana) - Exhale lower body parallel to floor, elbows bent to 90 degree angle by torso, core tight, back flat.
7. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Muhka Svasana) – Inhale sweep upper body into cobra, arch back, lift chest and chin. Maybe straighten arms, shoulders relaxed away from ears.
8. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Muhka Svasana) - Exhale lift hips and relax head to inverted "V" shape.
9. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) - Inhale step right foot forward or same foot you first stepped back with, hands on floor framing right foot, chin and chest up.
10. Forward Fold (Uttanasana) - Exhale hinge from the waist, hands towards toes, bend knees as much as necessary.
11. Slight Backbend (Urdhva Hastasana) - Inhale arms high, slightly lean back, hips forward, chest and chin lifted.
12. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – Stand tall, feet together, legs engaged, tailbone neutral, shoulders relaxed
into shoulder girdle, palms face out, chin parallel, breath in/out through nose.
****Note: this is only 1/2 round, repeat with opposite foot (Left) leading for a round completion.
Visual Learner? See flow chart below.
Surya Namaskar/Sun Sals Footnotes: This almost primal instinct to bow and salute the Sun has been in use for thousands of years. From newbie to novice, the fluidity of such basic breath-body movement pattern holds limitless benefits. Peace of mind, an opportunity to take a full cycle of inhalation/exhalation, moving meditation or even a few minutes to not think about a holiday shopping list.
Yogi Rx: Begin practicing 1x/day upon waking on empty stomach. Build up to 12 rounds.
Namaste and Happy Holidays,
Your in-house yogini, Abi Delfico