from firstdayof.org

happy first day of spring! i can’t think of anything i’d rather post about today than saluting the sun! what is more glorious than that? while we’ve already seen longer days for a while now, they’ll continue to grow and get warmer for several months. yay! i love this time of year and i am so looking forward to lots of yoga on my deck very soon.

i often muse that i am a yoga ‘cheerleader,’ not because i act like a cheerleader during class, but because i preach about the importance of a consistent, dedicated home practice. i tell my students that practice doesn’t have to look at all like it looks in class. we discuss many concepts beyond asana through the semester at ou, and i give them examples of practices they can do on and off the mat.

while i absolutely have been practicing yoga for years (in terms of living it), it’s only been the last few that i’ve dedicated myself to a daily home asana practice. i remember reading that if i could get on my mat for eight minutes a day, it would prompt me to do more, go longer. that really was some of the best advice i ever got related to a physical home practice.

some days i have an hour, others a half hour or twenty minutes. i commit to the time i have available and systematically work on various things throughout the week. other days i have many things going on – sometimes leaving the house early and getting home with only enough time to wrap up chores, sit for a few minutes in silence and go to bed. on those days i set a timer for eight minutes and make sure to at least practice for that long. it almost always turns into a longer period of time. yoga feels good, y’all!

soooooo i urge my students to practice every day with these same rules in mind. for the last several semesters, they’ve asked me to give examples of things to do in eight minutes and i’m finally getting around to a set of posts outlining these ideas. i’ve titled this category the 8 minute ‘bliss up.’ today is day one, SUN SALUTATIONS …

Sun Salutation

From Visually

sun salutations truly are a complete practice unto themselves. each semester i teach my students to salute the sun so that they, in fact, do have a full practice in their repertoire of poses before the semester ends.

i reflect on the days when i first started practicing yoga – i wanted to remember poses when i got home from class and just couldn’t string them together the way the teacher so easily did. it was always hard to recall much of the class. for this reason, i teach classic sun salutations in every class to give students a flow they can come back to until they deepen and expand their practice.

sun salutation eight minute bliss up sequence:

  • lie down and watch your breath, or practice 3 part breath for two minutes
  • come to table, notice and create length in spine, practice cat/cow synchronized with breath
  • step feet between hands and roll up through the spine to stand
  • ground the feet and breathe, standing tall in tadasana (mountain)
  • do two to four rounds of sun salutations
  • rest in savasana for any remaining time (if there is any)

happy yoga-ing!