SURYANAMASKAR translates as salute to the sun.
Practiced individually, these poses build strength. When linked together in this flowing sequence, they keep the mind of the student sharp, and improve coordination, especially when you jump fast. The legs will be agile and light, but they won't be firm, as they are when they are pranasised (energised) by the element of earth in the standing poses.
This flowing sequence, where the emphasis is on rhythm and speed, develops alertness and stamina and brings the whole system to life.
Synchronize your breath with each transition and allow your gaze to follow the direction of the movement as you move from pose to pose.
Tadasana to Urdhva Hastasana
Begin in Tadasana establishing equal weight on both feet.
Bring your palms together in front of your sternum bone.
Sweep your arms up above your head, simultaneously lifting your chest and allowing your gaze to follow your hands.
Moving into Uttanasana
Fold forward into Uttanasana with the hands under the shoulders. Inhale; raise your head, your chest and your gaze forwards.
Exhale and release the trunk into Uttanasana.
Jumping back into Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhale, jump back into Adho Mukha Svanasana. Press your hands into the floor and draw back through your hips.
Moving into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Inhale and swing forward and up into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, hopping or stepping onto the tops of your feet. Press down through your hands and draw your shoulders back.
Moving into Chaturanga Dandasana
Exhale, bend your arms, and hopping back onto your toes, dip down into Chaturanga Dandasana. The upper arms should be parallel to the floor and close to your side ribs. Straighten your legs.
Inhale, jump lightly back onto your toes, and repeat Urdvhva Mukha Svanasana.
Finishing the cycle
Exhale and, swing back into Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Inhale and jump forward into classic Uttanasana.
Inhale and returning to an upright position, sweep your arms above your head
End in Tadasana.
NB Surya Namaskara is best avoided during menstruation and for a few days following menstruation. Do not practice this or any other sequence that involves jumping if you have back or knee injuries or any other medical problem.
With gratitude to BKS Iyengar and Geetaji for inspirational teaching.