The sun salutation sequence is a dynamic series of yoga postures which when combined with breath awareness and concentration forms a powerful matrix of rhythm, form and energy.
The 12 postures that make up the sequence relate to the different phases of the sun as it moves through a day reminding us of the continual flux and flow of energy which influences our thinking, feelings and behaviour.
Surya Namaskara is a complete yogic workout as it contains pranayama when breathing consciously with movements and also meditation when focusing on the different energy centres related to each posture. It is straightforward to learn, easy to remember and there are modified versions of it that make it accessible to everybody no matter their shape size, ability or age. You can even do it in a chair. For those looking to challenge themselves try it moving more slowly, holding postures for 5 breaths, taking high lunge options and integrating the plank pose instead of the 8- point salute.
Just do one or a few postures a day to start – the trick is every day! Don’t just rely on your weekly class to keep your practice going. I know it’s a head-shift but so worth the effort.
Mini sequences can easily be created using parts of the full practice. For example, the first 3 postures link well as a standing flow, unfolding from hand to foot pose and extending upwards stretching the torso in raised arms pose and exhaling back into prayer pose. Mini flows work well to consolidate the individual postures, spending more time exploring the details related to alignment and focusing on specific areas that are tighter or weak.
The sequence puts the spine through most of its major movement patterns so another reason why it’s a complete workout from the inside out.
Stagnation and lowered energy can easily creep in during the cold winter months when we exercise less and are more prone to colds and infections.
Take a little time each day to do this sequence and you will soon realize its amazing benefits.
Hari Aum Pragyadhara