One way to brighten your day is to pump up your energy levels with some Mindful Suns. Mindful Suns builds off of our Mindful Mornings lesson of Moving with the Breath. If you haven’t practiced that activity yet, it can be helpful to feel comfortable moving with the breath before jumping right in to your Mindful Suns!
If you practiced Moving with the Breath, but feel like you might need a little refresher, don’t worry! We will be practicing Moving with the Breath to warm up for our Mindful Suns. You might notice the ways that they are connected when we practice.
To begin, find a space as long as your body and wide as your arms to practice in. You don’t need a mat, but it can be nice to have if you plan on doing lots of Mindful Suns. We will begin by finding our Mountain Pose. You might remember that Mountain Pose can be the starting point for many kinds of Mindful Movement, including Mindful Suns!
Begin with your feet as wide as your hips, arms along your side, facing forward. Get really tall in your spine by reaching up through the tippy top of your head and down from the soles of your feet. Breathe in to grow up through your crown, breathe out to ground down into the feet. In order to grow, we must also have roots. This is true for a lot of other parts of our practices of Mindful Living.
From Mountain Pose, breathe in to lift the arms slowly up overhead. Breathe out to bend the knees a little and fold forward. Breathe in, hands to the shins and look forward. Breathe out to fold forward and step your right foot back, then left foot back to Plank! Take three full, Mindful Breaths here. Notice when you breathe in, and notice when you breathe out.
At the end of your third out-breath, lift your hips up and back to Down Dog! When you get here, check in to see that your hands are as wide as your shoulders, with your fingers spreading really wide. Check that your feet are as wide as your hips with your toes pointing straight ahead too. Take three breaths in and out here too. Notice your in-breath and notice your out-breath.
Press into your pointer finger and thumb to ground your hands down and breathe in to lift your right leg up. Breathe out to step your right foot forward and then your left foot forward to a fold. Breathe in to look forward, hands to shins. Breathe out to fold over the legs again. Root into your feet to rise all the way up with a long flat back, arms reaching over your head, as you breathe in. Breathe out, return to Mountain Pose and catch your breath. Everyone take a big breath in through the nose and sighhhhh it out of the mouth.
Now for round two! We will move in the same Mindful way, but starting with the left side leg this time. Breath in, arms up high overhead. Breathe out, bend the knees a little to fold with a long, flat back. Breathe in, hands to shins, look ahead. Breathe out, left foot back, then right foot back to Plank! Three Mindful Breaths here.
Now hips back and up to Down Dog, and hang out here for three more Mindful Breaths. Your head can relax, and you can close your eyes if this feels nice.
After your third out-breath, use your next in-breath to lift your left leg up and back. Breathe out to bring the left foot between your hands, and then your right foot. Breathe in to lift up half way. Breathe out to fold back down. Breathe in to root and rise all the way up, arms over your head. Breathe out to let the arms rest at your sides, back in Mountain Pose where we began.
Student Tip: Stay tuned for Plank to Down Dog Tips and Mindful Breath to learn even more about making your Mindful Suns as Mindful as possible! You can practice Mindful Suns a few times in a row if you’re really feeling like moving some energy.
Teacher’s Tip: If anyone’s wrists hurt in Down Dog or Plank, let them know that they can bring their knees down for support.