• Heather

Rise into Spring with Sun Salutations

It’s Springing... and so must you. It gives me a wee burst of joy every time one of my students tell me they’ve added sun salutations to their daily routine as I know how much more fantastic they will start to feel.

Rise into Spring with some Sun Salutations. A sure-fire way to harmonise your body-mind-spirit in the morning is practising 3 sun salutations, Surya Namaskar A. In time, you can synchronise completely with your breath, bringing you more in tune with your body, feelings and intuition. Here is a gentle version:

🌱Awaken Start in Mountain Pose, Tadasana, with your arms relaxed by your sides, really ease your shoulders all the way down your spine to increase the space between your ears and shoulders. Imagine there is a string pulling you up from the top of your crown as you tuck your chin slightly, to keep your neck nice and long. Take a big deep breath in all the way down the belly and out, exhaling fully. Next, inhale and reach your arms up toward the sky and bring your palms together into Extended Mountain Pose, Urdhva Hastasana, feel the stretch up through the sides of the body. Embrace yourself and your day.

🌿Activate As the exhale comes around, lead with your chest as you float all the way down with your torso, coming into a deep forward fold, Uttanasana. Keep a bend in the knees as much as you need, and let your belly melt down toward your thighs, let your head and neck hang heavy, REALLY let go of any tension in the head, neck, shoulders and breathe out fully. As your next inhale begins, lift your torso so it is parallel to the floor, feel your spine lengthening out from the top of your crown all the way down to your tail bone, make sure your chest is open and peel the navel back toward your spine and slightly upwards, to activate your core, Ardha Uttanasana. Feel that fire in your solar plexus and remember it’s always there.

☀️Energise As you breathe out, fold once more and bring your hands on to the floor. Step your feet all the way back and come into Plank Pose, Phalakasana, or half plank on your knees but with your weight forward over your hands, really press down with all five fingers into the mat, spread out, feel the energy of the earth supporting you. You may need to take an extra breath here and on your next exhale, bend your elbows and try to keep them squeezed in tight to your ribs as you lower down toward the floor with your body in one plain (keep your navel lifted and core activated as you do), moving through Four Limbed Staff Pose, Chataranga Dandasana. On your next inhalation, come onto your fore-arms (elbows under your shoulders) and lift the chest up into Sphinx Pose, Salamba Bhujangasana. Keep the back of the neck long and your shoulders down and relaxed, breath in deeply, opening up through the front of the body. Be grateful for your beautiful breath and glorious body.

🌈Liberate From Sphinx pose, as you breathe out, roll over your knees and toes and push your hips up high coming into downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Śvānāsana). Try to hold this posture for three nice deep long breaths, pushing out of all 10 fingers, with your sit bones reaching up toward the sky and your heels dropping down toward the earth. Relax your head and neck, allowing the energy from the heart to flow down to your head inspiring you to follow it’s calling.

🌸Flow with the Universe To finish, walk your feet back toward your hands to come back into the half forward fold, Ardha Uttanasana, lengthening out through the spine, then exhale, hang heavy back into the full forward fold, Uttanasana. As your next in-breath comes around, start to unfurl your spine slowly keeping your legs strong, come all the way back up to stand up one vertebrae at a time with your head and neck coming last of all, reach up with the hands again and bring the palms together in Extended Mountain Pose, Urdhva Hastasana. Exhale, bring your hands back through the centre of your chest in prayer position, press the thumbs in toward your heart. Take a lovely breath in and out in Mountain Pose, Tadasana and repeat as many times as you like… guaranteed to keep you feeling in flow through the rest of the year.

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