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I first started doing yoga some 15-20 years ago. I borrowed a (mostly text-based) book from the library, which gave me a guide to various poses as well as introduced me to some basic concepts around breathing (helpful) and Vastra Dhauti, in which a cloth is passed down the digestive tract to the stomach in order to cleanse impurities (this one appealed a lot less to teenage me!)
Since then, I’ve taken a wide range of yoga classes. I’ve done ‘keep fit’ classes at college, in which super flexible students flexed into headstands, came up into crow and similar. I’ve done more meditative hatha yoga classes which finished with an extended meditation practice.
Since lockdown began, I’ve been using yoga videos on YouTube. There are many out there! Each one runs through a different flow, which I found kept me motivated. But I lacked a sense of progression.
As I get older, I find I cannot take my flexibility and strength for granted the way I could when I was in my twenties. My knees and shoulders in particular are letting me know that I need to rethink how I sit and move throughout the day.
So I’ve decided to return to basics: Sun Salutation A (or Surya Namaskar A) specifically. A lot of flows use this as a starting point and add in various other poses around it. But for the next month or so, I want to focus on just the traditional Sun Salutation.
Sun Salutation A or Surya Namaskar A
I started this morning, and was reminded how challenging the eight limbed pose really is! It made me realise I need to focus on improving my upper body strength as well as my overall flexibility.
Doing the same sequence each day also means being able to focus on it as a moving meditation. Because I’m not having to constantly check against a video what pose I should be doing, I can focus entirely on my body and how it feels, and properly sync movement to breath.
And, of course, it is a great way to start the morning! 🙂