Surya Namaskar is a traditional practice in yoga with a sequence of twelve gracefully connected asanas or poses. The asana series initially originated in the ancient Hatha Yoga (Hatha yoga refers to an approach to yoga that emphasizes spiritual growth rather than physical fitness) tradition in India in the ninth century. The asana practice has been modified over time to suit the needs of practitioners better.
Ashtanga – Teaches The Basics of Surya Namaskar & Yoga
The sequence of Surya was first taught to B.K.S. Iyengar (now the founder of Ashtanga), and as he continued practicing, he began to include more poses in his series. The most popular pose in this group is the Sukhasana, which is sometimes also called Bhastrika. In this pose, the legs are spread widely and both arms are raised above the head. The chest is then brought into prominence by placing the hands on the lower chest and squeezing the muscles there or sometimes placing them on the shoulder blades. Both eyes should be turned toward the sky while maintaining good vision.
Learn The Right Steps To Surya Namaskar
To perform the Sukhasana, the student should begin in Hatha position by bending forward slightly and resting one leg on the opposite side of the body. Then bring the upper part of the right thigh across the buttocks and into the sitting position, allowing the foot to come to rest against the buttocks while keeping the left foot on the floor.
From this position, the student can bend forward, bringing the left knee and ankle with it, until the right knee is parallel with the floor. Then bring the right leg up to meet at the hip level, keeping the weight evenly distributed throughout both legs. The back of the heel is kept flat against the ground, and the shoulders are pulled toward the spine.
Next, the student steps into Hatha positions by placing his left foot on the outside of the left knee. He should move his left hand from under the navel to bring the right knee into line with the right knee. Then the left palm should be placed on the right thigh, with fingers pointing toward the stomach.
The student moves his left arm into the Hatha position by bringing the wrist up and away from the heart towards the chest. While at the same time bringing the hand under the navel.
From here, the student begins to bend forward, bringing the left leg up under his body, while placing his left foot on the outside of the right knee and the heel of the left foot. This brings the right arm back down to its original position while drawing it back toward the chest. The left palm is then brought to meet the right elbow. And the right forearm is squeezed gently.
What More To Learn?
This sequence can be repeated several times while maintaining the same alignment and emphasis of the breath. The student should keep his attention centered on the sun with the breath in the stomach and head.
After a few attempts, the student can slowly begin to relax. It’s important to note that this Hatha sequence can be done with or without props.
The mudra may be held for a few seconds and repeated a few times. As with many pranayama, the student should practice the sequence several times before moving on to more difficult postures. Once you feel comfortable with the mudra, then you can move onto the more difficult postures.
However, to make the pranayama more challenging, you can hold the mudra for five minutes in between each repetition. This will help increase the flexibility of the muscles. You can also add props to your pranayama routines.
Surya Namaskar In A Nutshell
Once the mudra is mastered, you will be ready for a challenging Pranayama. When practicing Pranayama, you can incorporate a few poses to work on different parts of the body. By holding the mudra, you can strengthen parts of your body such as the abdomen, chest, and abdomen.