Inti Raimi - Sunrise Ceremony
Inti (Quechua) - Father Sun or God Sun whose light energy gives life and power equally to everything on this Earth. The Inti Raimi is a short sunrise ritual of welcoming the birth of the new day. It help us connect to the spiritual powers of Father Sun and Mother Earth (Pacha mama).
These movement exercises are an ancient practice that performed by the indigenous people of the High Andes of Ecuador, to aid invigorate and cleanse the body digestion and breathing system after our night's sleep. The series of eight simple and easy to perform exercises help stimulate breathing and promote balance. You will feel centered, balanced, recharged and ready to start a new day.
Watch the entire nine exercises - Taken at Kripalu Institute.
This video was taken in Wilga, Poland.
1. All exercises are done while facing East – the rising Sun (Tayta Inti).
2. All exercises start with the left leg. The left side of our body is the side that is connected to our beating heart, the female nurturing and receiving side from the universe. The right side symbolizes the masculine, active side that is reaching out to take from the world.
3. Breathing: inhale the fresh air deeply through your nose; exhale strongly through your mouth to remove the stale polluted air.
4. Repeat each exercise as many times as you feel right. No one is counting. Your body is different every day, so listen and honor your body. With that said, traditionally, each exercise is performed 26 times, as the number of vertebrae in our spine is dedicated to each one.
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Before we start, stand facing the rising sun. Imagine you are a condor waking up after a cold and wet night. Close your eyes. Lift your arms and let the new sun's rays dry your feathers.
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Exercise 1. Sun Rays Bathing.
Stand with legs spread. Bend your knee slightly (Exhale) while scooping the energy of the morning dew with the palms of your hands. Straighten your leg (Inhale) while raising your arms above your head toward the sun. Turn the palms of your hand and pour the sun energy down your head, shoulders, and entire body. Repeat.
Exercise 2. Lungs Cleansing.
Stand with legs spread. While turning to the left (Inhale deeply), your right hand hits your left rib cage lightly, turn to the right (Exhale strongly)and now your left hand hits the right side. Repeat.
Exercise 3. Invigorate your Neck and Shoulders.
Stand with spread legs. While turning to the left (Inhale deeply), your right hand hits the point where the neck meets your shoulders, turn to the right (Exhale strongly) and now your left hand hits the right side. Repeat.
Exercise 4. Balancing Act.
Stand straight on your left leg while your right leg is folded over it like the #4 (or like a stork). Lift your hands (inhale) from both sides toward the sun. Bend forward all the way down (exhale) until your knee touches your stomach, with your palm collecting the earth's energy. Ascend again (inhale) and bring your hands above your head, offering the earth's energy to the sun. Change legs, stand on your right leg, and repeat.
Exercise 5. Sun Offerings.
Stand straight. Step forward with your left leg. (Exhale). Bend your knees; the right shin needs to be paralleled to the ground—scoop (inhale) the earth's energy from the ground with your hands. Rise up (Inhale) while moving your left leg backward, leaning on your toes, and arching your back while raising your hands to the sun. Change legs, start on your right leg, and repeat.
Exercise 6. Life’s Cycle.
Stand straight. Step forward with your left leg (Exhale). Bend your knees so the right shin will be parallel to the ground. Scoop the earth's energy from your right side with your hands from the ground. Rise up, (inhale and hold your breath) turn around and face West, while moving your left leg backward and leaning on your toes arching your back. Raise your hands to the moon. Change legs, start on your right leg, and repeat.
Exercise 7. Devotion
Opening with your left leg, first, throw yourself towards the sun. Grab Taita Inti with your two palms and strongly bring it to your heart as you call the name of Taita Inti. Repeat and then change to the right leg.
Exercise 8. Luminous Body Protection.
Stand with spread legs. Bend the legs. Inhale deeply, while turning to the left, your hands stretched out; turn from side to side in big circles, Exhale strongly. Imagine you are creating a shield around your entire luminous body from top to bottom.
Exercise 9. Sun Meditation.
Stand on the tips of your toes while your heels are touching, bend your knees, and stand as low as you can (don’t overdo it). Raise your hands in front of your eyes and create a window with your palm through which you can see the sun. (Index fingers and thumbs are touching). Stand with open eyes for as long as you can, and breathe softly and naturally. Do not gaze at the Sun directly.