April 15th, 2019 Sun Salutations at the wall
Sun salutations are well know by those who do yoga and even by those who don't. There are so many variations of sun salutations from the traditional namaskars A and B, to what we are talking about here doing them at the wall.
One of the benefits of sun salutations is that it warms up the body, gets all of you moving and gets the blood flowing. They help to strength and stretch the major muscle groups of the body. They can be done on their own and can provide a great way to wake yourself up or add connection to the body and the breath. You can set an intention of gratitude at the beginning of each one to boost your mood and feel thankful throughout your day.
Another benefit of doing sun salutations is if done slowly they offer you a meditative experience. The mind focuses on the movement and the breath giving it a place to settle and you feel that connection. The repetitions help you to stay present and becomes very rhythmic.
Traditional sun salutations can be challenging in many bodies. The up and down from the floor or the weight on the hands may not be the best place for beginners or for those with limited mobility.
Doing them on the wall gives you the opportunity to experience all the benefits of strengthening, stretching, flowing, and breathing without all of the added stress on the body.
Doing a Sun Salutation at the Wall
Start in Mountain pose facing the wall about 2 feet in front of it. Ground your feet, toes pointing towards the wall and let your shoulders relax down as you feel yourself strong and engaged.
Inhale your arms overhead reaching towards the sky, but keep your shoulders down and feet grounded.
Exhale bend your knees and you hinge from your hips and forward fold over your legs, your knees may stay bent or straight, keep your spine long and don't round in the upper back
Inhale legs straighten as you lift to a half fold, flat back hands lifting to your shins or thighs
Exhale forward fold back over your legs maybe soften in your knees
Inhale deep bend in the knees to lift yourself back up, hands coming overhead
Exhale hinge from your hips and place your hands on the wall, take a small step back with both feet. Start to press your hips back over your heels coming into down-dog at the wall, (knees can stay soft here) let your head relax between the arms and start to feel the opening in the back of the body
Inhale start to press the hips forward and take a small step forward coming into plank at the wall. Your heels stay down and you actively push the wall away and feel your belly engage
Exhale start to bend your elbows as your lower toward the wall, keeping the elbows close to your body and pointing back (yoga pushup)
Inhale press back up to the plank position
Exhale take a step back you push the hips back, small strep back coming back into down-dog at the wall
Inhale let your hips shift a little forward, taking one step forward and lifting the arms back overhead
Exhale lower the arms back down by your side to mountain pose
You can do this as a stand along practice or incorporate it in a longer sequence. It may take some practice before it starts to really flow and feel right. Feel free to repeat as many times as feels good starting with 3 and building up from there.
You can also explore different paces. See if you slow it down you can focus on the breath and strength and if you speed it up you will increase your heart rate giving you a cardio workout. You can also take several breaths in down-dog or plank to work on strength.
Below is a video in case you want to see it done or practice along to get the hang of it.