You’ve heard your yoga teacher say it hundreds of times: “link your movement with your breath.” This key mantra in the yoga practice is crucial to letting the prana, the breath, the life force soften into our bodies and minds.
This mantra in motion combines the breath and movement of Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskara A with a mantra to keep your yoga practice flowing.
First off, how do you do Surya A?
Inhale, from mountain pose (Tadasana) reaching the arms overhead, lifting through the chest as you look up.
Exhale, bringing the hands to prayer as you fold forward (Uttanasana).
Inhale, shifting squeezing the shoulders together to draw the heart forward, sit bones back in a half lift (Urdhva Hastasana).
Exhale, planting the hands on the floor, stepping back to plank, lowering the chest forward and down to Chatarunga Dandasana. (Be sure to keep the elbows in, arms forming a 90 degree angle in Chatarunga. I also like to give a beginner/breathier option to add a breath here, inhaling in plank and lowering on exhale to Chatarunga.)
Inhale into upward facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), pressing into the hands and feet, lifting the thighs off the floor, and again squeezing the shoulders together to let the heart shine forward.
Exhale, lifting the hips to downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Press the hands and feet away from each other, lift the hips and squeeze them together, allowing the breath to melt space into the long spine. Keep the shoulders away from the ears, arms slightly bent. Broaden your back and externally rotate your triceps, rolling them out and under your body. Let the head point between the thumbs.
Inhale, stepping back to the half lift (Urdhva Hastasana), reaching forward with the crown of the head.
Exhale, forward fold (Uttanasana), letting chin tuck into chest to lengthen the spine, bringing the crown of the head toward the floor.
Inhale, circle arms overhead as you come to mountain pose (Tadasana).
Exhale, hands to heart center, Anjalai Mudra.
Surya Namaskara A with Mantra in Motion
Once you have that down, add the mantra with the breath and movements.
Inhale, arms lift: Om to the beautiful world
Exhale, fold: I bow to you in gratitude
Inhale, half lift: Let my bright heart shine forward
Exhale, plank to Chatarunga: Guiding my movements and actions
Inhale, up dog: I offer a space for bliss to settle between my thoughts
Exhale: down dog: Letting thoughts soften into gratitude
Pause, settle for 3-5 breaths, focusing on gratitude or a chosen intention, finding space between thoughts, harmony of mind, body, and soul.
Inhale, half lift: Open me to awareness of the universe
Exhale, forward fold: Letting it guide me on my path
Inhale, stand: Bringing me balance
Exhale, Anjalai: And peace.