Some of my students have been expressing an interest in doing more practice at home especially learning the Sun Salutes. Home practice requires discipline and a regular space and time that is undisturbed. The style and approach of the salutes we practice in class invites a slowing down as we connect into a fluid breath led experience. Especially if the sequence is new to you it really helps to go as slow as possible so you can maintain your sensory experience and be aware of where there is rigidity, tension or confusion. Once your body has been able to integrate these movements you can speed them up knowing that you will move safely and with presence.
I have recorded a couple of homemade videos this week to cover these Surya Namaskar with a bit more detail and support you with some guidance at home. Please forgive the wonky framing, little editing blips and voice over slurs but I was just doing it freestyle with an iPad and by myself! I imagine you would watch and do the videos a few times and then move towards feeling into the Salutes with your own inner reference system and quiet experience of practicing by yourself.
All the movements in the Sun Salutes are on the sagittal plane, in other words they are hinging backwards and forwards. This can create strain on the spine and so it’s vital to warm up before diving in. This video is a gentle flowing spinal opening sequence that will help to prepare your body for the more effortful practice of Surya Namaskar.
In the next video I talk you through the Surya Namaskar Sequence that I practice (influenced greatly by Donna Farhi). I cover both the beginners version as well as the intermediate sequence for those of you who have been practicing a while. You may have to pause the video and repeat the section that describes the most appropriate Surya Namaskar for you. If you are struggling to remember the sequence it may help you to remember that all upward movements are accompanied by an inhalation and all downward movements are stabilised through exhalation.
Practicing something that is often fast and sweaty in a slow and gentle way will contribute towards more strength and refinement on a physical level but more importantly will send signals of kindness to your body and mind and support your journey of self-care.
Make it enjoyable. The mat is not another place to beat your self up. x