Affirmation: Salutations to the Sun, to the awakening light within, and to the expansion of higher consciousness and higher thinking!
Cardio in yoga?? That's right baby!! You can't just stretch cold muscles and expect them to relax! You can't just start mobbing around in your old Chevy truck in 40 below either. Make sense? Now don't be put off, you're not going for a jog here. You are literally saluting that giant ball of fire in the sky with your body saying, "What's up Sun!? I am awake! I am alive! I am a reflection! I am a light too! I am pure consciousness! Thank you for bringing that heat! Woop WOOP!!" In silence of course ;-)
Your body is indeed your spirit's vehicle and there are no auto-starts for these fine tuned machines. The following is a little introduction to The Alaskan Yogi's cardio, also known as Surya Namaskar, or The Sun Salutation. Remember your yoga ABC's and have fun with it!
A. Make sure your body is in ALIGNMENT. Engage your core muscles. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down. Press into all four corners of your feet. Stabilize and center your head between your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide. Place your shoulders over your wrists and hands and your hips over your knees.
B. Focus on your BREATH. Inhale on the upward movements and exhale on the downward movements.
C. CONSCIOUSNESS is key. If it hurts don't force it. Be CONSCIOUS of your ALIGNMENT and your BREATH. Be CONSCIOUS of how warm or cold your are. Be kind to your vehicle.
"The Sun Salutation is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. Practiced daily, preferably at the beginning of your regular practice, it will bring great flexibility to your spine and joints and trim your waist. It limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Asanas (postures)." Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
Health Benefits of The Sun Salutation:
One round of Sun Salutation consists of two sequences, the first leading with the right foot in positions 4 and 9, the second leading with the left. Keep your hands in one place from positions 3 to 10 and try to co-ordinate your movements with your breathing. Start by practicing four rounds and gradually build up to twelve rounds.
"Cast away all negative thoughts and fears. If your will is yoked to wisdom, you can achieve anything."