We’ve talked about Yoga before here on our Blog (see earlier post). We believe Yoga to be a great stress reliever as well as a practice that engages and benefits both body and spirit.
Yoga is an individual practice, but there is something to be said for participating in a Yoga class. While practicing yoga on your own you can see many mind and body benefits. However, when you get a room full of like-minded yogis all moving through the practice together- it’s hard to describe, but there’s something special about it. You can almost feel the tension leave the room. Everyone is moving and breathing together (even if modified)- this synergy of movement and breath creates a feeling of peace and atmosphere of community.
One of the better known yoga movements is the Sun Salutation. This series of movements and poses is known for its stress relieving and calming properties. This movement, when experienced as a community/class builds that community atmosphere while warming up your body and building your “inner fire.” Many classes begin with this series because of the synergy it creates.
Even if you can’t attend a class, the Sun Salutation series can still help relieve stress. Because the movement is fluid and repetitive you begin to lose track of the thoughts weighing and upsetting you. As you listen to your breath and move through the motions your anxiety calms and the stress melts away as your mind focuses.
How do you move through a Sun Salutation?
Here are the basics:
-Start in a standing position with hands by your side and palms facing forward- Stand solidly with your feet rooted and reach your head to the sky
-Soften through your knees and sweep hands up to the sky- lifting your gaze up as well as you take one big, heart-lifting inhale
-Exhale, fold forward. Move into a deep bow, bringing your hands down to the mat or earth (bend your knees if you need to)
-Take a big inhale and lift halfway, with your back flat
-Exhale as you move into Chaturanga pose (High to low pushup). Roll over your toes onto the tops of your feet and lower into Upwards Facing Dog, pulling your chest over your arms as you take a deep inhale
-Exhale as you roll back over your toes and push into Downward Facing Dog
-Inhale, bend your knees and lift your heels, return to Forward Fold position
-Exhale as you fold closer to the floor.
-Inhale as you soften through your knees and sweep your hands back up to the sky
– Exhale, Ending as you lower your hands in prayer
Repeat. Keep working through the movements until your mind clears and your worries subside. And if you want to come and join in community practice of this movement (and others), come and see us. You don’t have to be perfect- there’s no such thing as perfect yoga- just join in and do your best.
We wish you good health,
Columbia Basin Racquet Club