This morning I watched the dawn turn to day on Lake Geneva and the sun rise over Mont Blanc. After four days solid of rain, mist, fog, thunder, full cloud cover and white outs, the sun on the lake and mountains were a refreshing surprise. The day begged for a formal greeting, and a dozen classic sun salutations were naturally in order. Luckily they had fit neatly into my minimal luggage and I could produce and enjoy them on the spot, even in this foreign locale.
Suryanamaskar, or sun salutation, (elegantly demonstrated here by Donna Farhi from her book A Return to Wholeness) can be practiced in any environment, condition or time of life. In fact Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher Dr. Dhru MD, urges you to “Don’t leave home without it [your daily dozen sun salutations every morning].” For periods of many years during my twenty year relationship with yoga, suryanamaskar… that’s been the thread of my asana practice. Perhaps many of us would like to have a daily session with a private teacher or attend a 60-75 minute studio class. Then, however, we may find this is not feasible due to financial or time constraints. Practicing on, or off, the mat a sun salutation variation for about ten minutes each morning can be as or more effective than a once weekly or monthly intensive session. A short daily practice in your room at home provides a rejuvenating link to your yoga-mind intention. That alone can be a comprehensive practice or a diligent complement to your work with yoga teachers. Part of yoga mindset and teachings is that you listen to your inherent inner-wisdom teacher. A good morning sun salutation offers a beautiful platform from which to safely practice that. Nothing special is needed. An open mind-heart and tuning into your breath are nice places to begin, but if that is not immediately available to you, it will come in time from the practice. A perfect day, I’m glad I began it with my Self.