Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yoga Poses: Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar A & B
Sun Salutation A & B

Sun Salutations are typically how we begin our Vinyasa (breath linked to motion) Yoga(Union) practice. The purpose of our Sun Salutation sequence is to warm up before entering other Asanas (postures). As we go through each motion of our Sun Salutations we typically flow from one to the next with just one breath for each posture -- inhaling to open and stretch the front of the body and exhaling to fold forward (stretch the back) or close the front of the body. Obviously the original purpose of Sun Salutations was to Greet the Sun, each new day. To warm and prepare for the days' work.

Below is a typical Sun Salutation A & Sun Salutation B Sequence. Beginning and ending inTadasana (
Mountain Posture) or Samasthiti  (Equal Standing Posture) Tadasna &Samasthiti are the same posture, you will find both names used interchangeably in various classes. 

Surya Namaskar A is a flow from Mountain Pose, inhale arms up, exhale to forward fold, inhaling to a flat back, lift the heart and exhaling, bend the knees and step back to the top of a push up, descend to the ground or float with shoulders and elbows in a parallel plane to the ground and pulling the heart through to cobra (On the knees) on an inhale or Upward Facing Dog (knees lifted from the ground). Exhale to Downward Facing Dog (stay for 5 breaths). Inhale to prepare, exhale to bend knees, step forward to the top of the mat, lifting the heart with your inhale, flat back. Exhale to forward fold, Inhale back to reach overhead and palms come together back to Mountain posture.

Surya Namaskar B is similar but adds Uttkatasana Chair Pose and Virbadrasana 1 Warrior A.

This chart comes from an Ashtanga lineage which is a higher energy flow working core, strength and flexibility of the muscles. Each Ashtanga sequence begins with 5 Surya Namaskar A and 5 Surya Namaskar B as a warm up. This page suggests you practice this at least every day as well as a few finishing postures.

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