The Sun Salutation (AKA Surya Namaskaara) is one of the very basics when it comes to yoga, practised by both newbies and experienced yogis. However, I only learnt the series properly a few months ago, when I went to my first Mysore yoga class.
The Sanskrit word is Surya Namaskaara, so write that down if you wanna sound cool! And on top of this, there are two versions, A & B.
- Surya Namaskara A is the standard Sun Salutation. Despite it looks “easy”, doing the poses correctly is actually very hard, especially when it comes to chatarunga. Inhaling and exhaling at the correct times is essential, and requires your full attention to do it right. Then, we do 5 long breathings during downward facing dog.
- Surya Namaskara B is the same as A but starts and ends with chair pose and includes warrior one poses after each downward facing dog. First the right leg, then the left. And again, 5 long breathings during the third downward facing dog (the other two are just transitions).
How to work out the breathing?
Breathing correcting is probably what helps the most when it comes to reaching the ZEN point. With so many moves, it is easy to get confused and end up breathing all over the place. As a simple tip, remember to breath IN at the very beginning when you lift your arms up. Then OUT with the following move, and so on, accompanying each move with a breath IN, then the next move with the breath OUT.
As you can see below, normally the breathing IN happens when we look up, while the breathing OUT goes with lower and inner poses.
Sun Salutations are quick and easy to practise. They are great for warming up the body, as well as giving it a quick stretch on a lazy day. If you are new at yoga, this is a nice way of getting started 🙂