The New Year 2019 is soon upon us, so the perfect time to begin a daily practice of sun salutations to kick start the year and in preparation for the Challenge.
Although you don’t need to train – you can just book your space, turn up on the day and give it go. Yet a little bit of care would help you to experience the full effects of the Sun Salutations. It is advisable that you consult with a certified yoga teacher who will monitor your progress. If you have any physical ailments, do visit a doctor too.
How to prepare:
Start with four rounds every morning and add an extra sun salutation each day. Make it a daily practice as this build’s consistency. At the end of the first week, you’ll be doing 10 sun salutations, and starting to get that energising high everyone talks about. Past ten is also when the mind starts to come into play – this is our opportunity to play witness and be non-reactive. Because, when we practice the same movement over and over, invariably it is the limits of the mind we come up against first:
• “There’s so many left!”
• “This is boring.”
• “I’m over it.”
• “I can’t be bothered.”
• “How many more?”
And on and on it goes… give it free rein and your mind can weave quite the story. But all you need to do is keep coming back to the breath. Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling. Forget about how many you have to do. Forget about whether or not you can do it. Forget about what it will feel like when you finish. All that truly exists is the breath and the movement that you are currently doing. Give yourself fully to that movement, that breath.
There is only ever one sun salutation to complete – the one you’re in, here and now. If you can stay present and focused on this one sun salutation, on the breath required to complete it… you will effortlessly drop into the meditative trance state that people talk about, and before you know it the 108 will be over.
This is the key.
Stay here and now, stay with the breath, with the one place you are at the moment – because you’re no-where else.
Remember too, as you practice at home, doing it in a large group is an entirely different experience. The group energy also carries you through, and time seems to speed up. Now that’s powerful.
Relax Your Body After Sun Salutations
If you’d like to continue this regimen of 108 Sun Salutations every day, by all means, go ahead. But whenever you feel like stopping, it is strongly advised that you don’t stop abruptly. That would be like hitting the brakes in an accelerated car. Just like the journey up was gradual and step-by-step, so should your return. You don’t want to crash land.
This is because as you build up pace as your body gets used to vigorous yoga pose practice. Reducing the intensity gradually gives your body a chance to recover from the intense work out and improves the resilience of the warmed-up muscles. Consult with a certified yoga teacher who will monitor your progress.