24 February, 2011


Salutations.  A spider's fancy way of saying hello (Charlotte's Web).

An expression of greeting, goodwill, or courtesy by word, gesture, or ceremony (Merriam Webster).

Dear ______.    Liebe.    Querido.    Cher.

But my favorite salutations right now are sun salutations. Surya Namaskar.

Beginning my day with this yoga sequence has helped me accept the grayness of winter, and to start each day with more energy and peace. If you have ever taken a yoga class then you know that this is usually the warm-up, and, sometimes that's what it is for me, but sometimes it stands quite nicely on its own. It makes me think of the scene from Black Orpheus, where the children awaken the sun with music. I don't do it every morning, but when I do it looks like this:

I wake up before the sun rises, go to the room that faces east,  clear the floor for my mat, light a twig of incense and open the curtains. I sit in simple cross-legged position or child's pose for a few minutes, waking up, becoming aware of my breath and my body. Then I start the salutations. Slowly at first, holding each posture for a couple breaths before transitioning. For the first several rounds it is still gray outside. But eventually, as I arch into Urdhva Muka Svanasana (upward-facing dog) and peek out the window, I see the sun for the first time. Sometimes there is a streak of orange just above the rooftops, sometimes a patch of blue amongst the leafless trees.

I conclude with a few still moments, sometimes lying down, sometimes seated, sometimes standing with my hands in Anjali Mudra, feeling the energy flow up and down my body. I am ready to start my day. If I'm lucky, my hair will smell like the incense and each time I catch a whiff of it I will be brought back to this place of silence and sunshine (even if it's still quite gray).

1 comment:

  1. I have always wanted to practice in the mornings. Your post has motivated/inspired me to make an effort. Thanks!


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