Spring is upon us and I always feel so much better when the sun is shining. Sunshine not only lifts our spirits, but creates and gives us more energy. I am sure this is true for most of us, especially after a long, dark winter and the many changes that we have endured.
As we enter into the spring, I am reminded of the ancient cultures and how the sun played an important role in their tradition and rituals. According to the vedas, which are approximately 5000 years old, the outer sun is represented as the giver of light, illumination, health and spirituality, while the inner sun represents our energy (or prana ), which manifests as our breath. So not only is this symbolic, but in reality we could not exist or see without the sun itself.
There are many practices, chants and rituals around the sun. Classically in yoga, the suryanamaskar is the most well known. In some of my classes I teach a variation of the classic sun salute. This type of practice builds energy and allows us to feel grounded and connectied to the earth. It is also a great way to honor this season while paying homage to the sun itself as a source of light and life.
When practicing sun salute (whatever modified version that is comfortable for you), face towards the sun. This could be near a window or corner of your room. Connect to your breath as you begin, and as you move reach up toward the direction of the sun. After each round stop, take a relaxed breath or two and link to the sun and its energy. The movements and rounds will be slower and more meditative. This will support a deeper connection to the life giving properties of the sun itself, while instilling a deep sense of gratitude in our hearts for the suns’ many life giving properties.
So whatever asana or movements you perform, hold the sun as a point of focus in your mind and heart this season. Let it help add to your individual renewal, give the energy needed to accomplish your goals, and most importantly, create happiness and peace so that your own light may shine brightly for yourself and others.
Happy Spring and Good health to all.