Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara is the ritual salute to the sun god. Practiced correctly, it results in physical and mental health; paving the way for spiritual awareness in all aspects of life.

Surya Namaskara introduces the method that we practice in order to achieve the state called “yoga”. This is the union of body, mind and soul, leading to self realisation. This method is vinyasa (breath/movement synchronicity); incorporating ujjayi (victorious breath), dristis (gaze points), and the bandhas (energy seals or locks) that channel and direct the flow of internal energy and protect the body. When these three principle techniques merge as one, focus, “tristana” is achieved; a powerful wave of fluidity and grace unleashing the energies of the five elements.

Vinyasa” means “movement/breathing”;that is, one breath; one synchronised movement. Surya Namaskara A has nine vinyasas; Surya Namaskara B has seventeen; (that is, 9/17 movements synchronised to the rhythm of the ujjayi breath, each with its own gaze point).

Repetition, as movements are repeated, introduces the meditative quality to the practice.

Practising dristi and listening to the sound of ujjayi helps to draw the focus inside to the breath-bandha connection – explored deeply in the 6th vinyasa-Adho Mukha Svanasana).

Stemming from the controlled state of mind produced by the repetition of the vinyasas, there is also a physical reaction; the body begins to produce an inner heat, essential to the process of purification. In addition it acts to warm the joints and muscles, preparing them for the physical work to follow – yoga Chikitsa – (complete primary series).

I feel the Surya Namaskara do stand alone; helpful to every individual however limited their time or indeed, flexibility. They may only form the foundations of a yoga practice, but I use them as a warm up or a warm down for myself and clients; for various fitness programmes including: running, cycling, swimming and snowboarding. They invigorate, tone, strengthen and lift the spirit!

Use them for yourself – remember; if you cannot grasp bandha, dristi or ujjayi concepts, then always keep the pubic abdomen drawn in strongly throughout the practice. If you want to learn more, consult a qualified instructor – and practice!

   Surya Namaskara A
   Surya Namaskara B

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