Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Yoga Pose’

A Pose For A Friday Photo

Posted by terrepruitt on August 18, 2017

Ha! One of my yoga students gave me this for Christmas! Cute, huh? A little frog in the lotus pose. I love it. What about you? I thought it was a good Friday Photo share. What do you think of this green guy?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

 

 

Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

It Is Ok To Do What You Need

Posted by terrepruitt on October 17, 2015

Remember when you attend a class (Nia, yoga, Zumba, Spin, Boot Camp, whatever), it is for you.  Remember that it is important to do what you need at the time you are in class.  So you don’t have to do the pose, say you are in a yoga class, to your fullest if you need to save your energy for other things you have to do in the day or the rest of your week.  You don’t have to prove to your instructor or other classmates that you can do it.  It is more important to do what your body needs.  Don’t be afraid to listen to your body intelligence.

I might have posted about this before.  If not an entire post, I know I have mentioned it, but sometimes we need reminding.  I recently took a class in which I was doing more than I should have.  It was what I was capable of doing, so I was doing it.  I had told myself before the class that I needed to hold back a little because I was feeling a bit fatigued and I had three more classes left to teach in the week, and I had a long weekend ahead.  My allergies had been bothering me, and if you have allergies (hay fever) then you know how exhausting they are.  I was tired.  My plan had been to do modified poses, but then I got caught up in just DOING the poses and not in doing what I needed.

I found myself thinking to myself, “Listen to what you always tell your students.  Do what you need to do at the time.  You know you need to conserve a bit of energy for the rest of the week.”  So I backed off.  I was actually more proud of myself for doing less because I needed to, than if I would have done more just to prove that I could.

In saving a bit of my energy I was able to teach my Nia class the next morning with renewed and full energy.  It was a great class.  So again, I was so glad I listened to what I always encourage my Nia and yoga students to do.

Now, I am not saying not to push yourself, I am just saying that there might be times when it is necessary to do less than you are capable of and that is ok.  I think you do more for your body, mind, emotions, and spirit if you respect your needs.  I have a feeling this is not new information to you, that is why I started out this post with “remember”.  However, it is one thing to know something and to actually do it.  As I said, before class I told myself to be mellow and then once in class I didn’t listen to myself at first.  I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the moment of doing, but with some modalities, like Nia and yoga, they are mindful practices.  A great exercise in a mindful practice is to do it mindfully, which could mean doing less.  Don’t be afraid to listen to your body intelligence.

Have you ever needed to do less in an exercise class?  Did you?  Did you have to keep reminding yourself?

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Butterfly, Baddha Konasana, Bound Angle

Posted by terrepruitt on August 11, 2015

A great hip opener is Baddha Konasana.  Baddha means bound and kona means angle.  So this is Bound Angle.  I learned this pose as Butterfly.  I like this pose.  This is great for the hips.  It can be a very intense stretch for the inner thighs.  This is the pose where you sit up tall, legs straight out in front of you, then bend your knees and roll your thighs outward, so your knees are facing out to the sides.  You have the soles of your feet together.  Your heels are as close to your pelvis as is comfortable.  Then you hook your two fingers of each hand around your big toes.  Your knees are the “angle” and your hands hold your feet for the “bound”.

In my gentle yoga classes I instruct the students to bring the soles of the feet together  while their legs are out in front of them.  Then I have them bring their their feet to their pelvis.  This way people are getting the stretch that is enough for them.  People will bring their feet in as far as they can.  I have also instructed this asana where the students bring one leg in close to the pelvis, then the other.  The idea is to get the stretch your body needs and will allow.  When props are available they can be used to help support the knees.  Without props it works to bring your feet in only as far as is comfortable.

If holding your toes is not comfortable, you can use your hands to support you, allowing you to keep your spine long and tall.  Check to make certain your weight is balanced on both sitz bones.

This pose is said to have the following benefits:

frees the hip joints
stretches the adductors
relieves mild depression
relieves anxiety
relieves fatigue
strengthens the back and the spine
improves circulation through the hips, legs, and pelvic region
keeps kidney and prostrate gland healthy
treats urinary tract disorders
keeps ovaries healthy
helps open blocked fallopian tubes
good prep for child birth

If you want MORE of a stretch you can gently press on the knees, pushing them towards the floor.  Or you can fold forward from the hips.  But remember to listen to your body.  Having your knees touch the ground is not necessarily better.  Wherever you SENSE the stretch (“wherever” as in wherever your knees are) is where you should be.  The pose is about stretching the hips and legs, so whatever you do that does that is great!

Also . . . keep in mind that the benefits are listed as possible benefits people may have experienced.  The list in no way represents a substitution for medical attention.  This is pose is not a substitute for seeing a doctor if you have known or suspected issues with any of the things listed.

Also, if you have knee issues this might not be the best pose for you.  Again . . . .listen to your body.

Are you familiar with this asana?  Do you do this asana?  Do you like this asana?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Hotdogs Making Me Laugh

Posted by terrepruitt on May 12, 2015

I had started writing a different post, a post about a yoga pose I am enjoying lately and wish I could do in my classes.  But as I was cooking dinner my husband came into the room laughing and saying that Hulu finally had a good commercial.  I totally judge commercials.  Since I am forced to have them play, I sometimes watch them.  When I watch them, I judge them.  Currently I am convinced that a specific car company thinks it has very unintelligent owners/drivers – or that is at least the way the commercial portrays them.  And Jack-In-The-Box is brilliant!  Sometimes I enjoy commercials, and now, on Hulu there are two commercials that are super funny  – at least to me and my husband.  The commercials are for hot dogs.

They are old commercials, uploaded to Youtube in 2012, but I am just seeing them now.  Applegate – Natural and Organic Meat is the maker of the commercials or, more accurately, the product that the commercials are advertising is hot dogs.

The one I saw first was this woman sitting at her dining room table interviewing a cow.  The “cow” was a man, a huge muscle man in a cow costume.  They call him Mooscles.  She tells him she is looking for a natural hot dog made of beef without hormones.  He claims he does not use hormones.  She asks him if he uses growth hormones and he says no.  She then tells him there is a needle sticking in his haunch.  He looks at it and say it is not his.

In the other one a woman is in the store holding a package of hotdogs and the cow approaches her and ask her if she is looking for quality meat and she says she thinks she found it and he says, “Yeah, you did,” while flexing his pecs. She says her family prefers all natural beef.  He says his does too and he points to his kid.  The “calf” is the same guy in a shopping cart.  And the “cow” says, “They grow so fast.”  This one is not as funny to me, but the point is funny, I think.  Especially since that is what growth hormones do, make things grow larger than they normally would and at an accelerated rate.  When the commercial shows the product name it states “The cleaner wiener”.  Too funny!

I told my husband that I thought the commercials were so funny I was going to write a blog post about them, but I changed my mind.  He thought they were funny enough for a post.  So I changed my mind back!

That is one icky part of Hulu, so far it seems that they run the same commercials for ever break for a few weeks.  I am so tired of a specific insurance commercial, yet, I honestly couldn’t tell you the company.  Ha, annoying advertising is not always effective.

Do you ever pay attention to commercials?  Do you like some more than others?  Do you have a favorite commercial?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

More On Downward Facing Dog

Posted by terrepruitt on July 1, 2014

I once briefly wrote about the Downward Facing Dog yoga pose in my post Down Dog. This is considered a resting pose. For many; those starting out or those wanting a gentle type of workout, it is not extremely restful. There are many muscles that are being used so it is a very active pose. This pose could be qualified as a “push exercise” or using the muscles that are used for pushing. Muscles on the back of the body are considered the “push muscles”. There are many benefits to this pose.

The lower body gets the biggest stretch. If you are able to straighten your legs and place your heels on the ground the back of your legs get the stretch. The hamstrings get a good stretch along with the calves. If your heels are up there is still a nice stretch going on. With many people working in office chairs and having the posture of bent legs, tight hamstrings is a very common situation. So having heels up and bent knees is a widely used modification.

No matter how your legs are (straight or bent) your arms are holding you up. This pose does require your arms to do some work. It is considered an arm supported pose. In conjunction with latissimus dorsi, the muscles by the ribs, and your deltoids the triceps are working. So for some their arms might feel fatigued. So even though this pose is allowing for a very big stretch in the back of the legs there are muscles working on the top half of the body.

Even though the focus is in pressing the tailbone to the sky we don’t ignore the front. The front of the legs get a bit of attention, as we are lifting the knee caps.  We also have a sense of our spine lengthening.

In addition to increasing flexibility in your legs, hips, and ankles. And strengthening arms and wrist, this pose relieves depression and helps calm the mind. Additional benefits include:
-Energizing the body
-Increasing circulation
-Improving digestion
-Relieving headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
And it can be therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

I have learned to like this pose a bit more. I was reminded of what I tell my students and what we practice in Nia. Find the Joy in the movement, if you cannot tweak it until you do. I believe a portion of my dislike of this pose back when I first wrote about it, was that I was forcing it.  I was doing it in away that did not feel good for my back. Once I stopped the complete loose action of my spine, the pose became more comfortable. As it became easier there was room to move into the pose better and relax into it.

So, like many things it is good to do it at your level. As you improve it can be done better. The benefits can be received throughout the practice. It is a practice.

How is your Downward Facing Dog?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Squatting Does A Body Good

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2014

One of my Blue Belt Sisters (a woman I attended the Nia Blue Belt Intensive with) posted a link on Facebook to an article about 5 reasons to do a full squat.  I love when I see information like that . . . information about why it is good to do “something”, something we do in Nia.  I love that.  I love when people confirm and promote Nia movement.  As you know, if you have read some of my Nia posts, Nia is not new.  Nia has been around for 30 years.  Nia incorporates moves and ideals from different modalities so most of it is not new.  HOW they incorporate it is often unique, but we use a lot of movements used in other exercise and workout programs.  Which is a great thing.  Not that just because something is done commonly makes it good, but since Nia is based on how the body was designed to move it makes sense that we do movements done in other practices and vice versa.  So I was excited to see an article talk about something we do in Nia.  Nia knows the benefits of squats.

I posted about the Garland Pose and I posted about what Nia 5 Stages calls “standing“.  Here I am going to touch upon some benefits of doing full squats.  A few of mine are different than the 5 mentioned, so check that out too.  First, the article reminds us that children squat to reach for things on the ground and will get into that position when playing on the ground.  Many things that children do we understand to be beneficial yet we no longer do them as adults.  In addition to the many physical benefits of a full squat, it can possibly help us remember that child-like position of play.  A Nia workout includes “exercising” the BMES (Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit) and many people claim that the play we do in Nia is great for their spirit.  Squat like a kid!

Small children have all that yummy flexibility.  Their bodies have not yet sat in chairs for years or worn shoes that either keep their ankles from moving in a full range of motion or even keep their foot in one position, possibly even shortening their calf muscles.  So they can easily squat with both feet fully on the ground, and their legs folded, and their chest to their thighs with their bum low to the ground.  So a squat allows for all of that.  Mobility and flexibility in the ankles.  Flexibility in the knee.  And balance.  Being able to squat with flat feet and stay stable is proof of good balance.  Think of all those muscles you use to stay tush down and upright . . . (if you need help “thinking”, do it now and just sense all of that).

If you are doing the “Garland” type squat with the wide knees you are really opening the hips and groin area.  It is important to have flexibility and mobility in the hips because those things help make walking more comfortable.  A body is able to stand more upright when the hip flexors aren’t tight.  So squatting can help the body allow for good posture.  The squat also helps with stretching the back of the legs.  Squats target the hamstrings and the glutes.

And if you push up to standing you are using your glutes, so standing up from a squat is a good bum strengthener/toner.  Sometimes we move into a deep squat position in Nia as part of a Nia routine.  We do squats as part of the Nia 5 Stages and we push up into a walk.  So as I said Nia knows the benefits of squatting.  What about you?

Are you a squatter?  Do you find yourself squatting during the day?  Is the squat something your body needs practice doing?

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Nia “Standing”

Posted by terrepruitt on February 6, 2014

My last post was about the Garland Pose or Malasana.  That is a yoga pose.  The Garland Pose post was long enough so I didn’t talk about the advanced positions of that pose.  In Nia the pose could be compared to “Standing” which is the fourth stage in Nia’s 5 Stages.  In Nia it is also a little different. Nia’s 5 Stages is a movement practice through the five stages of human development.  While I have mentioned Nia’s 5 Stages before in my blog I have not written about them in depth and this post will not be in depth either.  I am just touching upon the fourth stage, including it in my little series about squatting.  Squatting is important and Nia knows that.  Nia recognizes it as a stage of human development.  Although Nia does not believe it should be abandoned and that is why we have the 5 Stages as a movement practice and why we include squatting in many of our routines.  As I said standing is the fourth stage and it is somewhat like a squat.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe Nia 5 Stages are the stages we go through in development.  Stage one is Embryonic.  Stage two is Creeping.  Stage three is Crawling.  Stage four is Standing.  Stage five is Walking. First we are in the womb, then most of us creep, then we crawl, we stand (squat), then walk.  Stages of human development.  Stage four, “Standing”, is a low or full squat.

I have posted about squats before.  In fact when I did I mentioned that we don’t do them in Nia.  And we don’t — or I hadn’t done the type of squats I was writing about.  I was writing about squats done in a way that is more in line with weight training.  Using weights and other equipment.  I believe there are weight lifting competitions where people do really low squats with weights, but . . . I am not going to go there.  There are a lot of things that elite athletes do that I would STRONGLY recommend the average person NOT do . . . . EVER.

I DO recommend full squats (without weights) . . . providing your body is able to do them I believe you should.  And by able I mean there is no medical reason you can’t, you have joints and body parts that will allow you to do them.  Doing squats will help you in so many ways.

With Nia’s fourth stage – standing – we are coming from a crawling position.  The way we move from crawling to “standing” is we open our feet wider than our knees while our knees are still on the ground.  Then curl our toes then push back onto our feet.  Since the 5 stages of human development are based on the way the body was designed to move and how we develop ideally, the idea is to push back onto feet that are flat on the ground.  However, Nia is a practice done in YOUR OWN BODY’S WAY so it is possible that both feet cannot be flat on the ground.  So we take the stages in stages.  What works for many is to have ONE foot flat on the ground while the other one has a heel up.  Then we just alternate.  This allows for each foot to engage in ankle flexibility.

The next stage in this stage is to raise the torso up, have the chest facing forward and not down . . . if you are doing the alternating of the feet.  If both feet are flat on the earth the chest is probably already facing mostly forward because the buttocks are lowered and the legs are folded over so the chest is somewhat up against the thighs.  In both positions lift the chest up further, sternum to the sky.  When ready the arms also come up, reaching to the sky.

We stay in this stage as long as the present workout dictates.  Could be just a second or two . . . could be a bar (of a song) . . . whatever is appropriate for the moment.  Then we rise up – nose leading the way – onto our toes and into the fifth stage which is walking.

Squatting is important because of the benefits it provides.  Being able to come up from a squat provides even more benefits.  Like push-ups and/or planks, squats could easily be one of the “must haves” in ANY workout or exercise program.  Nia understands the benefits.  So when I said we didn’t do squats in Nia, I wasn’t talking about this type of squat or what Nia’s 5 stages calls standing.

What benefits can your body receive from Nia’s standing/squatting? 

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Icky Name, Great Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2013

I really like the locust pose itself, I don’t care for the name.  I think this pose is really nice because it is so easily modified so it fits well into the Gentle Yoga class I am teaching.  Everyone can do it because there are so many versions of it.  Since every body is so different and in different states of health and flexibility most yoga poses can be modified to accommodate.  Some poses require props; straps, bolsters, blocks, etc.  This one is really nice because of its simplicity.  It is a prone posture, where you lie on your stomach, and it is considered a back bend.  Locust pose or Salabhasana is the pose in which you lift your legs and chest up off the ground.

To do the Locust pose you lie on your stomach.  Your arms are at your side, hands near your hips with the palms facing the ceiling.  Forehead is on the floor allowing the back of your neck to lengthen.  Your legs are hip joint width apart.  Reach with your toes toward the opposite wall.  Firm your thighs.  Exhale as you lift your thighs off of the ground using your hamstrings and glutes.  Your legs remain straight.  There is no bend at the knees.  Your pelvis and lower ribs are pressing into the earth.

At the same time you lift your legs you lift your head and chest off of the ground.  Either looking down or up, with your chin parallel to the ground.  Wherever it is comfortable for your gaze to rest be sure to keep the neck lengthened so as not to crush the back of the neck.  Lift your arms off of the ground, keeping your palms toward the ceiling.  Throughout the lift of your upper body and while you are lifted, you are keeping your shoulders back with your shoulder blades down – toward your hips.  There is space between your shoulders and your ears.

While up in this back bend you can turn your big toes toward each other, this will rotate the front of your thighs inward.  The back of your legs are firm, muscles squeezing but not clenched, so that the back of the body is active but not cramping.

Breathing into the active muscles will help keep them active yet relaxed.  As you breathe imagine the oxygen traveling to the tense areas.

This pose is meant to be held.  So hold the pose for as long as is comfortable.  Then repeat as your routine allows.

There are many ways to modify this.  You could just lift one leg at a time, keeping your forehead and arms on the ground.  Or you could lift both of your legs, with your arms and forehead down.  Or you could lift your chest, and let your arms and legs stay on the ground.  Or you could lift just your arms.  Or you could lift one arm and one leg, or you could, lift your legs and your chest and keep your arms on the ground.  You probably see all the different ways it can be modified.  The key is to find the area of your body that is the most difficult to lift and focus on learning to lift that area.  Then once you master the difficult area you will be able to add it to the easiest one and progress from there into the back bend.

Another way to modify this which can be in addition to the aforementioned modifications is to place a folded towel or blanket under your pelvis and/or ribs.

Remember whether you do the full pose (as described here) or any modification of it, your spine is lengthening and you are keeping your shoulders back and down towards your hips throughout the entire pose.  To help with keeping your shoulders back and down, imagine opening your chest as you lift it off of the earth.

This pose helps strengthen the muscles along the backside of the body including the triceps, lats, glutes, and hamstrings.

Do you like this pose?  Do you include this pose in your practice?

Some Benefits Of Doing Back Bends

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What IS PiYo?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2013

I am very shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I have had this blog for over four years and I have never written a post explaining PiYo™.  PiYo is a combination of Pilates (Pi) and Yoga (Yo), brought to us by Chalene Johnson.  Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam®, Turbo Kick®, TurboFire®, Hip Hop Hustle®, and ChaLEAN Extreme®.  These programs are put out by either Beachbody or her company, Powder Blue Productions.  With PiYo the idea is to combine the two mind/body practices in order to appeal to a large audience.  Pilates and yoga are somewhat similar to begin with, both have a component of connecting the mind and the body in conscious movement.  Both have ideals on breathing and breath.  Both are a way to improve flexibility, stability, strength, and balance.  Depending on which type of yoga practice there could be agility and mobility involved as in Pilates.  Now this might sound familiar if you know about Nia.  In Nia we have the five sensations flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability (FAMSS) which we play with in our dance.  In PiYo the same sensations can be experienced.  The manual states:  “PiYo is considered a ‘Western’ approach to the practices of mind/body fitness.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia   workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYoI believe that many people think yoga has been “Westernized”.  Since there are so many types of yoga there might not always be a spirituality in the yoga class or chanting, meditating, or even the Sanskrit terminology.  That is true with a PiYo class.  It is more about the physical with an awareness.

PiYo combines yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  In general a yoga pose is done with yoga breathing and a Pilates exercise is done with Pilates breathing.  Of course, students are encouraged to breath in a way that is comfortable to them and that works with their individual body, the aforementioned is just a general guide.

The PiYo class follows the tried and true module of a typical exercise class.  There is a section for warming up, a section for general strength and balance, a section with more of a focus specific area of the body (say a core, upper body, or lower body), then a cool down and relaxation section.  While yoga poses could meet all the requirement of each section and Pilates exercises could also, it is often the case that each section will have a majority of one or the other.  Although, you might be like me and think that there is such a huge cross over it is difficult with some moves to claim it is only a yoga move or only a Pilates move.  While I am certain the move did originate from one or the other practice specifically it seems as though currently there is a huge cross over.  That is one reason why I think Pilates and yoga marry ups so well.  They can be considered very similar.

So throughout the class there will be yoga poses and Pilates exercises.  It is up to the instructor and the make-up of the class as to whether the yoga poses will be held for a measured amount of time or done in a flow.  No matter which is chosen it will be a sequences of poses.  Whereas the Pilates exercises are done in repetition.  Generally sequences of repetitions.

A PiYo class is allowed the freedom of design.  As mentioned there is a class format, but then the way it is carried out is dependent on the instructor and students.  The consistence of a PiYo class is that it is for the body and the mind using both yoga poses and Pilates moves.

Do you practice yoga?  Do you practice Pilates?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sun Salutation – My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2013

The Sun Salutation is a sequence of asanas.  I have not yet included it in any of my Nia classes, but I am thinking about doing so.  In general modern day usage “asana” is what people call a yoga pose.  So the Sun Salutation is a sequence of yoga poses.  Now, if you look up Sun Salutation on the internet you will find a lot of variations.  There are certain asanas that you will consistently find in all of them, but then not all of the Sun Salutations will include the same EXACT ones.  I’ve seen anywhere from 9 to 13 poses in a single salutation.  Since yoga is considered a practice associated with religion, a meditation, a prayer, a movement form, and/or a straight out exercise it makes sense that there are so many difference ways to do the Sun Salutation.  If you are chosing to do the movement as a form of worship it might have different movements than if you are doing it to get a specific physical benefit.  Most of the instructions on how to do it agree that the movements are based on breath.  Inhale here, exhale there.  I have decided on a combination of what I have been trained with, what I have practiced in classes, what I practice at home, several applications, and things I have learned along the way.  I have decided on thirteen movements.  I move using the right leg through 11 asanas, then through them again using the left leg.  Two of the poses making the sequence 13 are only used only in very beginning and the end.

I start in Anjali mudra then go to the
Mountain Pose, then arms move out and up into an
Upward Salute, then I swan dive into a
Forward Bend, up into a
Standing Half Forward Bend, then I place the left leg back into a
lunge then the right leg back into a
plank then I move down onto knees into
knees, chest, chin/Ashtanga Namaskara or chaturanga up into
cobra, then I push back into
downward dog, I stay here longer than any other pose.  I breath.  Then I bring my right leg forward, so I am in a
lunge, then I bring my left leg forward then I
forward bend, then I come up a little into
Standing Half Forward Bend then lift my arms out and up as I rise into an
Upward Salute which I consider the start of the right sun salutation.  I go through the sequences again this time place my right leg back into the lunge.  When it is time to lunge again, I bring my left leg forward.

I find that as I move through the salutation, I like to change my Upward Salutes into more of a little back bend.  Only bending back as I warm up and it feels good.

Since this is my Sun Salutation, and I am not worshiping the sun . . . in fact I don’t even think of the sun at all, I just do it my way.  I do it in the way I feel like doing it that day.  Sometimes I time it with my breath inhaling on this move and exhaling on that move, sometimes I stay in each pose longer and while I am aware of my breath my movements are not dictated by it.  I do somewhat feel that is WAAAAAY contrary to the way it is “supposed” to be done, but then again it is MY movement.  It is MY practice.  It is MY meditation.  So I do it the way MY body feels like doing it that day.  I don’t usually decide how I am going to do it when I begin, I just begin and however I seem to move is how I do it that day at that time.  Sometimes I even time it to the music I am listening too.  Sometimes, unfortunately, I am in a hurry and I just want to get a few in so I do them.  It all depends.  That is why I think it is nice because YOU can do it how you want to do it to match the reason you are doing it.  After doing at least six, I end with the Mountain Post and the Anjali mudra.

Do you do a version of the Sun Salutation?  What asanas do you include in your salute?

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