Need a Go-To Yoga Practice? Then Salute the Sun
If you need a go-to yoga practice you can squeeze into any day, no matter how busy you are then look no further than the complete mini-practice of sun salutations!
What is a Sun Salutation?
Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, are the foundation of my Yoga practice. They can and do serve as all of the following:
Re-aligning the body between postures
Complete mini asana practice
Surya Namaskar sequences are literally bowing to or saluting the sun or Surya. Sun salutations are made up of a sequence of movements in a flow that serve to provide a full body practice opening the front body and back body.
Benefits of Sun Salutations
The Yoga I teach is Ashtanga-inspired, and sun saluations and parts thereof feature heavily. We use Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B to warm up the body fully before progressing to the standing postures.
Not only that, but between postures in Ashtanga yoga, we perform "vinyasa" which are essentially half sun salutations, and the reason for this is to reset the body between postures.
In Ashtanga yoga we also combine Ujjayi breath and drishti with the sun saluations, which transform the flow into a moving meditation, with all of the wonderful benefits that has on our mental and emotional wellbeing as well.
All of these benefits of Sun Salutations make them the perfect go-to practice!
There are various Surya Namaskar sequences. The two that I practice mostly and teach are Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B. Both are slightly different, but both as beneficial. I have included a short video of one round of Surya Namaskar A followed by one round of Surya Namaskar B to show you what it looks like.
You can find lots of tutorials on You Tube or online yoga platforms if this is new to you. Or even better I would advise you go to a class or directly to a yoga teacher and have them show you so you can learn the proper breath synchronisation and alignment to protect your body. If you're in or near Belfast I'll be happy to show you :D.
Mix it up!
If you like to add a bit of variety to your Sun Salutation practice, there are plenty of ways to do this! Just a few suggestions:
Move through the sequence super slow
Close your eyes
Play some music*
Practice with someone else in sync with each other
*A song I LOVE for this is Kai Franz Surya Namaskar (you can find it on YouTube).
As always, I would love to hear from you. Do you have any tips or questions about Sun Salutations? Get in touch!