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Yoga YOU-niversity: Sun Salutations & Selfless Service

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Welcome to Yoga YOU-niversity!

Here, you are the star of YOUR yoga journey. I welcome you to become a lifelong learner and lover of yourself. I'll share what I know about all things yogic, with gratitude to the Rishis, Yogis and Yoginis who have come before us to show us this practice. With their guidance and grace, and I give you: Yoga YOU-niversity.

Feel free to reach out any time with questions about your yoga journey!

Lifelong Learner, Lifelong Teacher

As a lifelong teacher, I am also a lifelong learner. I am but one tiny speck of a human in this great multi-verse, and a conduit to the ancient wisdom we all hold in the base particles of energy that formed our bodies as they did Earth. In essence, we are one. As such, what I share about yoga is not mine to own. It is collective knowledge passed down over thousands of years, and the teacher in me is compelled to share as much as possible as freely as possible.

Yogic Lesson #1: Seva (say-vuh) - Selfless Service

Yoga YOU-niversity is brought to you by: Seva, the yoga of generosity. I give so that you can receive - no expectations for an exchange. It's a simple as that. This is the fundamental function of teacher to student, mother to child, earth to life.

The New Indian Express describes Seva:

Seva is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘selfless service’ or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India, seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. This is the art of giving with no need to receive, where the act itself is a gift to everyone involved. Seva is the art of blessed action.

Seva is the spiritual practice of selfless service. It springs from two forms of yoga, karma yoga, which is yoga of action and bhakti yoga, the yoga of worship inspired by divine love. It is one of the simplest and yet most profound and life changing ways that we can put our spiritual knowledge into action. It is asking “How may I serve you?” or “Can I help you?”"

I firmly believe in the reciprocity of life, in the abundance of karma, and in the goodness of giving.

Yogic Lesson #2: Asana (ah-sen-ah) - Yoga Postures

Asana is the type of yoga everyone thinks of when they hear the word "yoga." This is the physical practice of yoga through postures, or poses. You're invited to join along with the videos, or just watch them and absorb the good vibes.

Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskar (sur-ee-uh nah-muh-skar)

One of the most quintessential parts of most yoga classes is a good ol' Surya Namaskar. Sun Salutations are a series of poses that work out the whole body.

Here's my best Sun Salutation on the rooftop of Peace Yoga Gallery.

As the name implies, Sun Salutations are a way to pay respect to that great burning ball in the sky. These poses are great to practice in the early morning, while the sun is peeking out for the day, but don't let that stop you from saluting the sun any time of day.

Surya Namaskar has many variations. Here's a simple version that's great to try for beginners or to improve the form of more advanced yogis and yoginis.

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

  • Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

  • Phalakasana (Plank Pose)

  • Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

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