In yoga, Surya Namaskar, or “Salutation to the Sun,” is considered to be the most famous complex. It’s possible that this name has played a role in the perception of this complex – many people think of it as a morning warm-up. In fact, it’s not quite like that, and Surya Namaskar is a full body practice, which can safely be equated with a workout.
By the way, why the name “Salutation to the Sun” appeared. It’s several asanas aimed at stretching and bending, so it looks as if the yogi bows to the sun, thereby welcoming it and the new day. But there’s nothing forbidding you to do this complex both in the morning and in the evening. But in any case you shouldn’t consider Surya Namaskar as an alternative to a workout.
Greetings to the Sun” morning exercise routine
The full circle of Surya Namaskar consists of two cycles, consisting of twelve exercises. The first cycle consists of the following postures.
- Tadasana, Mountain pose: stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Pranamasana, Prayer Pose: fold your hands in a “namaste.”
- Hasta Uttanasana, Arms outstretched pose: stretch your folded arms up and bend backwards. If you feel severe pain in the lower back, you should reduce the bend – do not do the asana through pain.
- Padahasthasana, Stork pose: bend over so that your head touches your legs and arms touch your feet, keeping your legs straight.
- Ashva Sanchalanasana, Rider pose: take a step back with your right foot, put your knee on the floor, bend your left knee slightly, keeping your shin perpendicular to the floor and your hands on the floor.
- From the Rider pose, step backward with your left leg so that both legs are straight and the body assumes the Planka pose. This pose can be challenging in the second half of pregnancy – do not extend your legs, but kneel instead, distributing your weight between your arms and legs.
- Bhujangasana, Cobra pose: Put your knees on the floor, point your hips forward and bend at the thorax.
- Lift your pelvis up from Cobra pose, straighten your knees and do Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downward-facing dog pose.
- Start the second cycle – it’s almost the same as the first one, only the legs change. Again Ashva Sanchalanasana: now the right leg should be in front.
- Hasta Uttanasana.
During the practice legs must be slightly tense, back straightened, you should feel your muscles and your body.
When you perform the Sun Salutation complex, do not forget about safety techniques. And this says not only about doing the warm-up, but also about being conscious of this practice and how you feel during it. Learn how to breathe correctly – you have to do it before you start practicing yoga. You have to learn how to breathe correctly. The basic rule is: when you exhale your muscles have to contract, when you inhale they have to relax. And the main thing is not to rush anywhere. If you’ve planned a time for yoga practice, you shouldn’t try to do anything else besides asanas. Do everything calmly, follow the correct technique – this will help you video-exercises recorded by professional instructors.
The hatha yoga complex “Greetings to the Sun” should be performed at a calm pace, observing the sequence of asanas. When you have mastered the technique and memorized all asanas and the entire sequence of exercises, then begin to monitor your breathing, and then your thoughts. If you do the Sun Salutation in the morning, you can mentally recite words that will energize you for the day ahead.
Is the Surya Namaskar complex effective?
There’s a reason we say complex: Surya Namaskar is beneficial for all parts of the body, the joints and all muscle groups. That’s why muscles become more flexible, joints become more mobile, and also it normalizes blood flow, stimulates internal organs, and that’s why it’s easier to do more complicated asanas. But that’s not all: People who practice Sun Salutation regularly report a decrease in stress and anxiety, and the development of inner equilibrium and tranquility.