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Yoga: Sun Salutation


Yoga is an ancient Indian healing practice, originally it was designed as a path to spiritual development; today, it has many purposes from a form of exercise, improving posture, relaxation, breath control, clearing the mind and overall stress management.

Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word for union, symbolising the unification of body, mind and spirit.

There are many principles behind this spiritual exercise, for example:

Yama: Restraint

Niyama: Self Discipline

Asana: Posture

Pranayama: Breath Control

Pratyahara: Sense Withdrawal

Dharana: Concentration

Dhyana: Meditation

Samadhi: Enlightenment

Surya Namaskar:

A great place to start in Yoga is with the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar). Traditionally you face the rising sun; as such, it is an exercise that many use to start off their day. If you’re going on holiday this August, why not try this series of movements on the beach?

You may the picture is an easy way to interpret how to get from one movement to the next, but you can also search online for videos to guide you as a beginner, for example,

A, B & C:

There are variations on the sun salutation, labelled A, B & C. Often, people choose to do variations A & B in the morning, and C in the evening, as it’s sometimes referred to as Moon Salute.

Sun Salutation B is a harder version of A, so perhaps it is something you advance to as you get more experience. It contains seventeen poses, and the movements are more challenging. You might imagine that C is more difficult than A & B, but that is not the case. Some teachers start with C and move on to A.

Regardless of which Sun Salutation you choose, you should reap the benefits.

An increase in energy, as the exercise hones in on all parts of the body and focuses on the breath. Many people use it as a warm-up exercise for this purpose.

An improvement in strength; and the flexibility of your muscles.

A boost in metabolism if done regularly.

Enhanced focus and a calm mind. Encouraging you to focus on the moment. Flowing sequences such as those found in the Sun Salutation provide stress and anxiety relief.

As a beginner, Sun Salutations can be hard! So, with practice and repetition, you should find your stamina increases.