Sun salutation-Surya Namaskar
Sun salutation is a sequence of asanas traditionally practiced at sunrise.The name translates “to bow to”or “to adore” the Sun, our primary source of light.
They are beautifully designed to warm up the body if practiced correctly alongside with controlled breath. The asanas slowly wake up the joints and muscles,energising the body and mind so it’s ready for the day. There are a few variations of Sun salutations depending on yoga style, the image below shows the traditional hatha one.
1. It is advisable to do a gentle warm up before Sun salutations, especially the wrists and to go VERY GENTLY with the first round (knees bend to protect hamstrings,slow movements and as always:listen to your body !)
2. Focus on your breathing , it should flow easily with the movements, generally inhale when you are opening the chest and exhale when bending forward (to create more space in the body) and don’t worry, it will come with practice naturally 😉 .
3.What you do in the morning can influence your whole day, so don’t forget that beautiful smile, it will have an effect on you. The science behind it is called the facial feedback hypothesis (your brain detects your facial muscles smiling and sends “happy” signals. Yaay.)
4. It is up to you how many times you repeat the sequence, traditionally it could go up to 108 rounds.. If you practice the hatha sun salutations 3-6 rounds on both sides is a very nice start, it can be your warm up or your stand alone morning practice.
5. Traditionally each asana has it’s own mantra (sacred word(s) that create special vibrations/energy in the body). You can chant sanskrit mantras or create your own(I am a big fan of that:), just do whatever is organic and authentic to You, it is your practice after all. Sometimes I like to listen to music, starting with a slower paced song for the first few sets moving into more energetic ones.
6. After you completed the Sun salutations, always give yourself some time to rest, Savasana time:) . Pranayama(breathing) and meditation should follow your morning routine as well to prepare your mind and body for the day.
More about that next time 😉!