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Hello, Welcome to In the Moment with The Upward Salute!
January 20, 2013

In the Moment with the Upward Salute
Issue #027 - January 20, 2013

The Upward Salute is an extremely common yoga pose that precedes most standing sequences, especially the Sun Salutations. However, for this month's In the Moment with your Body, let's practice the Upward Salute, not as a beginning to something else, but as an end into and unto itself. It is a wonderful breathing exercise, all by itself, and a chest expanding and heart opening meditation as well!

Over the holidays, I got the chance to work with my 86 year old mother-in-law. She is enamored of yoga, and wanted me to do some simple movements with her. We did a variation of the Upward Salute, and her response to this simple exercise was so heart-warming. Tears flowed freely as she breathed deeply into the movement. I was so touched at how so little a thing could fill someone with self-love to feel so nurtured. This is why I chose this movement for this month. If you do it with total mindfulness, and deep, cleansing breaths, you too will be richly fulfilled.

You can also do this exercise while sitting. It is a great mini-break when done in your office chair at work!

Breath is life-giving, energizing and oh-so-fulfilling! Come join me by the fire, and re-energize and renew!

Mountain Pose Prayer Hands

Mountain Pose, beginning with prayer hands

Mountain Pose Hands Down

Mountain Pose, drop your hands to your side

Begin by standing in the Mountain Pose. Bring your hands together into prayer position at the front of your chest, in your heart center. Take a deep breath to center yourself.

Exhale and drop your hands by your side as you open your palms out, with thumbs facing out to the side. Take a deep inhale and raise your arms out to the side with palms up, until your hands join one another above your head, to meet again in prayer position. Let your head fall back slightly, as you gaze up toward the top of your fingertips.

Upward Salute Pose, arms halfway up

Halfway to the Upward Salute

Upward Salute Yoga Pose

Full Upward Salute Pose

Often your shoulders are stiff and your hands don't meet. If this is true, go only as far as it comfortable for you. Most people can bring their arms parallel to one another, if their hands don't meet.

Try not to hunch your shoulders forward, nor your lower ribs. Stay elongated in the spine as you keep your belly pulled back toward your spine.

Exhale, and lower your arms back down to your sides, in reverse movement to how you just raised them.

Inhale and repeat, raising your arms. Exhale and lower them again. Do this for at least five to ten times. Really notice your chest expanding and notice if your body gives a little more with each repetition. Don't force your shoulders too hard or push or bounce. Just slow, mindful movements with your breath.

Let your breath be your guide. Do only that which allows you to breath easily and deeply.

On your final repetition, inhale, raise your arms, and just hold them up for three to five breaths. As you hold your arms up, extend through your fingertips and, let your shoulder blades slide down your back, to relax and release.

Exhale, and return to your mountain pose. You may want to say the following affirmations while you do your Upward Salute:

I am filled with life-giving energy
I salute all that brings Love into my life.
I salute God and all that fills me from a higher place.

Or make your own prayers and affirmations to show your intent.

May you be filled with the life-giving breath and energy from Above as you stay in the moment with the Upward Salute.

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