All my students know, I don’t try to hide it. I don’t like the Sun Salutation. It’s nothing personal, but it does nothing for me. Still, I taught it for years, until one day it dawned on me; why not create a salutation I like? Even as I pondered the question, I knew how to proceed.
I used the Iyengar Sun Salutation as a spring board and incorporated the usual suspects: Tadasana, Uttanasana, Plank/Chaturanga, Up and Down Dog. It always seemed odd there wasn’t a twist as a standard component, so I added “Cha-Cha Dog”, a twist done in down dog.
The hall mark of the Suspensory Salutation is the glide, a pendular movement I use as the foundation for the transitions. This swinging movement is instrinsic in creating “wide brain” via the vestibular system, triggering a parasympathetic nervous system response. The upshot is a salutation whose structure naturally moves the practitioner towards meditation. Another interesting effect reported to me by those watching the salutation is the tendency for the viewer to also go into wide brain. Not surprising if you consider our visual sense will create this response when watching curtains flutter in the breeze, or fish swimming slowly in a fish tank.
Posted below are links to three versions of the Suspensory Salutation. These videos act primarily as a visual reminder for those who have worked with me as I give no verbal instruction. However, if you are new to this sequence, I suggest you watch either the Introduction or Extended Play versions multiple times to learn it. Both forms show repetition of movement concepts, making it easier to understand the organization of the sequence. -T
Introduction to the Suspensory Salutation Incorporates blocks, repetition of concepts and bent knees for the hamstring challenged. It’s a little shorter and shows the easiest approach into and out of poses.
Extended Play Suspensory Salutation Repetition of pendulum movement concepts in a three minute sequence meant to be repeated. Includes all movement concepts plus a few more challenging ways of coming into and out of poses.
Essential Suspensory Salutation Single repetition of movement concepts that one might switch to after warming up with the Extend Play. Without the usual repetition, the transitions come more quickly which challenges the mind to stay focused.