It’s September which means back to school, back to work, and many of us will be attempting to get back into some sort of routine.
It’s a month many also draw up new goals, and if one of those is to improve your morning regime, i.e. less rushing around and forgetting your lunch and more early morning exercise and plenty of hot water and lemon, then you are not alone.
To help you on your way, Mira Manek, author of Prajna: Ayurvedic Rituals for Happiness, has shared a simple morning sun salutation sequence, featured in her new book which is published this week.
“Sun salutations are meant for the morning,” she writes in her book. “They awaken the energy of the inner sun to stimulate the circulation and digestion at the start of the day, energizing the body. They also open up the front and back of the body.
“Surya namaskar does, in fact, mean bowing to the sun, so while you’re doing these salutations, try to visualize the sun or just feel a sense of gratitude for the sun and for the light, to make the ritual all the more special. Think of it as a moving prayer, a fluid flow,” she adds.
Here’s a look at her sun salutation flow
Here’s her step-by-step guide:
- Start in tadasana, hands together at the heart centre
- Inhale and lift your arms overhead to urdhva hastasana
- Exhale as you lower the arms and fold your torso into uttanasana
- Either on your fingertips or with your palms flat on the floor, exhale as you bring your right foot back into a lunge and then step the left foot back to meet it, or jump back, both legs together
- Inhale forwards into a plank or into half plank with knees down
- Exhale and bend your elbows as you lower yourself into chaturanga dandasana, chest towards the floor as you would in a press-up
- Inhale as you arch your torso up and straighten your arms into upward dog, neck and head facing up
- Exhale back to downward dog
- Inhale as you step the right foot forwards into a lunge, then bring the left foot to meet it, or jump both feet together to uttanasana on an exhalation, still bent over
- Inhale as you lift your torso and reach your arms overhead to urdhva hastasana
- Exhale as you lower your arms and return to tadasana, hands folded at your heart centre
- Repeat, leading with the left leg
Manek recommends beginning with five of these salutations, and gradually increasing this number and adding in your favourite poses as you go, depending on your needs.
“Add a low lunge on both sides for a deeper leg stretch,” she writes. “The warrior poses along with extended side angle pose (trikonasana), really help to stretch out the sides of the body.”
Prajna: Ayurvedic Rituals for Happiness by Mira Manek (£12.99, Headline Home) is out on Thursday September 5