The sun salutation is an ancient way of expressing gratitude toward the sun, which is the source of all life on the planet. There would be no life on Earth if there were no sun. The ancient Rishis of India believed that the solar plexus chakra, which is located behind the navel (the central point of the human body) is said to be connected with the Sun. Therefore, the Rishis recommended the practice of ‘Surya Namaskar’ Sun Salutations as it increases one’s creativity and intuitive abilities, if practiced regularly.
The sun salutations are meant to warm up the body at the beginning of your yoga practice. They are preferably meant to be done at the time of the sunrise, but of course can be practiced at whichever hour. It helps to lengthen and strengthen the body but also promotes a calming and relaxing sensation as well. So if you don’t have enough time to dedicate for a full practice, a few rounds of sun salutations will still do so much good for you. If you are an Ashtanga practitioner, Sun Salutations A & B are already included in the series.
Surya Namaskar A
1- Stand in Samasthiti, bring both feet together with the heels separated.
2- Inhale raise the arms up, bring the palms together and look at the thumbs.
3- Exhale fold forward, bring the forehead to the knees. Bring the abdomen in look at the toes.
4- Inhale look halfway up, keep the spine straight.
5- Exhale bring the hands on the floor, step or jump back to a push-up position (chaturanga dandasana)
6- Inhale, straighten the arms for upward facing dog. Knees are straight and lifted, make sure not to rest on your shoulders, keep your gaze upward.
7- Exhale, push the hips up to downward facing dog. Bring the heels to the floor, chin towards the chest. Gaze towards your bellybutton. Legs straight, kneecaps lifted. Open the shoulders and spread the fingers. Abdomen inwards.
8- Stay here for 5 full breaths.
9- Inhale, bend the knees, look forward and step or jump forward to your hands. Look halfway up and lengthen the spine.
10- Exhale, fold forward and bring your forehead towards the knees.
11- Inhale, rise all the way up, raise the arms and look at your thumbs.
12- Exhale, bring the arms down to Samasthiti.
13- Repeat this at least 3 to 5 times.
There is also Surya Namaskar B, where once you arrive to downward facing dog, the next step would be to go to warrior 1 on the right side, chaturanga dandasana and warrior 1 on the left side, chaturanga dandasana to downward facing dog, stay for 5 breaths and continue.
We also encourage you to practice this 3-5 times at the beginning of your practice.
If you do them at a slow pace, it helps to make the body flexible. A medium pace helps to tone the muscles and a fast pace is a great cardiovascular workout, which also helps in losing weight. Therefore, you can do the sun salutations at whichever pace you prefer because they each have their own benefits. We hope you are inspired to practice or continue your practice of Sun Salutations to keep your body healthy and the mind calm. <3