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It is a tradition in Yoga for thousands of Years to revere the Sun & draw its energy. One of the means of offering our admiration & honour to the Sun is through the dynamic sequence of Asanas.

Saluting our Health Heroes through Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutation

It is a tradition in Yoga for thousands of Years to revere the Sun & draw its energy. One of the means of offering our admiration & honour to the Sun is through the dynamic sequence of Asanas. You may be familiar with the Classical style of Surya Namaskar, and there are many variations. The most well-known variations of Surya Namaskar in the Vinyasa style of Yoga is Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B. Here are some of the benefits of practising them daily. Benefits

  • Surya Namaskar energizes the body first thing in the morning.
  • Series of asanas help in improving blood circulation.
  • This practice increases the vital energy of prana in your body which helps remove energy blockages.
  • It is a cardiovascular exercise benefitting the whole body
  • Surya Namaskar provides moving meditation when you move with each breath from one asana to the next in a flow.

Mantra for Surya Namsakar Like a lid to a vessel, O Sun, your Golden orb covers the entrance to Truth. Kindly open the entrance to lead me to Truth. 

Surya Namaskar A includes the following sequence 

1. Exhale- Samasthiti- Equal standing/ Stillness

2. Inhale- Urdhva hastasana- Raised hands pose

3. Exhale- Uttanasana – Standing forward fold

4. Inhale- Ardha Uttanasana- Halfway lift

5. Exhale- Chaturanga Dandasana- Four-legged staff pose

6. Inhale- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog

7. Exhale- Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward facing dog

8. Next, exhale- Uttanasana- Standing forward fold

9. Inhale- Ardha Uttanasana- Halfway lift

10. Exhale- Uttanasana- Standing forward fold 1

11. Inhale- Urdhva Hastasana- Raised hands pose

12. Exhale- Samasthiti- Equal standing/ stillness

Surya Namaskar B includes the following sequence

1. Exhale- Samasthiti- Equal standing/ stillness

2. Inhale- Utkatasana- Chair pose

3. Exhale- Uttanasana- Standing forward fold

4. Inhale- Ardha Uttanasana- Halfway lift

5. Exhale- Chaturanga Dandasana

6. Inhale- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana- Upward facing dog

7. Exhale- Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward facing dog

8. Inhale- Virabhadrasana 1Right side- Warrior 1, Exhale -repeat Vinyasa

9. Inhale- Virabhadrasana 1 Leftside- Warrior 1, Exhale- repeat Vinyasa

10. Exhale- Uttansana- Standing forward fold 11. Inhale- Utkatasana- Chair pose

12. Exhale- Samasthiti- Equal standing.

Stillness Modern variation makes the Surya Namaskar easy and accessible for everyone. It gives the option of knees down, lie down instead of full chaturanga dandasana, which mainly suits advanced practitioners. As a Health professional, I was fascinated by the details of Anatomy and physiology included in my Yoga teacher training. My mission is to inspire as many Nurses, Midwives, Drs and other health professionals to practice Yoga & Mindfulness for minimizing compassion fatigue and staying healthy. I sincerely hope that Yoga becomes part of your daily routine, especially if you are a health professional. I enjoy teaching Yoga for the Irish Nurses and Midwives organization and feel like I am serving my fellow sisters.  

Aparna Shukla is a Founder of Shubh Connections, Ireland, She is a certified Mindfulness MBSR from Mindful Academy Solterreno, Spain. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher and regularly facilitates Mindfulness & Meditation workshops for her global clients.