This classic sequence is a mainstay in Vinyasa yoga classes and has a host of benefits for the body and mind.
A series of asanas woven together with breath, Surya Namaskar is practised by millions of yogis around the world.
In the words of our head of yoga Noelle Connolly, “the whole practice resides in Surya Namaskar A. If you understand the foundational movements, you will understand the whole practice.”
The variations are endless, as you’ll know if you’ve hit the mat at BodyMindLife, but the foundations have been designed to energise and centre the whole body.
Let’s look at why saluting the sun is so good for you…
- Moving meditation – surya namaskar can be used as a warm-up in a yoga flow class to tune into the breath. Notice how the mind focuses when you inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract.
- Energy – the sequence stimulates our sympathetic nervous system. As you move through the rounds, you’ll feel your heart race increase. This works to improve blood circulation and strengthen the physical body.
- Muscle lengthening and tone – a regular practice will strengthen, lengthen and tone your muscles. Sun Salutations open your hamstrings, shoulders and chest, and can soothe tension in the spine.
- Releases stress – inhaling and exhaling through the nose drives air deep into our lungs for lower diaphragmatic breathing which calms and repairs our nervous system.
- Balances hormones: Surya Namaskar harmonizes the different endocrine glands in our bodies, helping to remove any irregularities and further improving blood flow.