You brush your teeth every day right? Of course. If not, your teeth start to feel like they're wearing sweaters. Gross. Did you know the same thing happens to the connective tissue in your body? Yup. If you don't move your body, then it starts to kind of fuzz up and glue itself together. Ever feel stiff in the morning? Notice how good it feels to stretch and move around? Ever been bed ridden due to an injury? Notice how much harder and more sore you get after longer periods of time? The fuzz is more adhered and harder to melt / move! If you have a strong stomach and don't mind medical cadavers you can watch this video all about fascia fuzz (a total must see for all anatomy nerds).
This part of the reason why I flow some variation of Sun Salutations in pretty much every vinyasa class I teach. Dynamic movement, heat, contracting and relaxing muscles - taking the body's joints through their major ranges of motion - these things unglue the fuzz and help us move with greater ease. The other reason I teach sun salutations in my classes is because I want to help students learn to come back to things with discipline and consistency - even if these things aren't new and shiny.
How many times have you said, "I'm going to drink more water. I'm going to go to bed early or at a more consistent time. I'm going to meditate more. I'm NOT going to leave things to the last minute." ... and then it didn't happen or it sort of happened but not all the way? If you look around you'll start to see that we're all kind of addicted to new stimulus. What's the latest this? The newest that? For us to be truly balanced - we need not only to be comfortable with the new, but also discipline ourselves into regular habits that we know are good for us. I teach sun salutations because they discipline the body through dynamic movement, executing that movement disciplines your mind and breathing into the current moment, and to do this in a familiar way reinforces the idea that repetition of some types of things is really really good for us.
SO! Without further ado, I introduce #StanTheYogaMan ! Stan will be my model for many future blog posts and sequence breakdowns. Here he is performing Sun Salutation A.
Notes: Stan is intentionally simple. Postures aren't manic in their anatomical correctness because bodies are different - bodies feel postures differently - and YOUR body should feel empowered to embark upon intuitive modifications and variations when it makes sense for you! I also realize there are different permutations of sun salutations - these are the ones I have been taught by my teachers. Enjoy STAN and please share with anyone who wants to learn more about how to do a sun salutation.