You, my friends, are inspirational! Thanks to those of you who responded positively to this challenge. I am reminded again how important it is that we use each other for inspiration, motivation, and support. We never really do anything alone… and your words inspired my own yoga practice today. (Yes, I knew you were paying attention, so no wimping out!)
It is cold this morning in Carson City, and it seemed to chill my bones deeper than usual. When cold, I have so very little motivation for doing things. I wrapped up in a blanket and had my coffee, and if the dog had not needed to go out for his morning walk, I might still be there! But needs he has, and so with me bundled up in scarves, boots, and down jacket, off we went.
The sky is a deep cloudless blue today, and the sun was rising over the hill as we headed out on our walk. The thing I love about the high desert is that no matter how cold it gets, the sun maintains a warm intensity not felt in other climates. Even at 18 degrees Fahrenheit, you can still feel the heat of the sun, its presence tempering the cold. The sensational extremes can be exhilarating.
Wondering where and when I was going to get in a yoga practice today, I decided to bring tadasana into my walk: Long spine, chest open, shoulders back and relaxed, belly lightly engaged…. sound familiar? Walking in tadasana can be a beautiful meditation…. letting go of thoughts and simply feeling the presence of my body, feet on the earth, sun on my face, cold air in my lungs. Yoga in motion.
When cold, don’t turn up the heat, says Mr. Iyengar. Do sun salutations and heat up on the inside. (Actually, in the spirit of honest quotes, I don’t know if he really said that, but a teacher once told me he did.) So with that in mind, I waited until it warmed up a bit (um, 30 degrees – almost freezing!) took my mat outside into a spot of sun and several rounds of surya namaskar later, I was actually feeling a bit toasty!
In Ashtanga yoga, the sun salutations (A and B) are the warm ups for the rest of the series. I opted for several rounds of A, several rounds of B, then added my own pose variations to the B series, slowing it down and spending time with each pose. It was a fairly short practice – maybe 20 minutes (my toes got cold despite the rest of me being warm, and when the toes say enough is enough…. well, who can argue?) and it consisted of all standing poses, but hey, practice is practice!
Here is a demo of Surya Namaskar A – with instruction and suggestions for modifications:
And a demo of Sun Salutation B:
On another note – I thought about that daily post challenge, and wondered if daily posts might be overload to you, my subscribers. Last thing you need is amy-spam in your daily in-box. So… I may modify my posts… go for the weekly challenge. Or, if I do post daily, I will try to keep them a bit shorter! We’ll see how it plays out…
Meanwhile…. how’s your daily practice going?