24 Nov 2023

Sun Salutation with Affirmations

As part of my yoga instructor training, I wrote a sequence that incorporates movement, mantra recitation, and meditation to learn more about ourselves. I taught it in class with a large group of people, but I also repeat this regularly at home and outdoors.

“Study thy self, discover the divine.” — Patanjali’s Yogasutra, II.44

Svādhyāya is a compound Sanskrit word composed of “svā” and “adhyāya” or “dhyaya”. Svā means “one’s own, self”. Adhyāya means “a lesson, lecture, chapter; reading”. Dhyāya means “meditating on”. The term Svādhyāya therefore, also connotes “contemplation, meditation, reflection of one self”, or simply “to study one’s own self”. The practice of Svadhyaya as a Niyama is perfected in many forms, including movement in the form of asanas, mantra recitation, and meditation.

During my yoga instructor training course, I designed a “moving mantra mediation sequence” to illustrate Svādhyāya. This sequence combined a 12 pose sun salutation with 12 affirmation that can be repeated aloud or silently.

  1. Prayer Pose (Pranamasana) - I am thankful
  2. Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) - I am awake
  3. Forward Bend (Uttanasana) - I am safe
  4. Lunge (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) - I am flexible
  5. Plank Pose (Dandasana) - I am strong
  6. Eight Points Salute (Ashtanga Namaskara) - I am creative
  7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) - I am loved
  8. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - I am compassionate
  9. Lunge (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) - I am patient
  10. Forward Bend (Uttanasana) - I am resilient
  11. Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) - I am energetic
  12. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) - I am enough

Gif from https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga/poses/sun-salutation

When I lead this in class, a room full of 15 people chanted the affirmations in unions, and it sounded amazing. I also like doing this at home on a regular basis when I need a little bost of energy or mental clarity. Here’s a quick video of the sun salutation affirmations at the beach.

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A post shared by Rayna Harris PhD (@raynamharris)

The mantra “Om shanti shanti shanti om” means “peace peace peace”. Shanti is repeated three times representing peace in mind, body, and spirit. This is a nice song to play in the background while doing this sun salutation with affirmations.

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