Earth Salutation: Prithvi Namaskar

Heroearth yoga
Earth Day is just around the corner on April 22. This environmental focused day got its start in the 1970’s as an effort to get people to develop an awareness and appreciation for our environment. Earth Day is also a global event.

On this day, there will likely be educational programs about the environment on TV, around your community, and in schools. Common practices include planting a tree or plants, picking up trash (Adopt a Highway), recycling, and conservation efforts. Other people or groups may sponsor hikes, bike rides, or runs.

As yogis, Earth Day is right up our alley. Many of us are very conscious about eating organic, recycling, and choosing Eco friendly fabrics or products like bamboo. We even have a series of poses that are a Salute to the Sun (Surya Namaskar) and every yogi pretty much has experienced some sort of a Sun Salutation in a flow based yoga class because it is a very popular practice. We also have a series called a Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar) which is also practiced as well; just not as often as the Sun Salutation.

While online, I came across an Earth Salutation (Prithvi Namaskar) and thought I’d share in honor of Earth Day. However; when “Googling” Prithvi Namaskar to learn more, I discovered that Prithvi Namaskar is a salutation from “Dru Yoga” and no I’m not trained in Dru Yoga but I am curious about it. The Dru Yoga version has 16 parts to it and I say parts because you’ll be in a pose but have a flowing arm and breath type of work which kind of reminds me of QiGong.

Now the version I share is very different from the Dru interpretation. All in all, with this version, there are 14 poses that are intended to be practiced cyclic just like you do in a Sun Salutation. It is recommended to pursue this Earth Salutation outside and midday. Also, this is a very “grounded” practice so that could be a theme inspiration.

Earth Salutation: Prithvi Namaskar
***Let nature be your music.***

1. Hero Pose (AKA Thunderbolt) with hands at heart’s center (picture)
2. Inhale arms overhead (Exhale – unfold legs)
3. ‘Seated’ Forward Fold (Inhale – lengthen. Exhale – fold)
4. Extended Child’s Pose
5. Upward Facing Dog/Cobra (choose one)
6. All 4’s (Cross Legs to transition)
7. ‘Seated’ Forward Fold
8. Bridge Pose
9. Plow Pose/Shoulder-stand Pose/Legs Up the Wall Pose (choose one)
10. ‘Seated’ Wide Angled Forward Fold (Legs Staddled)
11. Bridge Pose
12. Wind Relieving Pose (hold shin and draw knee to chest and then bring forehead to knee) — you can do one knee at a time or both
13. Camel Pose
14. Child’s Pose

I’m not sure as to which yoga discipline this interpretation came from but I do like it. Notice that you are pretty much grounded (earthy) with this sequence. Take your time with it so you can really ground your body to the mat as you explore the poses. I wouldn’t really make this a vinyasa, but rather maybe stay in each pose for a few breaths. I also like the idea of separating the left and right legs into two cycles verses bringing both knees to the forehead (Wind Relieving Pose #10).

Now if you want to learn more about Dru Yoga, there is a book titled “Dru Yoga – Stillness in Motion” by Chris Barrington, Annie Jones, and Anita Goswami. Additionally, there are DVDs out there too. I recently bought this book and I actually referenced Prithvi Namaskar in an attempt to learn more about this flow. I will say that the one in the book is nothing like the sequence I posted. Nevertheless, I will place the above posted sequence in my practice on Monday.

Definitely celebrate Earth Day by doing something outside, maybe it can be your yoga practice. Stay grounded!


~ Kristen


About kwarren1970

I am an avid hiker and yogi.
This entry was posted in Exercise, Yoga and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Earth Salutation: Prithvi Namaskar

  1. ultrapeg says:

    This looks very cool! An interesting and unusual combination of poses. At first glance it seemed “choppy” to me also. But the more I consider it, the more I can think of ways to make it flow. Seems like you’d need a warm-up of some type before doing it though. Although I suppose you could modify some of the poses in the first couple of rounds (e.g., plow and camel). It’s intriguing, though. Thanks for sharing. I checked out the Dru Worldwide website. Also quite interesting. Thanks for checking out my blog, btw. I’m enjoying going through yours.

    • kwarren1970 says:

      I plan to place this flow towards the end of my lesson plan. I teach the 3 Mountain format:
      1. Breathing, limbering, warm up
      2. Sun Salutes
      3. Warrior series
      4. Balance
      (Insert earth sequence here)
      5. Longer stretches/mat work

  2. Govert says:

    Hi Kristen, just happened to come across your site as i wanted to see what I could find on line instead of getting my trainers manual out. I took the Dru Yoga teachers course some 15 years ago and Prithvi Namaskar as you have found in the Dru Yoga book is still one of my favorite sequences. I have always experienced this strong grounding energy from this sequence from the very first time I was guided through it myself. For me the beauty of a lot of Dru Yoga sequences is that anybody at any age can basically do them and even when you are handicapped they are easily adapted to what you are able to do. Dru yoga doesn’t focus so much on the precise posture as it does on the energy it generates i have alway thought. I still use this sequence in the trainings i give today when energy runs low at the end of the day and people are tired. If participants are too much in their head, this will bring them out. Another benefit of the Dru Yoga version is that it requires little warm up and you don’t have to change clothes. Just thought i’d share my experience with you. – Govert

    • kwarren1970 says:

      Govert, well I’m glad you found me. Hope you got inspired. I’m always digging out my training manuals but it is nice to get inspired by others to include those trained by other schools, and I often do. I haven’t had the opportunity to take Dru yoga, but would love to give it a try if the opportunity comes my way. I do have a friend who has had some exposure to it. She is German and has talked about it more than once. I’m thinking Dru yoga is more popular in Europe. I’m in America. I came across it a little more when I was exploring ideas for Earth Day. In trying to learn more, I did get a Dru yoga book and checked out some YouTube videos. So it would be fun to learn more.

  3. hannahmsw says:

    I’m new to yoga, but this particular practice sounds very interesting! I do love Moon Salutation…and of course, tonight she is full! Thanks for liking my blog, I also have another, Both of them reference yoga quite a bit, as I have noticed that yoga seems to invade/pervade all of my life! Namaste.

    • kwarren1970 says:

      When you do the earth salutation, you’ll have to let me know how you like it. It is perfect for any Earth Day Celebrations. I also posted a Moon Salutation that only has six poses so once you do a round or two, it is easy to remember and flow with it. I usually incorporate the Moon flow during warrior/ standing series. Glad you are discovering yoga!

    • kwarren1970 says:

      I’ll check it out! 🙂

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