Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. Read this post to learn how to make the postures!
Benefits of Yoga
Movement is a crucial part of our daily life. Our lives have become more and more sedentary, so planned and purposed exercise has become a necessity. Life used to be much more active, and incidental exercise was sufficient, as people worked on farms and walked long distances to work.
Our bodies are designed for movement and movement is a crucial element to our vitality. Listen to your body and honor how you feel. Regular movement can increase your strength, stamina and resistance to disease. The more you move, the more energy you will generate!
Nowadays the mysticism of yoga has been removed and the stigma that was attached to it as some cult-like practice has disappeared, every third person walking down the street has a yoga mat, and there are yoga studios popping up in cities everywhere. It’s a phenomenon!
However, as a yogi (male) or yogini (female), you should know that the practice of yoga extends far beyond the practice of asanas. When your mind, body and spirit are truly in union, you are really practicing yoga.
In the ‘Yoga Sutras‘, Patanjali focuses on ashtanga yoga – literally meaning ‘eight limbs’ – to reach enlightenment. Starting with ethical living and self-discipline (yama and niyama), then performing asanas to connect with yourself, creating freedom through your breath (pranayama), freedom from sensory engagement (pratyahara), practice of focused concentration on one point (dharana), uninterrupted contemplative meditation (dhyana) and finally a pure blissful state (samadhi).
This post will be focussed on asanas. Your practice should be to move with mindfulness and bring focus to your breath in each pose, this is the essence of yoga. Yoga directs and channels prana, your life force energy, as you engage your body.
Yoga postures are designed to help stretch, massage and tone the body muscles and organs. With regular practice, you can build strength, stamina, flexibility and awareness. Yoga is now widely recognized for its health benefits, such as bringing down high blood pressure and high blood sugar, reducing the risk of heart disease alleviating depression and anxiety. My simple yoga practice really enables me to connect with my body and keeps me grounded and stable so that I can face challenges that come my way.
So maybe it’s time to get in on the action!
Popular Yoga Asanas (Poses)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose)
Vrksasana (tree pose)
Malasana (garland pose)
Dandasana (staff pose)
Uttanasana (standing forward bend pose)
Virabhadrasana I (warrior I pose)
Virabhadrasana II (warrior II pose)
Marjaryasana (cat pose)
Bitilasana (cow pose)
Balasana (child pose)
Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Dhanurasana (bow pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose)
Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)
Ustrasana (camel pose)
Viparita Virabhadrasana (reverse warrior pose)
Utkatasana (chair pose)
Savasana (corpse pose)
Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar
This ingenious twelve-posture yoga sequence know as Surya Namaskar can be tailored to suit your constitution by adapting the pace. It is a fluid warm-up sequence that is performed at the beginning of the day. Unlike aerobic exercise, this sequence is done slowly, purposefully and gently with a focus on your breath. This sequence helps stimulate blood circulation, regulate the nervous system, clear the brain and bring shine to the eyes. You will simply glow!