Welcome Summer-time & Sunshine with 1 to 108 Sun Salutations!
As seasons change from Spring to Summer on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, let’s take a moment to reflect on what was, pause for what is, and seek clarity for what will be. Work your way through this 12-part sequence below. After your first sequence feel free to stop or continue up to 108 sun salutations!
108 is spiritual & sacred number in Hinduism & Yoga which is the number of wholeness of existence, or completeness. It also connects the Sun, Moon, & Earth, as the distance between Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters. Still not convinced?
- 108 Upanishads - Ancient Sanskrit Hindu text
- 108 Marma points - Sacred places of the body
- 108 Pithas - Sacred sites in India
- 108 names for Shiva & Buddha
- 108 beads on a Tibetan Mala - meditation prayer beads
- 108 beads on a Catholic Rosary
Whether you are going to complete 1 or 108 Sun Salutations, Yoga is a practice not a destination. Follow along with the picture and let's begin.
Stand at the front of your mat in Tadasana or Mountain Pose with feet under hips, shoulders back, chin level with the ground, arms relaxed at sides, and mouth closed. Maintain all breathing through the nose during this sequence. Flow through at your own pace. Let this be a guide, but listen to your body. Your alignment of the body is more important than the speed in which you complete the sequence.
INHALE – Begin movement by raising your hands overhead from the shoulder touching palms together if possible, pushing pubic bones forward/tightening buttocks, opening chest, and looking up
EXHALE – Forward fold from the hips, keeping tail-bone back and up; placing hands or fingertips on mat next to feet
INHALE – Step your left foot back to Lunge, pressing heel of back foot towards the back of your mat, lengthening your spine
EXHALE/INHALE – Bring right foot back to plank position, keeping spine long, drawing elbows close to ribs, keeping hips level with shoulders
EXHALE – Drag knees, chin, and chest to floor by pressing hands down into the mat & bending elbows
INHALE – Straighten arms into Upward Facing Dog/Cobra; curving chest, chin, and face upwards; leaving pelvis and thighs off of the ground if possible
EXHALE – Lift your hips and roll over your toes to come into Downward Facing Dog with your hands flat on the floor, the balls of your feet on the floor, and your hips high; feet are still hip width apart, press through your heels while rolling your shoulder blades up and back
INHALE – Step left foot forward to Lunge; you may lift your hands overhead and length the spine pulling from the top of your head slightly back; roll your shoulder blades back and down, opening the chest
EXHALE – Step right foot forward to Forward Fold; keeping tail-bone back and up; placing hands or fingertips on mat next to feet
INHALE – Lengthen spine, reaching out & up by raising your hands overhead from the shoulder touching palms together if possible, pushing pubic bones forward/tightening buttocks, opening chest, & looking up
EXHALE – Release back into Tadasana or Mountain Pose; & on the next breath begin the rest of your 108 Sun Salutations!
Remember that Yoga is the yoking of mind and body with breath.Take a moment at the end of each Sun Salutation to check in with your breath. Reflect on your presence on your mat and relax in Savasana, or Corpse Pose.
About the Author
Alexandra Szajowski is a 20-something, Chicagoan with a passion for everything & anything active/fitness-related. Find her exploring the lake front on a sunny day, enjoying a fancy rooftop with her girlfriends, writing at a local coffee shop, or at Galter LifeCenter. She received her 200-hour Hatha Yoga Certification from the Temple of Kriya Yoga, in Logan Square, Chicago this past May and promotes balancing the Seven Dimensions of Wellness (emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, & vocational) in all that she does. Follow her on her Instagrams: @lex_legski and @ABS_wellness
How do you align with Greenheart?
"As a certified Yoga instructor, living the Yogini lifestyle in Chicago-land; I am drawn to Greenheart, who provides the fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable, local, & ethical products I use on a daily basis for life & my practice.
Some of my favorite items from Greenheart Shop you can find in the pictures. The Essential Oils from Spinster Sisters Co are a form of aromatherapy used for a variety of purposes, including clarity and focus. Using the Incense to set an intention before my practice keeps the scent lingering throughout and acts as a reminder to stay present on my mat. The matching Yoga Bag and Cushion Pillow from Kathmandu Yogi are used to transport my mat and for support during certain seated and lying asanas or yoga poses.
Yoga is about connecting the mind & body with breath. Greenheart connects people & the planet. Together, we can live a more peaceful, productive, & purposeful life. Namaste... Shanti!" - Alexandra Szajowski