inspiring

Salute to The Sun

April 28, 2010

The morning before completing my first yoga teacher training, our class met for a final time to salute the Sun, and one another. One of our instructors guided us through a version of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) using a gorgeous poem to highlight some of the qualities that we were being encouraged to “Take off the mat, and put into action.”


As the boys and I prepare our garden for the bountiful season ahead, we look to the Sun to provide the warmth that we need for our flowers and vegetables to grow. As we continue to move towards the longest day of the year, the boys and I are looking forward to saluting the sun for it’s many gifts and bountiful blessings that it will bestow.

Sun salutations can help us to provide a deep connection to the earth that we inhabit, and can offer a genuine way for both adults and children to express gratitude for all that the earth has given.

In the segment below, Jacob gives us a child’s like take on the Sun Salutations, and just how relaxed we can be while practicing.

I am a mountain strong and steady
Mountain Pos
e

The Sun The Sun
Arms over head

I salute the Sun
Uttanasana

I open my heart
Half Way Up

To everyone
Uttanasana (forward fold)

The Sun Rises
Runner’s Lunge

And the Sun Sets
Plank

The Whole World
Knees Down

In my heart rests

Again I arise
Bhujanghasana

Ready to Live
Downward Facing Dog

Happy To Be
Runner’s Lunge

And Ready to Give
Uttanasana

The Sun The Sun
Half Way Up

I salute the Sun
Uttanasana

I open my heart
Arms over head

To Everyone
Anjali Mudra

Having studied in the hatha and Iyengar tradition of yoga, every practice, every morning beings with the Sun Salutes. It is never mundane or boring, but rather just the perfect way for each day to begin.

As the earth comes into the time of transition between spring and summer, it is also the perfect practice to help children honor the time of deep inner transition that has just come to an end, and the celebration of the endless play in the external world that is just beginning.

Jacob loves to do his sun salutes, and he begged me to let him do the photos instead of me for this post. One thing to note is that Jacob’s posture/position is not what it should be for an adult. To learn more about sun salutations, and to get a more in depth look at what the practice entails, please visit The Yoga Site

The technical difficulties have been slowly improving, but I still do not have an answer for the issue with Intense Debate. My only hope is that the problem gets resolved super quick. Thanks for your patience.

I recently received an email from Storytime Yoga telling me that the above poem was their work. I have a copy of the poem that was given to me in my teacher training in 2000, so I am not sure how that is possible, but I want to make sure that proper citation is given. 

 

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This song has been a favorite of the boys and I for a long time, and the rhythm is so much fun to dance to. It also stands as a good reminder to me of something that has been weighing heavily on my heart.

Lately I feel like every time I turn on any kind of news program, or read a newspaper, or even check the news on the internet, I see so much discussion of hatred. It is not exactly spoken of in that harsh of a tone, but that is really the undercurrent.

I know that for me, I spend a lot of time thinking about making a small change to the environment, or to the foods that I eat, or to my children’s education, etc, but the reality is that I have never thought much about making a small change to the attitude that I carry towards others.

It feels like with all the discussion on politics, and policies, and religion and intolerance, and fear and hatred, we are becoming a world so divided we have a hard time seeing the inherent good in each of us. There are just days when I get lost in the rhetoric, and I feel like the good in the world is slipping away.

The fact is that, naive or not, I still know that humanity is inherently good. Yes there are strong opinions on many issues out there, and a lot of them deserve healthy discussion, but if the belief is that the “other side” is always in the wrong, then we will do nothing but spin a web of division that can be very difficult to repair.

The only thing that I can think to do is choose not to participate. For me, that does not mean stopping participation in discussions, because I think that is so important in times like these. No, I am just choosing to no longer participate in negative discussions.

It seems silly to have to challenge myself to change my attitude during my interactions with people, but I have to admit that I do. I need to not feel defensive about who I am, or what I believe, and I need to stop and think about where the other person is coming from as well.

If serenity lies in our ability to find peace within ourselves, our selves must also be able to make peace with the world we are interacting with. As Ghandi so beautifully put it, “Be the change you wish to see”.

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