SUN SALUTATIONS: WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY DO WE PRACTICE THEM?
In the most literal sense, a Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar, called in Sanskrit, the language of yoga, is a specific series of yoga poses performed in sequence.
While the history of the physical practice of the Surya Namaskar sequence is a bit unclear, it is known that it was initially a sequence of sacred words honouring the sun that would be chanted at sunrise each morning rather than the sequence of poses we are familiar with today.
Why do we honour the sun? As Shiva Rea, creator of Prana Flow Yoga and founder of the Global Mala Project, put it, “All of life on Earth depends on the sun.”
Sun Salutations are an energizing sequence that links body, breath and mind in a moving meditation of gratitude for the life force and healing energy the sun provides. While they can be practised at any time of the day, it’s often suggested that the early morning hours are a perfect time for Sun Salutations since the mind is most likely calm and clear first thing in the morning.
The Sun Salutation sequence is essential to the vinyasa (or flow) yoga practice. This series is used as an energy-building warm-up and often repeated throughout practice as a smooth transition between other sequences. Because Sun Salutations are repeated often during class, practising them with proper pose alignment and breath work is essential.
To learn more about Sun Salutations, proper pose alignment and transitions, and how to work them into your practice, join a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at AYM Yoga School in Goa. The course starts on the 05th of every month until the 27th.
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