21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Seven. Standing Sun Breaths
Welcome to Day Seven. It’s been a whole week! Take a moment to congratulate yourself. Today we will focus on Sun Breaths.
One of the great joys of yoga is being completely in the present moment. Vinyasa, the linking of breath with movement is the perfect tool for such concentration.
In Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold (as described in yesterday’s practice), take a full exhale, then on your next inhale, bring your torso to vertical as you sweep your arms out, reaching to the sides and up overhead. Keep your fingers activated and your shoulders down away from your ears. Make the movement of your arms last as long as your breath. By the end of the inhale, you should be reaching up to the sky – fingers extended. This is your chance to take all the inward energy of Uttanasan and shine it out into the world.
On your next exhale, lower your arms down to your sides.
Continue in this way, coordinating your movement with your breath: inhale your arms up to the sky, exhale them down to your sides. Repeat this flow for several breaths before coming to stillness with your arms at your sides.
Lower yourself down to a comfortable seated position and then lie back into Savasana. Enjoy the energy pulsing through your body enlivening and rejuvenating every cell of your body.
Here is today’s complete practice:
- Take a comfortable seat
- Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
- Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
- Notice deeply
- Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
- Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
- Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
- Come to Child’s pose, enjoy the effects of Kapalabhati
- Come up to Table, then move with breath: Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
- Balancing Table (both sides)
- Lower arm/leg back to Table
- Exhale as you Push back to Downward Facing Dog
- Inhale, Step forward to Standing Forward Fold
- Exhale here
- Inhale up to Tadasana, Mountain Pose
- Sun Salutation (both sides)
- Close your eyes, bring your hands together in Prayer Pose, Anjali Mudra, at the center of your chest
- Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold
- Sun Breaths
- Lower down to a comfortable sitting position
- Lie back into Savasana