Sun Salutation A : Shining Light in the Dark Places
“In the space between your thoughts, there is your truth.”
- Reuben Lowe
I look forward to doing sun salutations, but this was not my first experience.
Sun Salutation A was once my nemesis. Actually, it was a love hate relationship. I loved the challenge but not feeling “good” at it loathed me. Eventually, as we got to know each other, we became friendly and now it’s a solace for me. But it took some time…
Maybe my experience differs from yours, but I feel compelled to share as encouragement for those of you who find the linking of these poses dreadful, defeating, or invoke a feeling that formulates to, WTF?!
Stagger stepping through the flow usually a pose and/or breath or two behind, looking around the room for guidance, my brain and body were taxed; just memorizing/keeping up with the order of these poses had my mind in overdrive. And the class was taught in sanskrit only, so add that to the overwhelm — a new language in every sense.
My emotions and intellect ran wild. I was comparing myself to the yogis flowing gracefully next to me as unfavorable remarks to myself, about myself, seeped in. And to make myself feel better, although it just dug the feeling of inadequacy deeper, I made excuses for why I couldn’t quite get this thing called a sun salutation. Such as, “I can’t step forward in one swoop. My body just isn’t made to move this way.” The icing on the cake, I was also feeling self conscious about how much sweat was saturating my face and clothing, and how I felt and sounded like I was drowning, gasping for air with my face tomato red. I would hold my breath and then take a big inhale hoping not to bother people with the panting that needed to be unleashed.
And somehow I was simultaneously attempting to pull the Polly Anna card out of a hat, encouraging myself to keep trying. Thank goodness that small voice of positivity and determination kept me at it. And that the peaceful feeling I had after class put all the woes on the back burner.
Through this salute and my yoga practice, I am learning that I am stronger than I think, more graceful than I know, and I am more comfortable being an odd duck.
I believe yoga helps to shine light in the dark places. I see more of myself. The good, the ugly, the real. My strifes and my strengths. This cultivated awareness inspires me to keep moving forward.
Once I learned the pose order, dropped much of my inner dialogue or could curb it more quickly, and made my breath a priority….. I began to welcome the salutation I once resisted. I gained confidence to modify and maybe was still a breath or 2 behind, but I started to feel stronger and more at peace in the challenge. I look forward to them now. Saluting the Sun is a time I can work and feel my entire body, calm my mind and tune into my breath. It was worth the effort of learning, understanding and staying the course, and is forever a teacher and friend of mine.
I encourage you to do 5 a day and see what happens after a day, a week, a month. It is illuminating.