What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For majority of the people out there, hitting the snooze button is the first thing you do. The second thing is to tell yourself that you still want to sleep for a few more minutes. The third is to tell yourself that you wish it were the weekend and lastly, most moan about having to go into work. Does this resonate with you at all? I’m sure it does. Then, once you finally do get out of bed, you probably just jump up or quickly get up. From tomorrow onwards, why not stretch for a bit before waking up? Stretch your arms and legs and slowly get out of bed. This will set a more positive tone for the day. And believe it or not, stretching in the morning before getting out of bed is an ideal part of the morning routine according to the Yoga Sutras and Ayurveda.
Next up, to wake yourself up, rather than reaching for the pot of coffee, why not start your day with a round of sun salutations? This is one of the best and the simplest way to get in your yoga practice and wake up your body. This will increase your circulation throughout your body and will thus lead to a more creative and awake day. Sun Salutations are a series of postures that are designed to increase flexibility, tone, and strengthen the muscles. Start by doing at least one set a day and then each day, gradually build up the number of repetitions to about 5 or 10. To begin with, go at a comfortable pace, not too fast and not too slow.
The way to commit to practicing yoga daily is to make it a part of your routine. Yoga should become just as important as brushing your teeth. To begin a yoga practice at home requires self-dedication and commitment, but anyone can do it. Although Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations) are recommended to be done at sunrise or in the morning, my recommendation is that you can do Sun Salutations anytime during the day. Mornings are best because it sets the tone and energises you for the day. But at the same time, if for whatever reason you can’t do them in the mornings, then evenings are a good time as well.
I have included a simple version of Sun Salutations that I use (see below). Each teacher may vary the set slightly by adding other postures or variations, but here is the most basic and simple form. If you have been to my yoga classes, you will notice that I have a variation of this form, in which I have you do other asanas (poses) such as cat and ashtanga pranam (eight limbs).
And for all of you athletes out there, Sun Salutations is also a great way to warm up and prepare for any exercise routine.
Health and happiness,