Ahhh yes! The summer heat is here: time for laying out in the sun, munching on watermelon, and spending time with family and friends. It is a perfect moment to disconnect, have some alone time, and leave space for introspection. However, it is often easy to fall into chaos, and anxiety; like if we really didn’t know how to rest or disconnect. Just take it easy ;)
In my experience, having a routine is very helpful (flexible AND fun routine!). For instance, you can start your day by moving: wether it is going on a run, for a walk along the beach or up the mountain, or any other type of sport. Today I cheer you on trying out the yogi sun salutation in the morning. A sun salutation is a sequence of postures and movements that are practiced in many styles of yoga.
You can introduce them in your workouts to create more mobility and strength. The cherry on top? You can do them anywhere. You just need a mat, or not even depending on what surface you are on.
Why a sun salutation? It is a very complete sequence of movements. In it, you create length through the spine, and when folding forward you stretch the back-side body. Also, you strengthen the back and relax the front-side body with backbends (upward facing dog or cobra). Oh, and you will work your core too: high plank and chatturanga dandasana.
Below you will find two variations: one a little more advanced than the other. The most important thing is to move with a mindful breath, calm, and active. Chose and adapt to what your body needs. I usually like to start easy and increase difficulty. Ready?
- Begin in tadasana with your feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent, tailbone towards navel. Inhale the arms up.
- Exhale into a fold forward, bringing your hands all they way down to your mat. Bend your knees as much as you need.
- Inhale into half-way lift to lengthen the back and keep the gaze 20 cm in front of your feet.
- Exhale to place the hands down and walk the feet back into plank.
- Inhale as you shift the weight forward so that the shoulder over-pass the wrists and you are on the tips of your toes.
- Exhale into a triceps push up (full chatturanga or with knees bent).
- Inhale into upward facing dog.
- Exhale into downward facing dog.
When to do it? If you are going running or on a walk, do 5 repetitions to activate your body by doing one breath per movement. You can also chose to do it after, in this case, I recommend staying more than one breath per posture (except chatturange and upward facing dog unless you want to build strength) so you can stretch the muscles more and allow the body to cool.
Besides the physical benefits, it is quite possible that it aids in feeling more relaxed and chill. It is quite amazing how moving and breathing mindfully can make you feel much better.