Do you practice Art of Living Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)? Would you like an even better experience? The following tips can help you make the most out of your Sun Salutation experience. Happy Sun Salutation!
Tip 1: Warm up before you begin.
Start your Surya Namaskar practices by doing some gentle stretches before you begin. Yoga postures are easier when the body is relaxed.
Tip 2: West or East? (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)
When performing Surya Namaskar, which way should I face? Sun Salutation should be performed in the morning facing the East, and in the evening facing the West.
Tip 3: Add an attitude of gratitude.
Practice mindfulness by being thankful for the things that you have in your life, big and small. It is always more successful if you focus on what you already have.
Tips for doing Surya Namaskar gracefully
Tip 5: Smile a lot (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)
You’ll be surprised how much difference it makes! Movements will become more enjoyable for you. Energy can be maintained with a smile.
Tip 6: Do your Surya Namaskars mindfully.
The entire practice relies on this element. As long as you practice it slowly, with awareness on your breath, and with gratitude, Surya Namaskar can be very energizing. The Ashtanga Namaskara (6th pose), for instance, activates the solar plexus, which corresponds to the navel chakra, the reservoir of energy. This releases a great deal of energy and leaves us feeling very energized. A person can feel the energy flow starting at the navel chakra and circulating throughout the body if done with awareness.
Tip 7 Breathing should be natural. (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)
Breathe normally (not in Ujjayi) while doing the Sun Salutation. It is also advisable to breathe slowly. Throughout each breath, be aware of how you inhale and exhale. Maintain a steady breathing pattern while moving your body.
Tip 8 Surya Namaskar is best practiced with mantra chanting.
Mantras and Sun Salutations affect the mind and body in subtle yet powerful ways because of their vibrational power. In honor of the Sun, each Surya Namaskar pose has 12 corresponding mantras. Take your attention to each chakra as you do each posture (12 chakras for each posture). We pay attention to the Anahata Chakra, which is located near the heart, in the first pose (Namaskarasana). Your practice becomes profoundly spiritual and meditative when you incorporate mantra chants and awareness of chakras along with gratitude. (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)
Tips 9 You can use Surya Namaskar as a warm-up or a standalone exercise.
Time-pressed individuals should choose the latter option. In just 10-15 minutes, you can complete several rounds of Sun Salutations. Sun Salutations should be routinely practiced six times or twelve times. It can also be done as a warm-up exercise before doing intense yoga postures such as Padma Sadhana. When preparing for a workout, you can perform Surya Namaskars faster than usual. Practice them slowly or medium speed when practicing yoga postures. A few rounds of active yoga postures provide you with a feeling of lightness and flexibility while the stretches become deeper. Fast Sun Salutations should be avoided if you suffer from back pain.
Tips 10: Relax once you have completed Surya Namaskar.
Immediately after you have finished your last Surya Namaskar, lie down and relax. For best results, it is advisable to lie down in Yoga Nidra, giving the body enough time to assimilate the effects of the stretches. However, if you are short on time, you can relax for a few minutes in Corpse Pose, for complete rest to the mind and body.
Tip 11 The secret is in putting effort and then letting go. (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)
Last, but surely not the least, this is the most important tip to enhance your Surya Namaskar experience. Like every yoga posture, when you start doing Surya Namaskars in the beginning, you will need to put in a little effort. That effort is required, as it helps channelize the Rajoguna or restlessness in the body and then what remains is simple harmony or Sattva. So Rajoguna gets exhausted with exercise and Sattva leads you to meditation – the feeling of letting go.
Including all of these in our daily practice of Surya Namaskar can make the experience a complete sadhana – one which includes asana (posture), pranayama (breathing), mantra (chants), and chakra meditation. (Art of Living Surya Namaskar)