Becca’s Here Come’s the Sun!

The Surya Namaskara cycle (sun salutation) is an ancient prayer to Lord Surya, the Sun God. As we move from winter to spring, we praise the warmth of the sun when it meets our face and skin. We enjoy the warmth, light, and energy it brings. Life on Earth would cease without the Sun and its gift of solar energy. As Michiganders, we welcome the sunshine with open arms after a long winter! However, we all sometimes forget to be thankful for the gifts of nature or we take certain things for granted. The daily prayer of Surya Namaskara helps us give thanks to the Sun every day and stay connected to Mother Nature.  In fact, we just celebrated Earth Day as a reminder for us to give back to nature and take care of her.

In the mantra for Surya Namaskara, Lord Surya has 12 names. Before each cycle of the sun salutation, we sing or chant one name of Lord Surya, in the sequence of the mantra, then repeat the next name of Lord Surya before the next sun salutation cycle… and so on until the 12th salutation is complete. The mantra reminds me that I’m doing this continuous cycle of poses to show gratitude to the Sun and internalize its miraculous energy. If you’re not able to do all 12 sun salutations, that’s ok! Build up to it and go at your own pace. You can still recite the full mantra before you get started to help you learn it.

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Practice like a Scientist: Observe Events, Report Findings

When we practice yoga we sometimes operate as our own therapist; trying to heal ourselves or maintain and support our health.  We sometimes practice as fitness enthusiasts trying to develop our strength, stamina, and flexibility.  And we also recognize that our practice works on our emotions, and our intellect, and our inner spirit.

As the Stay Home, Stay Safe order continues for at least another 3 weeks we all are cheering on the scientists.  We need them to figure out what would be our best next safe moves.  I propose you dedicate a practice to those scientists that are working so hard right now to understand the virus,  looking for treatment and vaccine, and also the epidemiology ramifications on our society.  Good scientists are clear thinking, objective, and creative.  These qualities are developed in us when we practice.

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Seasonal Allergies – as if we didn’t have enough to contend with!

As we all continue our social distancing, and during those cherished walks outside, many are now facing seasonal allergies on top of everything else!  Our yoga practice can help to relieve symptoms, and also help reduce the intensity of future attacks.

Patanjali speaks of pains that can and should be avoided are the ones that are yet to come. PYS 2.16   We should do everything to bolster up our breathing systems when we are well – like making an insurance payment.

Patanjali also says that labored breathing along with sorrow, despair, and an unsteady body will distract our efforts to know our consciousness.   PSY 1.31 Even more reason to keep up our asana and pranayama practice.  Less sorrow, despair, shaky body, or labored breathing seems like a good thing to work on now and always.

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