Well, we've been working like hella busy little mo-flo's this week!
January is always a good time to get back to basics and whether you're new to yoga or a well-seasoned yogi, there's always a challenge to discover in the classic series of Sun Salutations.
I love Surya Namaskara C the best. I know that like children you're not meant to have a favourite but, hey, everyone's got one, right?
Have fun at Granny's, Jack. Me and Dad are off bungee jumping.
So let's think of these moving meditations as friends rather than kids because it's more socially acceptable not to like your friends. Working on this basis, that makes Sun Salutation A the serious one whose idea of fun is doing the same thing all of the time usually in a Game of Thrones fleece. Sun Salutation B is the slightly manic one unhealthily obsessed with CrossFit who overestimates their a) stamina and b) sense of rhythm in a club at two in the morning armed with glow sticks.
But Sun Salutation C ... ah. Sunny C understands the art of moderation. Sunny C has your back. Sunny C is the one who knows all the moves to 'Single Ladies' but appreciates the gentle wisdom of a pair of slippers. Energising and restorative, Surya Namaskara C is the asana equivalent of the first cup of tea of the day.
Which reminds me to say that Sun Salutations can be practised at sunrise or sunset, so the slacker night owls amongst our tribe have no excuse. (That's me, btw.)
Right, mat out. Stand up, hands out your pockets. You can choose the modified version until you get the hang of things. Aim for eight rounds (right and left side counts as one round). Focus on the breath and enjoy the flow as you move between contraction and expansion.
Here we go.
Here's a couple of points, by no way exhaustive:
1. Keep your mula bandha lifted throughout and watch out for hanging in the shoulders and lumbar spine if you take Upward Facing Dog instead of Cobra (not shown here).
2. Remind yourself to move as pose~counterpose~pose~counterpose, so if you find your spine in flexion then you know the next asana needs to extend it.
3. As you move from Sphinx/Cobra to Down Dog try avoiding hauling yourself up from your lower back. Instead, engage the core, push up with the knees to all-fours and then back into Dog.
4. If I see you giving Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) a cursory bob instead of its rightful due as delicious spinal extension I will come over there and smack the back of your legs with a ruler. This, of course, will be carried out in a completely non-violent manner.
5. In your Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) keep your back knee down. See above regarding ruler.
6. Don't stress if you need to take an extra breath in Plank (Kumbhakasana). Blue is not everybody's colour.
7. Dodgy back? Keep the knees bent and see 1. above.
8. It's salutation ~ salutation ~ a celebration of the sun so look a bit more cheerful about it, nobody's died.
There. I bet you feel good now. You're welcome.
What's your favourite Sun Salutation and why?! Share the love!