Guidelines for Surya Namaskar

There are several points to keep in mind while practising Surya Namaskara. These are the key to successful practice.

Probably, the most important point is to avoid strain. Each movement should be performed with minimum of effort, using only those muscles required to assume and maintain the posture. The rest of the body should remain as relaxed as possible. Relax into each position. In this way your stretching will be more efficient and enjoyable and you will conserve energy. Try to make the movements flow loosely into one another, like a dance.

Surya Namaskara involves alternate flexing of the spinal column backwards and forwards. Remember that the neck is also a part of the spine and should be stretched to a comfortable limit backwards and forwards according to the asana. This affords maximum stretch to the body in each position.

Specific hints
1. When learning Surya Namaskara, it is often difficult to place each piece of the jigsaw together. To overcome this, learn the asanas one by one in the initial stage. As most people find the transition from positions 3 to 4 difficult, it is wise to piece the series together in two stages. The first stage involves repeating only positions 1,2,3,10,11,12. The second stage involves repeating positions 4,5,6,7,8,9. Once these two stages are understood and mastered, they can be easily joined and the total flow of the practice more easily appreciated.

2. In padahastasana (position 3 and 10), the legs should remain straight. At first, this may mean that the asana will not be performed correctly, but practise will gradually stretch the tendons and muscles of the back and legs, enabling the correct posture to be assumed.

3. Once both hands are placed on the floor on either side of the feet in position 3 (padahastasana), they should remain at this point until leaving position 10. Similarly, when the feet have been placed together in position 5 (parvatasana), they should remain at this point until moving out of position 8. If the hands and feet are correctly placed initially, there is no need to move them for any adjustments during the middle series of exercises.

4. When performing ashwa sanchalanasana (positions 4 and 9), the knee of the extended leg should touch the floor. The foot of the other leg should remain between the hands.

The Solar Tradition Salute to The Sun
Guidelines for Surya Namaskara Shavasana
Sun Mantras Surya Namaskara for Children
Therapeutic Principles Shri Surya Namskaar Mantra
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