1. Begin with hands in Prayer (Namaste).
2.Inhale, reach your arms up. Tuck tailbone down, telescoping your ribs up away from your waist and strongly push down through your heels.
3.Exhale, fold into a Forward Bend or keep your back straight, neck long and feet active.
4.Inhale and step your left foot back into Lunge. Sink your hips down, keeping foot flat and move your knee forward over the foot. Lift your ribs strongly up and tuck down through your tailbone as you lift up your arms. Active hands and feet.
5.Exhale hands down and step your right leg back to Plank. Squeeze your ankles together, strong legs, pull your shoulders away from your neck and tuck tailbone down.
6.Exhale knees down and lower your torso to the floor whilst pulling your shoulder blades down your back and keeping the front chest wide open. Neck relaxed.
7.Move your hands 12inches away in front of your shoulders. Tuck your tailbone down towards the floor. Inhale and lift into Low Cobra. Arch your chest forward, moving your ribs away from your waist and pull your shoulder blades down. Elbows stay bent 3inches off the floor..feet active and legs/ankles squeezing together.
8.Exhale into Down Dog. Wrap your shoulders towards your armpits, pressing down strongly through the web of your hand between thumb and forefinger. Active feet.
9.Inhale and step left foot forward into Lunge. Sink your hips down towards your front heel. arms lift above your head. Spread your fingers and tuck your tailbone down.
10.Exhale and step your right foot forward into Forward Bend – legs straight, neck and torso relaxed, feet active.
11.Inhale, come up with back straight, belly pulled in. Arms sweep up, active feet and hands, tailbone tucking and ribs telescoping up away from your waist.
12.Exhale hands down to your chest into Namaste.
This counts as one round…do as many as you feel you need!
Sun Salutations teach us how to use our breath, moving it deeply into our bodies. Our muscles warm up and and the flow of oxygen and blood nourishes and relaxes your brain and that in turn calms the your mind.
In Forrest Yoga we work deeply with the breath making each inhale and exhale long, long, long. Over the time I have been practising Forrest Yoga I have noticed an amazing difference in my capacity to breathe. Slowly I have learnt to hold the inhale and soften my core (spine) thus enabling my body to unravel and let go of some of the pain/tension/crap that we determinedly hang on to through our lives. The exhale then is long and smooth and you can breathe out the rubbish!
I do my Sun Salutations slowly paying attention to all the details I have written out above; tailbone, active hands and feet, telescoping the ribs and I also ease the belly back as I exhale.
Over time what was quite difficult for me because of back pain has now with Ana’s help become a joyful meditation…go slowly, breathe oh so deeply, stay in a posture for longer and take another breath if you need, relax into this wonderful ancient practice and enjoy. On completion step off your mat and move gently back into your world. Aho. May we all walk in Beauty.
Read Ana’s book Fierce Medicine for lots more details and insights.
Many thanks to Harper Studios, Hazel Grove for the use of their lovely space.
Big thanks to Katie Slater for her photographs and work on my blog…