Sun Salutations are a perfect ritual with which to greet the day, using the rhythm of your heart and the song of your breath to conduct the body into being awake. The beauty of the salutations is that they require the entire physical body to be utilized. From the neutrality of mountain pose, to the inward turning of the deep standing forward bends, to the enlivening openness of the back bending, upward facing dog and the grounding, invigorating downward facing dog, the salutations draw our minds into the temple of the body.
We further this union of the mind and the body by listening and following the waves of our breath. Each movement we make is riding on the breath, and if possible, actually enhances the absorption of the breath into every cell of our being. There is no need to force the opening of the body. Accept the restrictions of your body in the given moment, and keep the breath easy and rhythmical. Modifying the traditional sun salutation is necessary when the breath is being held or forced. As your body repeats the movements, there will be a natural unfolding and unbinding, allowing for greater range of motion and coordination.
Awakening the entire body evenly is a process of deepening your observation of the sensations of your body. Finding out what parts of your body are straining while other parts of your body are asleep. Move at a pace that these observations can be made, so that even though the salutations are our morning ritual they never become habitual or mechanical.
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