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GOOD DAY SUNSHINE - AN INTRODUCTION TO SUN SALUTATIONS

Surya Namaskar translates from Sanskrit to something along the lines of "adoring" or "bowing to" the Sun. Now these sequences of postures meant to invigorate the body and spiritual heart are commonly called Sun Salutations. When practiced quickly, they are very warming and excellently prepare the body for further yoga or physical practices. When practiced slowly, the postures bring a meditative presence to the body and mind. The steps are simple and intentional, beginning and ending with the palms at heart center to signal adoration and appreciation for the sun, the divine light that exists within all of us.

Breathing is very important to this practice. As you flow, try to match the inhalations and exhalations to the totality of the movement. For instance, try to extend the inhale as the hands move away from the heart all the way to the sky. Once the breath completes its course, allow the exhalation to lead you down into the forward fold. As you become comfortable with the breath initiating and finishing the movement, you will begin to develop a natural pace that suits you each day.

Follow along to our Sun Salutation videos in the mornings upon waking or whenever you need a moment to refresh the mind, heart and body.

Half Sun Salutation A / Surya Namaskar A

Start standing tall in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with feet 2-3 inches apart, hands at heart center and chin parallel to the floor.

  • Inhale… arms reach to the sky while remaining firmly planted through all four corners of the feet
  • Exhale… hinge at the hips and fold forward, draping the chest over the thighs
  • Inhale… lift halfway bringing hands to the thighs or shins. Spine is long from tailbone to crown of the head
  • Exhale… fold forward as neck and head relax completely
  • Inhale… with bent knees and engaged core, rise to standing arms towards the sky
  • Exhale… hands to heart center. shoulders roll down the back

Sun Salutation A / Surya Namaskar A

Start standing tall in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with feet 2-3 inches apart, hands at heart center and chin parallel to the floor.

  • Inhale… arms reach to the sky while remaining firmly planted through all four corners of the feet
  • Exhale… hinge at the hips and fold forward, draping the chest over the thighs
  • Inhale… lift halfway bringing hands to the thighs or shins. Spine is long from tailbone to crown of the head
  • Exhale… fold forward as neck and head relax completely
  • Inhale… plant the palms in front of you and step back to a plank position. Stack wrists, elbows and shoulders on top of each other. Reach back through the heels and energetically draw navel to spine.
  • Exhale… shift shoulders just past the wrists and descend with the breath to Chatarunga Dandasana or all the way to the belly.
  • Inhale… shoulders roll back and chest expands as you roll over the toes on to the tops of the feet and stretch the abdomen
  • Exhale… Hips lead to the sky coming back into downward facing dog, perhaps keeping the knees gently bent so the spine can be super long and straight
  • Inhale… bend the knees and look forward as you walk to the top of the mat
  • Exhale… release the torso over the thighs. Head and neck are limp and heavy
  • Inhale… lift halfway with hands on front of shins or thighs. gaze at the floor in front of you for full spinal extension
  • Exhale… forward fold as you rotate your tailbone to the sky
  • Inhale… with bent knees and engaged midsection rise to standing arms towards the sky
  • Exhale… hands to heart center. shoulders roll down the back
  • Smile :)



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