The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
Sometimes in our lives we live such in a hurry, and end it up forgetting to pay attention at our surroundings and to breathe.
To make a change start practicing four rounds and gradually build up to twelve rounds, right after you get out of the bed. Making that a habit will bring you many benefits. To quote Krishan Verma, senior Art of Living Yoga teacher, “It is better to practice daily for 20 minutes than to practice for an hour occasionally.”
Practicing Sun Salutation at different speeds can have different effects. It is a great workout for the whole body and a cardio if you do a few quick rounds. Works as a warm up and it’s great before you initiate your sequence or your day. If you do it slow it can help strengthen and tone your body muscles. You can also use the breathe to bring the body, mind in harmony enjoying a complete meditative experience.
You can do a couple rounds together with a breathing exercise and you will note the difference in your day, you will see that day is going to be smoother and calm, and you will be more aware of your surroundings.
The sun salutation is composed by 12 positions that helps you bring great flexibility to your spine and joints. It warms up the whole body in preparation to your Asana.
- Standing in the front of your mat with your feet together, put your hands in the prayer position in front of your chest. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed, ground yourself to the floor and stay firm and tall; exhale.
- Inhaling, rise and stretch your arms up to the sky and arch your back from the waist, pushing the hips out, with your legs straight.
- Exhaling, fold forward and press your palms down, fingertips in line with toes - bend your knees if necessary. Relax your neck
- Inhaling, bring the left (or right) leg back and place the knee on the floor into lower lunge. Arch back and look up, lifting your chin.
- Holding the breath, bring the other leg back and support your weight on hands and toes and come into a plank position.
- Exhaling lower your knees, then your chest and then your forehead (knees, chest and chin to the floor), keeping yourhips up and your toes curled under.
- Inhaling, lower your hips, point your toes and bend back. Keep legs together and shoulders down. Look up and back, cobra pose.
- Exhaling, curl your toes under, raise your hips and pivot into an inverted "V"shape. Try to push your heels and head down, keep your shoulders back.
- Inhaling, step forward and place the left (or right) foot between your hands. Rest the other knee on the floor, into lower lunge and look up, and lifting your chin.
- Exhaling, bring the other leg forward and bend down from the waist, pressing the palms down
- Inhaling, stretch your arms forward, then up and back over your head, bend back slowly from the waist.
- Exhaling, gently come back to an upright position and bring your arms down by your sides.