I’ve practiced Ashtanga yoga for 20 years. It enables my body to feel rejuvenated and stretched out. And I don’t do it for any spiritual purpose, although I have great respect for its traditions and see certain poses as ways to pray. Here is my sun salutation and how to do it:
1. Stand with your feet apart as much as the width of your hips.
2. Inhale and stretch your arms up
3. Go down (jump or walk out), either in one long inhale, or stop in the plank, do a small inhale, and then continue to exhale into the cobra
4. Inhale and roll over feet into the upward dog position
5. Exhale and inhale three times with a straight back, weight in the middle, aiming to push up your but as the highest point
6. Inhale and look towards your feet
7. Jump (or walk) to inbetween your feet, exhale
8. Inhale and raise yourself while you raise your arms
9. Continue and do the sun salutation again or close to prayer mudra, exhale.
The important point is, to follow protocol how it’s done so you can receive its benefits over time. If have a wellness goal rather than a competitive goal means you can use your own capacity and performance as a measure. To only use yourself as your comparison and note how you’re doing.
Why do you practice yoga?