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302 S. Evans Street Greenville, NC 27858

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Start Your Day With Yoga!

When when one thinks of yoga these days, they often imagine

beautiful bodies owing through postures with grace and

ease. News ash: that’s not what yoga practices look like for

most people! Thanks to social media, our perception has been

distorted... our perception of yoga, and even of ourselves. One

way to correct that distortion is through the actual practice

of yoga.

Through daily yoga practice, you can begin to improve your body,

mind, and soul. This practice may include asana (physical posture)

practice, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), mantra practice,

reading/studying, journaling, spiritual devotion, prayer, and more.

We work in this daily practice to balance ourselves and nd

inner peace, clarity, and a true wisdom deep within ourselves.

A wisdom that inherently knows that our divine light inside is

what drives us, and nothing can dull that light. When we have

complete clarity and mindfully practice self-re ection, we learn

to respond to the stress of life with more ease, less con ict, and

greater fortitude. It is through the yoga practice that we spark

that inner, divine light to gracefully lead us down this path we

call life.

The practice of yoga asana is the act of placing the body in

speci c physical postures for physical and mental bene t, to

keep the body healthy and strong, and to be in harmony with

nature (Light on Yoga BKS Iyengar pg. 21). One of the most

widely practiced sequences of asanas is the Surya Namaskar, or

Sun Salutation.

The daily practice of Surya Namaskar has just as many bene ts

as any asana practice! The mental bene ts include a calm and

focused mind, increased energy levels throughout the day, clarity,

and increased mood. What more could we need?! Fortunately,

the yoga practice can also assist in conditioning the body,

burning calories, lowering blood pressure, relieving low back,

shoulder, and hip pain (when practiced correctly), decrease

migraines, and encourage a stronger digestive and respiratory

system, just to name a few things.

The classical Surya Namaskar consists of a series of 12 postures.

These postures are practiced in the style of one breath per

movement, inhaling to transition into one posture and exhaling

to transition into the next. Surya Namaskars can be practiced one

after the other to build heat, endurance, and focus throughout

the practice.

Jess McNally is the owner of Purple Blossom Yoga Studio,

located at 302 Evans Street in Uptown Greenville. Check out

classes, workshops, and yoga instructor training offerings at

www.PurpleBlossomYogaStudio.com. Register for classes on-line,

through the studio’s app, or by calling 252.364.2917.

While there are 12 postures in a Surya Namaskar, the foundation

of them all is Tadasana or Mountain Pose. Tadasana is a posture

that allows one to know how they stand, physically and mentally.

How they hold them selves, how they feel… and guides you

to that innate wisdom of how to realign yourself towards your

inner light. Knowing this, we acknowledge that all postures have

aspects of Tadasana in them, using the physical alignment to nd

mental alignment. Practice these postures, starting and ending

with Tadasana (Mountain Pose) in sequence each day to begin

your yoga experience.


Sanskrit: Tadasana

English: Mountain Pose

Stand with the feet together or slightly apart, all 10 toes facing forward. Engage the muscles of the legs. Lift through the sides of the body and lift the chest. The chin is parallel to the floor, with the arms by the sides, the palms face the thighs.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale, and…


Sanskrit: Urdvha Hastasana

English: Upward Facing Hand Pose

From Tadasana, straighten the arms overhead. Press through the bones of the feet and reach through the fingertips, send energy in both directions.

Exhale, and…


Sanskrit: Uttanasana

English: Intense Forward Stretch Pose

Hinge from the hips, fold the upper body over the legs, bring hands beside feet. Like Tadasana, lift from the outer ankle to the outer hip and firm the legs.

Modification: if hands do not reach the floor, bring the hands to blocks and bend the elbows to the side.

Inhale and…




Sanskrit: Ardha Uttanasana

English: Half Intense Forward Stretch Pose

Lift the chest, press the tops of the thighs back and reach the chest forward.

Exhale and…




Sanskrit: Plank to Chaturanga Dandasana

English: Plank to Four Limbed Staff Pose

Bend the knees and plant the hands beside the feet. Step to plank, press forward on the toes and bend the elbows. Lower down to have the elbows bent 90 degrees.

Modification: lower the knees down first to lessen the weight on the wrists and work on building core muscles. Lower all the way down to the abdomen.

Inhale and…


Sanskrit: Buhjangasana

English: Cobra

Hands beside low ribs, press tops of feet down, lift head and chest. Reach through the feet and chest.

OR

Sanskrit: Urdvha Mukha Svanasana

English: Upward Facing Dog

Hands beside the low ribs, lift the chest and press into the tops of the feet, lift the thighs off the floor and straighten the arms.

Exhale and…


Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana

English: Downward Facing Dog

Lift the hips up and back, press into the hands and let the heels pull towards the floor. Press the tops of the thighs up and back. Take 5 long breaths here.

Inhale and…



Sanskrit: Ardha Uttanasana

English: Half Intense Forward Stretch Pose

Lift the chest, press the tops of the thighs back and reach the chest forward.

Exhale and…


Sanskrit: Uttanasana

English: Intense Forward Stretch Pose

Hinge from the hips, fold the upper body over the legs, bring hands beside feet. Like Tadasana, lift from the outer ankle to the outer hip and firm the legs.

Modification: if hands do not reach the floor, bring the hands to blocks and bend the elbows to the side.

Inhale and…


Sanskrit: Urdvha Hastasana

English: Upward Facing Hand Pose

From Tadasana, straighten the arms overhead. Press through the bones of the feet and reach through the fingertips, send energy in both directions.

Exhale, and…


Sanskrit: Tadasana

English: Mountain Pose

Stand with the feet together or slightly apart, all 10 toes facing forward. Engage the muscles of the legs. Lift through the sides of the body and lift the chest. The chin is parallel to the floor, with the arms by the sides, the palms face the thighs.

Breathe!

How was your practice? Leave a line below!


This article was featured in the June 2019 issue of Pitt County Women's Journal.