Coastal Sun Salutation Flow

"Sun salutations can energize and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest winter day."
Carol Krucoff

Known in Sanskrit as Surya Namaskara, sun salutations are a common core set of yoga asanas that are great way to warm up your body, stretch it out, and give it a little work out before your day. Additionally, many yogis like to begin their longer yoga practice with sun salutations as well. I have found that even on especially sleepy morning, my initial morning sun salutes quickly help me awaken and center, so I often like to prolong my time on the mat and transition into a more in-depth practice.

Sun salutations are a great way to honor the brilliant sun, the earth, and the life that they forms, so this practice is a time to be mindful and radiate gratitude. During my most recent trip to the coast, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for Mother Earth that I found it necessary to "stop, drop, and yoga"!

The following video illustrates my current favorite sun salutation variation. Given the loose sand, my practice is a little faster and less exact than usual (thus the slipping and sliding). However, when you are given the opportunity to stick your toes in the sand and connect with the natural world around you, you take it! Remember: it is a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect!

Note: Basic sun salutes do not include all of the asanas I have incorporated in this practice, such as three-legged downward dog, warrior 1+2, or triangle pose. I currently am working on a post that will give a breakdown of a common sun salutation, so stay tuned!

This was such a lovely experience, because what better way to remind yourself to maintain your "ocean yoga breath" than listening to the waves beside you?!

PS: If you look closely, you can see the dingo exploring the beach in the background!

Do you do daily sun salutations? Do you have a favorite variation?

The Importance of Intention

"What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create."

"You're going on vacation? That's great!" 

"Yeah, I need a break."

This past summer has held quite a bit of emotional events for me, and I decided that the way to reset myself would be a journey to the Oregon coast. Every time I mentioned it, though, I phrased it: "I need a break."

What I meant was: "I would like a reprieve from ongoing emotional trauma, and to take some time to reset myself in a positive manner that allows me to explore the world and myself."

However, I kept repeating:

"I need a break."

"I need a break."

"I need a break."

So about halfway through my 12 hour drive from Montana to the coast, what happened?

My car broke down.

It was as if the universe was listening to my inadvertent mantra and decided to be literal: "Alright, girl, I hear you already! Here's the dang break you asked for! You meant your wheel bearing, right?"

As I sat in the Motel 6 waiting for the Subaru dealership down the street to open the following morning, I faced the reality of what happens when you put intention out in the world. Without direction and positive intention, how can I expect the universe to send what I desire my way?

Motel yoga.... Mo-ga?

Although I thought the scenery of my "reset" would be when I was facing the ocean, I found it unexpectedly beginning in a tiny motel room in The Dalles, Oregon. After a hot shower, great conversation with some beautiful souls down in the lobby, a full nights sleep cuddling with the hound, a little yoga, and dropping off my car at the dealership, I began to rephrase my intent and redirect my outlook.

"I am ready for a joyous adventure."

"I am ready for a positive change in my life."

As soon as my attitude shifted, so did my situation. The car parts that were missing for the repair suddenly appeared. The man working on my car offered a discount on the repair. The car was ready at the exact time I checked out from the motel. Before I knew it, the dog and I were loaded up and heading westward once again. The following day was spent exploring with the hound on an almost private beach, with the waves lapping against my bare feet as we roamed for miles.

As I strolled along the shore, I was reminded of an important mantra that we all should repeat in times of confusion, upheaval, or stress:

"Most benevolent outcome."

This sends out the message that whatever the possibilities are, the one that will do the highest good will manifest.

After a day of hiking, exploring caves, drawing mandalas in the sand, collecting sand-dollars, and a long yoga practice in a secluded cove, we went back to camp for a good night's sleep (as we had to return to Bozeman the next day).

Although it did not end up being my initial expectation of my trip, embarking on this journey still allowed me to reset and remind myself the power of intent.

... and in case I forget, the bill from Subaru serves as a good reminder as well. Sheesh.