Sun Salutations - Surya Namaskara

  Classical Version of the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) Video by Zoya Lu  
   
   

Salutation pose (Namaskarasana)


Start in
Tadasana
. As you inhale bring the palms together in Namaskara mudra. Close the eyes and visualize the sun between the eyebrows. Mentally salute the sun, evoking solar energy inside you.

 

  

 

   

Mountain pose (Tadasana)

As you exhale, release the arms down alongside the body coming back to the starting position.
   
  

 
Upward stretch (Urdhvasana)


On inhalation, keeping the arms shoulder width apart, stretch them up over the head and bend backwards gently. Move the tailbone towards the pubic bone, engage the buttocks to push the hips forward, lift up from the lower back and create an even arch in the lower, middle and upper back. Make sure that the shoulders remain relaxed down. Keep the head in alignment with the spine and look upwards or, as the upper back arches deeper, look back behind you.

   
  

Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)


On exhalation, bend forwards from the hips (not from the waist), keeping the arms in line with the torso and the back as long and flat as you can. If possible, with straight knees, bring the palms to the ground beside the feet, placing fingertips in line with the toe tips, and keeping an even gap between the foot and palm on both sides. In case of lower back problems, bend the knees to prevent straining the back.

   The right leg will lead first half a round as we are activating the right side of the body which is associated with Pingala Nadi and solar energy.
  

 

Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)


On inhalation, take a big step backwards with the right leg, placing the right knee and the top of the right foot down on the ground. The fingertips stay in line with the left toe tips. Keep the left knee pointing forwards in the direction of the middle toe and right on top of the heel so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Lower the hips forward and downward - they should face squarely forward. Roll the shoulders back and down, pressing the chest forward. Lengthen the spine and look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the ground.



   
  

Plank pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)


On exhalation, without moving the hips upwards, step back the left foot placing it parallel to the left one. The shoulders come directly over the wrists, the arms are straight, and the torso is parallel to the floor. Spread the fingers apart with the middle finger pointing forward. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, and spread them away from the spine. Press the front thighs up towards the ceiling, but scoop the tailbone down towards the floor as you lengthening it in the direction of the heels. Keep the head in line with the spine and the neck long, gazing downwards. Press the heels back and the crown of the head forward.


Inhale, as you are holding the pose.

   
  

Salute with eight points pose (Sashtanga Namaskarasana)


On exhalation, drop the knees straight down to the ground while keeping the hips up, off the ground. As you are bending the elbows, lower the chest down to the ground right between the palms, bringing also the chin down to the ground. The full variation is to place the forehead down, but choose it only if you can do so without touching the ground with the nose. The hands should be on both sides of the chest and parallel to each other, while the elbows are pointing upward. In this pose, eight parts of the body - the toes, knees, chest, hands and chin or forehead touch the floor. The buttocks, hips and abdomen should be raised off the ground.  

   
  

 
Cobra (Bhujangasana)


On inhalation, without moving the hands, slide forward until the hips are on the ground. Raise the torso, arch the back and push the chest forward into the backbend.

   
  

 
Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)


On exhalation, tuck the toes under, without allowing the hands or feet to move from their position, bring the hips up and back, and press the chest towards the knees until the arms are in line with the torso. Drop the head down between the arms.

   
  

Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)


On inhalation, step the right foot forward, bringing the toe tips in line with the fingertips, positioning the right foot close to the right palm. Lower the left knee and the top of the foot down to the ground and release the hips forward and downward. Keep the right knee pointing in the direction of the middle toe, and right on top of the heel, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Roll the shoulders back and down, pressing the chest forward. Lengthen the spine and look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the ground.

   
  

Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)


On exhalation, without moving the hands, step the left foot forward positioning it hip-width, and parallel to the right foot.

   
  

Upward stretch (Urdhvasana)


On inhalation, keeping the arms in line with the torso and shoulder width apart, come up into a standing position and reach back in a bend. In case of low blood pressure or back problems, gently roll up to a standing position and then bend backwards. Move the tailbone towards the pubic bone, engage the buttocks to push the hips forward, lift up from the lower back and create an even arch in the lower, middle and upper back. Make sure that the shoulders remain relaxed down. Keep the head in alignment with the spine and look upwards or, as the upper back arches deeper, look back behind you.

   
  

 
Mountain pose (Tadasana)


Exhale and release the arms down alongside the body coming back to the starting position.

 -------------------------------------------------

 
To accomplish a round, do this sequence with the left leg leading –stepping the left leg back into the first lunge, and, after the Down Dog, stepping the left leg forward into the lunge.

Repeat 3-9 rounds either quickly as a cardiovascular workout or slowly as meditation in action.

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