Salutations to the Sun

Sun salutations, known by their Sanskrit name Surya Namaskara, are a very effective way to loosen up, stretch, tone and wake up all the joints, muscles and organs of the body and they’re also an ideal way to celebrate the sun.

There are 12 asanas (postures) that create the sequence. They are practised one after the other in a flow and are connected with your breath.

My Daily Practice

Sun salutations are my favourite! I aim to practise three every morning. If I’m in a rush or tired, three isn’t intimidating and I don’t feel any resistance. Once I’m on the mat and I’m stretching, I always end up moving more.

If I intend to practise a longer sequence in the morning, I sometimes feel resistance and my mind will get in the way. I often end up sabotaging my best intentions and doing less yoga overall. Setting an intention for a short practice fools my mind and helps me do it every day.

While this works for me, your home practice will be different to mine. Feel it out and go with what feels good for you. It’s easy to believe the ideal home practice needs to be an hour long, or that we need to practise at a certain time. Remember, there is no right or wrong way, only your way.

However short or long my home practice is, it sets me up for the day and has a tangible benefit to my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We need practices that support our real everyday lives, not take us out of them, and those little positive moments all add up.

If you find yourself struggling, have read of this blog post about resisting self-care here.

Yoga at Home

Yoga is an individual practice and is adaptable to suit your needs and your lifestyle, so it can benefit you at any stage, age or ability. If you struggle practically to go to a class because of your location, time or money, or you find a class environment intimidating and not tailored to your individual needs {for example, a disability or a short or long-term illness}, a home practice can greatly improve your quality of life.

Clem Balfour is demonstrating a simple sun salutation which you can practise as slowly or as quickly as you like and as many times as feels comfortable to you.

home yoga practice

The main thing is to habitually get on your mat, even if you simply lie there and take in a few deep breaths. The act of taking a few moments for yourself will gradually turn into a daily habit and you can create a routine that is suited to your needs and energy levels. It can take time to unfold and every day may feel different, but it will stick long term if your practice is deeply and personally yours.

Take a moment at the end of your practice to thank yourself and perhaps set an intention for your day.

Enjoy cultivating little moments of peace.

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