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Ode to sun Yoga under the sun Part two

It's so nice to have the sun back in full force!
What do you love about the sun? Take a moment to think about the reasons you are grateful for the sun and maybe name them out loud or write them down or if you want, make a drawing!

Grab your yoga mat (if you have one) and take a moment to tune in and warm up. Then when you're ready, let's learn some more poses, we're almost ready to try a full sun salutation.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

What is a 'Sun Salutation'?

Also known as Surya Namaskar, a sun salutation is a series of poses done in a certain order, linking each movement with breath. It is a way to greet the sun in the morning, but can be done anytime of the day to warm up the body. There are a few different types of sun salutations. We will learn to do one version, but lets learn some more poses first!

So far, we've learned Mountain Pose, Standing Back Bend, Forward Fold and Downward Facing Dog. What's next?

LOW LUNGE

Starting from a forward fold, bend your knees and place your hands on the ground, step your left foot back behind you and keep your right knee bent. You can keep your left leg bent or straighten it any amount. You can stay here with your hands on the ground, or see if you can find your balance and rest your hands on your knee. You can also lower your left knee to the ground if that's more comfortable.

Low Lunge

Now try the other side!

What did you notice? Was one side easier than the other? How was your balance? Was your balance better on your left or right? The same?

Our Next Pose is Plank Pose!

Plank Pose

From a forward fold, place both hands on the ground and step one foot back and then the other, staying on the balls of your feet. From here make sure your arms are straight, and that your shoulders are directly over your wrists and that your whole body is more or less in a straight line, or as straight a line as you can make it.

You can also try lowering your elbows to the ground for 'dolphin plank'.

Next up: Four Limbed Staff Pose

From plank, slowly lower you body towards the ground, bending your elbows straight back, so that you are hovering just above the ground. Try to keep your whole body in a straight line...how long can you hover??? Lower yourself to the ground and take a break when you need to.
Not everyone's pose will look the same and its good to experiment and see what feels best for you. Keeping your elbows above your wrists in this pose is a good general practice and endeavoring to keep your body as straight as possible is something to think about to, but you can also lower our knees and keep the upper part of your body pretty straight.

Next, we've tried downward facing dog, how about up dog?

Lying on your tummy, press your outstretched legs into the ground. Place your palms flat onto the ground and straighten your arms so that your palms are directly under your shoulders. Then try to draw you shoulder blades together., but keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. See if you can lift your lower body up by pressing the tops of your feet into the ground, or you can just keep pressing the tops of your legs into the ground. Keep your gaze straight ahead.
Keep practicing these poses and the ones we learned last week throughout the week. We can go over them together next time if you'd like! Details are in the blog post and on the Alaska 4H Facebook page!
Remember to take a few moments to rest after you've finished your yoga session!
Thanks for trying some yoga today!

Send any yoga snapshots or selfies to the Alaska 4H FB if you'd like to share your experience with us!

Credits:

Created with images by Kaitlin Duffey - "untitled image" • Alice Donovan Rouse - "mountain sunrise" • Aaron Burden - "Dewey grass" • Nils Nedel - "Honestly… I don’t really like crowded places. “But Nils, why are you visiting the capital of Northern Ireland then?” In deed, a good question to ask. I really enjoyed the city and the sightseeing that came with it, don’t get me wrong on this, but in the middle of the day I had to get some air and some space for me and my thoughts. So I decided to take a step aside and roam the parks of Belfast. Especially in this season it seems to be super lovely with all the colors." • Laura Pratt - "Smile Each Day" • Alexander Shustov - "untitled image" • Jude Beck - "Young girl silhouette" • Terry Tan De Hao - "After so many years of living in the shadow of the late Punggol lone tree, it’s time to give its sister a chance to shine. Through my phoney edits in photoshop, I managed to add the sunset glow and removed the neighbouring trees and SAFRA mall. Photoshop does indeed blur the line between what’s real and fake. & that brings me to a quote that I can still remember back in those GP days - ‘The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.’" • Patrick Selin - "Lens flare" • Prasoon Raj - "I went to fort Cochi beach to shoot visuals for our documentary and that time i saw a dog sleep it was a great frame. I tried to capture it but i didn’t get good frame so i tried to get low angle by laying down to get the life of the frame. After getting the low angle shot i felt it was more beautiful than other angles." • Aziz Acharki - "To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides."