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