Transform Your Life
Photography by: Zee Wendell
7. I open my heart to others in love and service. I stay current in expressing my feelings to those close to me and take care of my emotional needs in appropriate and healthy ways, seeking counsel when needed.
8. I will make at least one affirmation having to do with significant positive change in my own being. I also will make the following affirmation and include it during transformational imaging in my kata: "My entire being is balanced, vital and healthy."
MODIFIED SUN SALUTATION After the Water Series and the Stretch-and-Strengthen moves, do most of the following sequence twice (Nos. 1-11), and finish with the spine twist (No. 12). Then extend your legs and place your arms at your sides with your palms up. Keep your eyes closed. Begin to breathe deeply, allowing your body to further relax.
1. Mountain Pose: Stand tall, with your feet together, legs straight, chest lifted, belly drawn in and shoulders relaxed. Press your palms together, thumbs touching your breastbone in prayer pose.
2. Spine Extension: Inhale, and extend your arms in front of you. Raise your arms overhead, bending the knees slightly and leaning back from the hips without straining your spine.
3. Forward Bend: Exhale, and hinge forward at the hips, releasing your arms and head down, hands touching the floor at the sides of your feet. (You can bend your legs slightly.)
4. Lunge: Inhale and look forward, elongating your spine. Bend your right knee, aligning it over your right ankle, as you step back with your left foot, placing your left knee on the floor. Keep your chest open and shoulders relaxed.
5. Downward Facing Dog: Exhale, and extend your right foot back to meet the left as you straighten both legs. Lift your hips to form an inverted V. Firm your thighs, and look back at your knees. Keep your neck long and arms straight, not locked.
6. Chatarunga (yoga push-up): Inhale, and lower your knees to the floor, with arms straight and wrists aligned under shoulders. Your torso should form a straight line from head to hips. Move your chest toward the floor by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides.
7. Cobra: Continue to inhale. Extend your legs, keeping your pelvis, thighs and tops of your feet on the floor. With elbows slightly bent, press through your hands to curl your torso up, chest lifted.
8. Downward Facing Dog: Exhale and turn your toes under, keeping the legs straight. Lift your hips into the air in an inverted V.
9. Low Lunge: Inhale, and step with your left foot through your hands, knee aligned over ankle. Leave your right leg extended.
10. Forward Bend: Exhale, and bring your right foot forward to meet the left. Straighten your knees if you can. Let your head and torso hang.
11. Spine Extension: Inhale and unfold, sweeping your arms overhead. Bring your palms together; look up at your hands. Exhale, and lower your palms to your breastbone, standing in mountain pose.
12. Spine Twist: Lie on your back, face up, knees bent. Extend your arms out to your sides, palms up, and cross the right leg over the left. Inhale and exhale as you lower the knees to the left; turn your head to look at your right hand. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths, exhale, and return to center. Repeat on the other side.