yoga

I offer here a short version of a prana flow namaskar (salutations) that is not the typical “shoulder opening” sequence we think of for surfing. (I have a yoga and surf DVD called Surf Yoga Soul that has a lot of strength and flexibility sequences specific to surfing.) This particular flow opens your side body, inner and outer hips, and spine in a flowing sequence that allows you to be responsive to change. Most of the forty namaskars of prana vinyasa are offered in a mandala, or circle, to open up our awareness 360 degrees. Enjoy embodying the flow.

1. Tadasana

Step with your feet hip-width apart and join your hands together at your center. Move into a flow state as you begin ujjayi breathing—the sound of the ocean being drawn on the back of your throat to create a meditative anchor in which to breathe fully in the present moment. Shift your weight for-ward and back as if you were on a surf-board, to feel your pelvis centered over your feet and your heart and crown of the head in alignment. Anchor your tailbone toward the earth and feel your lower belly rising upward to support your spine.

2. Standing Anahatasana (Heart-Opening Pose)

Inhale and open your arms wide. Exhale, placing hands to sacrum, rooting down. Inhale, rising up from your feet and lower belly to lengthen and strengthen your spine. Arch back slowly through your upper back.

3. Uttanasana (Forward Bend)

Exhale as you hinge at your pelvis, slowly lead-ing with your heart as you fold into a forward bend. Breathe into your ham-strings and keep reaching through your heart to mas-sage your spine. If needed, bend your knees slightly but keep your heart open instead of rounded.

4. Anjenayasana (High Lunge)

On an exhalation, step your left foot back into a high lunge with your front knee over your front ankle and your back heel press-ing away.

5. Prana Flow Lunge I

Inhale and draw your right arm overhead as you turn both feet clockwise. Your front foot is at a right angle; your back foot is in side plank. Open your side body and outer hips, and feel the fluidity within stability in this prana flow variation of lunge.

6. Prana Flow Lunge II

Exhale and reach your right hand toward your back foot with your chest open, shoul-ders level, and legs activated. Move between prana flow lunge I and II two more times.

7. Sahaja Ardha Malasana (Spontaneous Flowing Half Squat)

Exhale as you turn your whole body counterclockwise until you are standing with your feet wide and parallel to one another. Inhale, bend your right knee and extend your left leg, keeping the spine long. Exhale, gathering energy from your inner legs to your pelvic floor. Inhale and shift to the other side with the same awareness. Now flow back and forth twice more, sweeping your arms and torso in a spontaneous flow, like seaweed in the ocean.

8. Anjenayasana (High Lunge)

Turn toward your left leg to again come into a high lunge, right leg back, with your front knee over the ankle, radiating through the back heel.

9. Prana Flow Lunge I

Inhale and draw your left arm over-head as you turn both feet clock-wise. Your front foot is at a right angle; your back foot is in side plank. Open your side body and outer hips, and feel the fluidity within stability.

10. Prana Flow Lunge II

Exhale and reach your left hand toward your back foot with your chest open, shoulders level, and legs activated. Move between prana flow lunge I and II two more times.

11. Dandasana (Staff)

Inhale and step your left leg back into dandasana with your hands under your shoul-ders, your core activated, and a long line of energy from crown to tailbone to heels.

12. Anahatasana (Heart-Opening Asana)

Exhale and lower both knees to the floor, lower belly engaged. Walk your hands out in front of you, shoulder-width apart, and release your heart to the earth. Rest for several breaths, then slide forward and lower all the way down.

13. Bhujangasana (Cobra)

Bring your hands under your shoul-ders and rise through your chest, rolling through the shoulders and reaching through the crown of your head. Stretch back through your legs to your toes. Feel the strength whether you are low or high.

14. Adho Mukha Svanananda (Bliss-Filled Downward Dog)

Exhale, curl your toes under, and flow into down dog with a lunar feeling. Pedal the heels, moving freely through the hips and spine. Release your jaw, let your neck move freely, feel the self-generated bliss of a liberated dog

15. Uttanasana

Walk your hands back to your feet, “hands on the earth.” Lift through the hips and curl over your feet, straightening your legs and releasing your spine toward the earth. Take your hands to hips and mas-sage down the backs of your legs, softening into the for-ward bend.

16. Standing Anahatasana

Rise to standing, hands to the base of the spine. Feet rooted into the earth, draw energy up the legs and along the spine to arch through your upper back.

17. Tadasana

Take a moment and center yourself, and either dive down again for 35 more rounds, or be ready to surf—or surf the waves of life.