You’ve seen me use a bolster to support the dreaded chaturanga to upward dog transition. Now, I will demonstrate doing all of Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) A with the bolster handy to support you. This is one of my favorite things to do in my home practice and it really helps make the sun salutation more accessible to more students. I teach this in my plus size series class all the time.
Disclaimer: This feels a little bit like cheating since I’ve spent a lot of time on this material, but I think it’s worth sharing the whole caboodle with you. Yes, caboodle. PS. Does anyone remember caboodle cosmetic boxes ? I LOVED that stuff when I was a pre-teen! (but I digress…)
Ahem, so to start, place the bolster in the middle of the mat – toward the front. It take a few tries to get it in the right (or should I say, least awkward) place. Then stand over it – your feet will obviously not be together or even shoulder width apart, but that’s alright. It’s a steadier base anyways.
Step 2: Swan dive over your legs to uttanasana (standing forward bend) with your back as straight as possible. You can bend your legs here and bring your palms or head to the bolster.
Step 3: Come to a flat back and then fold forward once again into uttanasana.
Step 4: Bend your knees, plant your hands and then step one foot back and then the other to a plank position. The step back and step forward are the most awkward part of the shebang and I’d love it if anyone had any suggestions for making it a little less odd-feeling.
Step 5: Lower down into chaturanga supported onto the bolster. Move through the upward facing dog.
Step 6: Tuck your toes, lift your hips and come into downward facing dog. If you can rest your head onto the bolster, this feels extra awesome! Hold for 5+ breaths.
Step 7: Step one foot forward and then the other. Normally, you’d step up your feet between your hands, but you can’t do that with the bolster there, so I just aim for somewhere near my hands and adjust as I go to get back into my uttanasana. It’s totally awkward, but, I think, worth it.
Step 8: Reverse your swan dive and come all the way up to stand once again into urdva hastasana. And then repeat the series as often as you’d like!