The Classical Surya Namaskar Sequence (Sun Salutation Sequence) is the core and heart of any yoga practice, it helps in boost energy in the body and hence it can be included in flow yoga sequences.
Over the years there are numerous variations and adaptations changes have taken place in the Surya Namaskar. Janita Stenhouse, in Sun Yoga (2001): The Book of Surya Namaskar, describes twenty-five different variations which are so adaptations (though many are quite similar).
In this article, we are focusing on Classical Surya Namaskar sequence. Within this yoga sequence enable teachers, yogis, or students to accommodate the varying abilities, special needs, and conditions.
Benefits of Classical Surya Namaskar Sequence (Classical Sun Salutation Sequence)
This sequence is considered a warm-up yoga pose to prepare the body for a more intense yoga flow or yoga pose.
It is usually found in many yoga sequence types such as core yoga sequence, heart opening yoga sequence and hip opening yoga sequence.
Naturally, practicing Classical Surya Namaskar Sequence (Classical Sun Salutation Sequence) help with healthy digestion, improve lung capacity and blood circulation, and stimulate the nervous system to name a few, but it does not stop here as this sequence also reduces negative energy and includes antianxiety and calming properties.
When practiced with awareness and in rhythm with the breath and postures, the yogis or students experience physical, mental and spiritual expansion. So do not forget to start your day with the classical Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) sequence practice!
This sequence benefits the following muscles and can therefore be incorporated into the pose corresponding to yoga.
- Back (lower back, middle back, upper back)
Instructions for Classical Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
1. Breathing awareness before get into the sequence
- Samasthihi (Equal Standing): 1–5 minutes. Welcome, set intention, begin guiding.
- Tadasana: Exhale.
- Upward salute (Urdhva Hastasana): Inhaling, sweep the arms out and up overhead.
- Intense Forward-bending Pose (Uttanasana): Exhaling slowly, swan dive forward and down.
- Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana): Inhaling, lift the heart toward the horizon.
- Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana) Prep: Exhaling, step the right foot back, knee down, toes back.
- Anjaneyasana (Lunge Pose): Inhaling, sweep the arms out and up overhead.
- Lunge pose prep: Exhaling, release the hands back to the floor.
- Plank Pose (Phalakasana): Inhaling, step to back into plank position.
- Eight Limbed Salutation (Ashtanga Pranam): Exhaling, release the knees, chest, and chin to the floor.
- Salabhasana B (Locust pose B): Inhaling, root the hands while lifting the shoulders level with the elbows and shrugging them down the back.
- Marjariasana (Bidalasana): Exhaling, press to all fours or…
- Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana): …directly into Downward Facing Dog pose.
- Lunge Pose Prep: Empty of breath, step the right foot forward.
- Lunge Pose: Inhaling, sweep the arms out and up overhead.
- Lunge-pose Prep: Exhaling, release the fingertips to the floor.
- Standing Half Forward Bend: Inhaling, lift and lengthen the heart toward the horizon.
- Intense Forward-bending Pose: Exhaling, fold down.
- Upward Salute: Inhaling, swan dive up sweeping the arms out and overhead.
- Equal Standing: Exhaling, release the palms to the heart.
2. Classical Surya Namaskar Sequence
- Inhale and reach your arms out and up from Equal Standing Pose to Upward salute pose.
- Exhale and fold forward and down into Intense Forward-bending Pose, then extend your spine and heart center forward into Standing Half Forward Bend.
- Step your right foot back, knee down to the floor, toes back and draw your torso and arms up into Lunge Pose. Swan-dive your palms to the floor and step back to Plank Pose.
- Slowly release your knees-chest-chin sequentially to the floor and root into your palms and lift your chest to Locust pose B (with your feet rooting down). Press to all fours or directly up and back to Downward Dog Pose.
- Step your right foot forward and rise into Lunge Pose, swan-dive your palms to the floor.
- Extend your spine and heart center forward into Standing Half Forward Bend Pose and fold into Intense Forward-bending Pose.
- Swan-dive up to Upward salute and grow taller while drawing your palms back to your heart, Equal Standing Pose.
As Classical Surya Namaskar Sequence is a 20 poses sequence performed with the flow of energy with proper breathing, it requires a certain physical strength. Therefore, this sequence has its limits and should not be done if you are suffering from any disease. In this yoga sequence, the muscles are kept to work continuously, so it is done with good guidance while learning.
Avoid this sequence if you are suffering from any of the following disease:
- Body and bone weakness
Since it is a combined yoga practice, care should be taken if there is general weakness of the body or weakness of muscles and bones.
- Back injury
In Classical Surya Namaskar (sun salutation), the spine expands and puts pressure on the lower back and hip. Therefore, a person with a very bad back or an injured back should definitely avoid it, even if someone has practiced it for years. It is necessary to seek the guidance of a yoga teacher or start slowly, when the yoga practitioner has recovered from a back disease or injury.
- Pregnant woman
It is not appropriate to be done by pregnant women as it puts pressure on the area of back and abdomen.
- High blood pressure
People suffering from hypertension should avoid this sequence. But with the proper guidance from a yoga teacher and not an elderly, one can start this yoga sequence slowly and carefully.
- Heart problem
One with heart problem should consult a physician before practicing Classical Surya Namaskar (sun salutation). Remember that the age factor plays a big role for someone with a heart condition.
Knee strength plays an important role in Classical Surya Namaskar with different postures. So anyone who has arthritis, which causes knee stiffness, should slow it down or avoid this sequence.