Salutations come from the root salut which welcomes and pays homage to the generous cycles of the day and night that give us a sense of timing on the planet and within our lives. Performing salutations, whether sun or moon, is a way to sync the body and the breath while simultaneously harnessing the power of these cosmic forces.
All practices are used to merge the mind, body, and breath. Theory is for the mind, it becomes the reason why one does something. The physical practice is for the body, it is a means to experience this greater alignment, and thus ease, in the body. The breath is for the spirit, it is the key to link these two elements, mind and body.
Hatha yoga means ‘sun and moon’, and we are aiming to balance these energies within our microcosmic orbit. The aim is to develop an understanding of, and a reverence for, the powers of the macrocosmic universe. The sun is a big star; the moon is a big rock. By the laws of physics they influence every aspect of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Their influences are not separate; they form a dialogue inherent within their positioning relative to one another, then relative to us. This alters and manipulates our inner and outer states.
To work with the macrocosm, the archetypes that permeate existence, is to move beyond the tendency of being habitual, and to transmute the personal story that is self-limiting into a collective story that is communally elevating. It is to know that our thoughts can become rigid if we’re not careful, and we can become rather opinionated. With practice, a macrocosmic perspective enables our thoughts to become more pliant wherein we have greater ability to empathize with all that is around us.
Inside of us currents flow: maintaining circuitry and connectivity within the body. Outside of us currents also travel, traverse, and create the larger patterns of the planetary, interconnecting all. We are the manipulators of these internal currents and these create the external ripples. When we are out of balance abnormal health conditions manifest such as cancer, heart disease, physical illness and so forth. When the Earth’s energies are out of balance abnormal weather patterns take place such as earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, flooding’s, and droughts. It is not to think that it is normal to have such dysfunction, it is just familiar to our times. It is a mirror to reveal that we are all connected to the whole and whatever is going on inside of us is going on outside of us. The practice allows the opportunity to realign and reclaim the powers that take place within us so we can create abundance outside of us. We are a measuring stick for the universe and we hold the magic.
Initially we are not trained to think the universe is magical. We are taught that what is pragmatic is separate from what is mystical and magical. Know that everything is one and what is magical is what is practical. The fact that we are here living out our heroic journeys on an earth that can sustain us while holding us in place is nothing short of a miracle. The universe is organized, within that organization lies the magic. You should wake up everyday in awe, you should be amazed that the sun rises in the same direction and be ecstatic that the sun sets in the opposite direction. Pattern is predictable and prediction gives us safety. The salutations are a way to revere and remember this. We play with the sun, we flow with the moon, and together this enables a perspective that is stellar. A stellar dialogue takes place in the third eye. It bestows perspective, an elevated view, a greater understanding.