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© Nanabozho (Gichi Wabush)
This page updated 15 December 2006

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The Sun Salutations

Surya namaskar

Introduction: my personal approach

Limbering up exercices: the sun salutations

Growing a lotus: or how not to damage one's knees

The practice of zazen

To begin the day properly, nothing equals limbering up. When you're young, you don't think about it, but with age, you get sound reasons to worry. As as said earlier, I never was very supple, but if I am today lither than I ever was at thirty, it's in great part because I resolved not to let go of my physical condition. Litheness is much more important than strenght, and that is also a lesson which I took much too long to understand. Here is then what I begin my days with, after, according to Master Dogen's recommendations, having washed my face with cold water. As for my teeth, I brush them in the evening, before I go to bed...
1. Stand up straight, feet together, shoulders relaxed, and hands palms together in front of your chest. Début des salutations

2. Breathing in, lift your arms, with your head in between. Pull on the arms.
Arch yourself backwards, with both arms stretched. Don't exaggerate.

3. Breathing out, lean forword. Bend at the pelvis, the pelvis, rather than your back.
Lay your hands flat on both sides to your feet, with your forehead as near to your knees as possible. Legs remain straight
For those who lack flexibility, bend your knees, and with hands to the ground, or your ankles, straighten them up
première inclinaison

4. Throw your right leg backwards, while bending you left leg, hands still in the same place (flat on the ground).
Breathing in, pull your head backwards

5. Bring your other leg backwards. Lift your buttocks up while straightening arms and legs. Your body ought to be bended at the waist. allongement

ventre à terre
6. Breathing out, bend your elbows, and go down to the ground, laying first your knees, then your chest, and finally your forehead.

7. Stretch your toes backwards. Breathing in, get up on your arms while throwing your head backwards and keeping yyour pelvis down on the ground. cobra

respiration bloquée
8. Put your toes back into place. Without moving hands nor feet, push your arse up, while stopping your breath.

9- Pull your right foot back between your hands. Throw your head backwards while breathing in. Your are now in the opposite posture to no.4.
Pull your other foot between your hands while stretching your legs and lifting up your arse.
on repart

10. Breathing out, push your head towards your knees. Stay there a few seconds, and then . . .

11- Get back up taking up
posture in figure (2) . . .


. . . before getting back to posture (1).  

Do the exercise many times, at least five.

If you wish to count the number of times with each movement, and this on the out breath only, count the number. For instance, if you are in your second series, count "two" on the out-breath of each movement. It is important to remain focused, and not to think to anything else than what you're doing. Nothing like it to begin the day with, and/or the series of yoga exercises that follow.

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