On Tuesday I decided to meet my birthday, March 13, with 42 Sun Salutations. I’d heard of people doing this to celebrate with the number of their new age but had never tried it for some reason.

It was still pitch black when I started with simple step back salutations to warm into my body. I was still half asleep but enjoying each lunge back and return to Uttanasana. After ten I switched to the Ashtanga A Series Surya Namaskars and thought, “Hey, I could think of each year of my life as I do that number Sun Salute.” I recalled my summer camp in North Carolina (11) and my seventh grade Latin teacher (13). I remembered the year I moved to Seattle (23), and opened 8 Limbs (26), the year my children were born (30 and 35).

It was so interesting to mark each year that had passed as a way to meet this “new” year. It felt nourishing and acknowledging, a great way touch base with the past and prepare for year 43. After ten A Series I was ready for ten B Series, with its chair pose beginning and warrior I visit. The next 10 were a blur, honestly. I can’t remember now what I practiced, but I was warm and the light was coming in my window.

The very last two brought back a slow pace and worked with long holding of standing postures. This is what I have moved into my 4th decade. I am moving slowly with grace from one position to the next, with gratitude that yoga can grow and change with my growth and change, and meet the needs of each year, and each day.

Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer

Neighborhood Studios