It’s never too late to turn a new leaf and be healthy! Despite what other people might say, I think the beginning of the New Year is the best time to start over because it symbolizes the first of 365 new opportunities. Instead of starting with a bang, it’s better to start small and build strong habits. So, here’s a simple sun salutation to set you on the right foot!
Fact Check: Yoga is an ancient practice from India meant to align the mind, body, and soul and increase self-awareness and control.
Set up your area before you begin. It’s important to do yoga in a clear space where you have room to move without worrying about bumping into objects - it helps you focus inward. Also, you can set the ambiance in whatever way makes you feel peaceful. Try lighting your favorite candle, playing calm music or white noise, or diffusing natural essential oils before beginning. Another tip: try topical magnesium on any tight muscles to help your body relax and move freely. I like using Freedom’s Coco Van Roll-On, which has a double magnesium base and smells like my favorite beach in Bali.
1) Tadasana - this is the Mountain Pose. Stand with your feet together at the end of your yoga mat and you palms facing forward, slightly away from your sides. Remember to breathe slowly and with control throughout this yoga sequence. Loosen up your shoulders in Tadasana by rolling them forward and backward gently.
2) Urdhva Hastasana - this is the Upward Salute. Bring your palms together above your head in a single breath, moving your gaze upward toward the sky. Feel your body stretch from head to toe!
3) Uttanasana - this is the Standing Forward Bend. You are essentially folding your body, so keep your hips still as you move into this position. As you are bending forward, slowly bring your arms to your sides and touch them to the mat.
4) High Lunge (right leg) - Anchor your hands to the ground where they are and stretch your right leg backward at the same time your move your gaze to directly in front of you. Using your right tippy toes to give you balance.
Fact Check: The Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is one of the most popular yoga sequences. The Sanskrit name for it means to 'bow down to your inner self'.
5) Plank - Keep your hands anchored and in a single breath, bring you left leg back to meet your right leg.
6) Adho Mukha Svanasana - this is the Downward Dog. You’ll want to slowly walk your hands backwards until your body is in an ‘A’ position. Keep your head and neck line parallel with your arms.
7) Bhujangasana - this is the Cobra Pose. Walk your hands back into plank, then gently fold your elbows to lower your body onto the mat. Flip your tippy toes so that your feet lay flat, soles facing upward.
8) When you’re ready, transition from Cobra Pose and work backward to Tadasana - only this time, doing the high lunge with your left leg to balance out the sequence. Remember to always keep your breathing slow and controlled.
Congratulations! You’ve completed a Sun Salutation Sequence! To finish off your yoga sesh, lay flat on your back and let your body relax. It’s also nice to do a few simple stretches of your choice. Don’t forget to freshen up your yoga mat before rolling it up, too, so it’s ready for your next sun salutation. Try using Freedom’s Everywhere Spray for this. Just a few spritz to refresh, and the Everywhere Sprays are 100% natural so you don’t have to worry about your yoga matt sponging up any harmful, disruptive chemicals. Namaste!