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Dear Surya Namaskara A

I believe we met back in 2006. I didn’t start practicing with you consistently until 2008. I’ve changed a lot over the years and you helped shape me. When I practice with you it’s a warm, familiar place I can always come to when I need some direction. It feels like home. A place I always come back to. You provide the space I need to empty out and pull myself together at the same time. One of the things I like most about you is that I know where to start when I’m lost or hurt, sometimes both. When I am struggling to think, I don’t have to. I already know the recipe. I know the moves and the breath count, doesn’t matter what it looks like. The ways you can be modified are limitless. Which is awesome because I come to you in rough shape sometimes. I like that I can practice with you when I’m in a good mood or a bad one. When I have a ton of energy you help me reign it in and focus. When I’m dragging you give me a burst of energy. 

Spending time with you after my pregnancy and the arrival of my son Nebulas has been very eye opening. I’m very grateful to know you. Bringing a human into the world is amazing on a biological and spiritual level. But it really takes the body through some shit. Every layer of my being has shifted in some way. If I didn’t know you, I wouldn't know where to start the healing process from the trauma to my Koshas (energetic layers or sheaths that move from the outermost layer of skin to the deep spiritual core). 

Annamaya, the physical body, changes in so many ways. The front body stretches out and pulls the skeleton out of whack. I’ve been dealing with neck/shoulder pain from a car accident 20+ years ago. It is still a chronic spot for flare up that is being exasperated from feeding my son, Nebulas, and also just from carrying him around. My lower back is also aggravated from carrying him around because my pelvis is anteriorly tilted from slumping into bad posture when my muscles are fatigued. Add that to the mixed bag of fun, (the kicks, wiggles and hiccups), and not so fun, (doctors poking at you, morning sickness, fatigue) stuff that all pregnancies bring and you have a whacked out microcosm. There is also trauma to the organs during pregnancy from the baby pushing into them and shifting them around, and last but not least the trauma from delivery. I had a smooth delivery but it was still no walk in the park.  

Pranamaya kosha, my energy body, was also affected. I’ve had extreme low energy from lack of sleep, crying and physically handling a growing human. I can’t think of an experience I’ve ever had that is more emotional than having a baby. From the experience of becoming a mom and managing postpartum depression I’ve had a huge shift in my manomaya kosha, emotional body. These shifts run to the core of my being causing changes in my Vijnanamaya kosha, wisdom body, and Anandamaya kosha, bliss body. A lot of those shifts are positive and personal but there's still a shift to explore and understand. 

Sun A, you are the perfect place to start balancing the body, healing the koshas to bring me closer to equilibrium. You will make me strong in mind and body like you’ve done many times before. I trust (shraddha) you will give me the tools I need to set up a good foundation for more challenging postures (asana) and to move forward with intention and purpose to manage life's ups and downs.

It’s pretty awesome that all of the fundamental elements of the practice are found in you. You are a place to further understand many other asanas and explore the breath. You set up the foundation for advanced postures by being a starting point for laying down healthy patterns. Sometimes you are the one principle I practice (ekam tattva abyasa) that helps me come from chitta vikshepa (a clouded mind) to chitta prasad (a clear mind). I always feel better mentally and physically after 5 sun A’s. I even feel better after just practicing one. You keep my body strong and limber. You are a place to practice moving with purpose and intention. Vinyasa (to place in a special way) brings me back to center by being meticulous about my breath, my movements and how everything is linked together. I always start my asana practice with you. Even if I'm going to do a gentle practice, because I love hitting the earth in that familiar rhythm like a tribal beat. It brings me to a timeless place where I can empty out and pull myself back together at the same time. Your rhythm sets the pace of my breathing and therefore the rhythm of my practice. 

Coming back to my mat after the pregnancy and delivery of Nebulas, I’m focusing more this time around on being more efficient with my time during practice by backing off the edge and laying down good patterns throughout the koshas. Being mindful and efficient with my time spent with you is so important because I have less opportunity to practice lately. Learning to make the most of every moment has been invaluable. One of the great things about you is that it doesn’t take long to practice with you. And I can practice as many reps as I want or as time allows. You are packed with such good stuff that a little goes a long way.  

I’m very fortunate our paths have crossed. I’m not sure who I’d be if we never met. You are where I start when I need to sort out my mind and body. 

You help me to reconnect with my breath, the driving force of the movement. The movement is exactly what I need to iron out my body, correct my posture and blow off some steam. 

Thank you for all of the lessons learned and for more to come.



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