I have written about the basic yoga sequence for beginners in the past, which also included the sun salutation.
If you think you have mastered the sequence and the right form, here are some tips to help you maximize the positive effects of sun salutation in invigorating your body.
Yoga Practice Basics Tips On Sun Salutation
Do you want to make your yoga practice even more complete and meaningful? Use this tips to enrich your Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) experience.
1. Prepare Yourself
Before you start doing the Surya Namaskar postures, experts recommend that you do warm-up exercises and stretches. If you prefer, you can do the yoga practice called Sukshma Vyayama. Doing these stretches or warm-up exercises relax your body and rid your body of the tension and restlessness.
2. Face The Right Direction
Where you should be facing depends upon the time you are doing the Surya Namaskar. In the morning, it is best to face the East; in the evening, face the West.
3. Show Your Gratitude
The right attitude also spells the difference between enjoyment and boredom. When doing this yoga practice, it is best to exude joyful disposition – and show it by smiling. This attitude will keep your energy levels high and ensure that you will have fun while doing the yoga postures.
4. Be Graceful
As you progress from one round of Surya Namaskar to another, you should execute each pose gracefully and gently. Avoid making sudden movements or exerting too much force. Remember that each movement must flow smoothly and seamlessly to another.
5. Be Conscious Of What You Are Doing And What Is Happening To You
Like every other yoga practice, when doing the Surya Namaskar it is your mantra to stay in the moment – to be aware of what your actions and your body’s reactions to it. This posture will give you the energy and the peace of mind that you crave if you only practice it with the right attitude, with grace and gentleness, and with consciousness of your breathing.
When doing the 6th pose (the Ashtanga Namaskara), for example, waves of energy get released in our bodies, which in turn boosts our energy. When done correctly, you can actually feel the sensations as the energy travels from the Navel chakra towards your whole body.
6. Breathe Properly and Normally
This yoga practice requires that you breathe normally. Do not breathe in Ujjayi. Breathe without exerting any force, but be conscious of each breathe that you take. Take note of each inhalation and exhalation, and make an effort to harmonize your breaths with your body’s movements.
7. Do The Mantras
When doing the Surya Namaskar, it is recommended that you chant mantras. Doing so will have a profound and intense effect on your body and mind. The 12 poses consisting Surya Namaskar each correspond to mantras that which are chanted for sun’s honor.
8. Practice Surya Namaskar As A Warm-Up Or Stand-Alone Yoga Practice
The Surya Namaskar can serve as both a warm-up exercise, or a stand-alone yoga practice. For example, you can do the Surya Namaskar then relax as you shift to Yoga Nidra. There are those who practice the Surya Namaskar as a preliminary of sorts for other yoga postures. They begin with this, then move on to other more challenging yoga positions, relaxing in Yoga Nidra, and concluding their yoga practice with pranayama and meditation.
9. Do Not Forget To Relax
At the end of each Surya Namaskar, make sure that your body gets the relaxation that it needs. Experts recommend that you lie down in the Yoga Nidra pose since this will provide your body with the time that it needs to absorb the results of the postures. A Corpse Pose would do just fine when you are pressed for time.
If you are looking to advance your yoga practice beyond the sun salutation but don’t exactly have the time to attend yoga classes regularly, the next best option is to buy yoga DVDs.