While walking down the street in our daily life, we must use our eyes to look before turning a corner. Our head leads the way. No wonder we end up with our heads in front of us. We are most often following our eyes and our mental center. But in yoga we have an opportunity to discover other parts of us that motivate our movements. Our head can be the follower. That is why at the very end of class when we return to sitting from lying down, our head trails coming up last for those ending precious moments of our practice. So, if we are not going to initiate our movements from our thinking process, then how shall we proceed?
You can initiate movements from your gut, your core, your pelvis, your pelvic floor, your fingers, your heart, your chest, your shoulders, you name it. The process might go something like this: I want to move from my fingers to lift my arms at the start of a Sun Salute. That is a thought and yes, that comes from my brain. After that, my brain can rest and allow my fingers to stretch, sensing the space around my body. As I feel my fingers expand, I am aware that they actually have the power to lift my arms. In this moment, I can sense the immense energy of my ten fingers reaching beyond my own fingernails as well as the connection they make to my back muscles. My fingers are doing the thinking. Such smart fingers!
We can trust that different parts of our body know well how to move, adjust, shift and initiate our movements. It is not always necessary to send a message from your brain to tell your body parts what to do. The message system works two ways. An important part of our practice is listening to the messages being sent by our body.
Seated Sun Salute
Hook your thumbs, reach them forward and up.
2. Fold Forward ½ Way
Lead with your fingers, until your hands are at the level of your heart.
3. Swan Dive
Open your arms and drape them on your low back or sacrum with the back of the hands one of top of the other. Relax your spinal muscles into roundness.
4. Raise Your Flag
Sit upright, lifting your right arm up overhead like a beautiful flag that reflects some aspect of you. Left hand rests on floor by your left side.
5. Twist Right had to left knee for a seated twist.
7. Outward Rotation
Left arm unfolds in external rotation on a low, back diagonal.
Move your right hand to floor by your right hip to side bend. Left arms continues to externally rotate while lifting up alongside left ear.
Release Arm Down to Repeat 2nd side switching which thumb hooks on top.