Blessings and greetings dear friends and welcome to today’s post, The Sun Salutation: 12 Questions Yoga Beginners Ask About The Sun Salutation.
Quick Recap To Parts 1 & 2 of this special mini- series to The Sun Salutation-A Guide For Complete Beginners
If you can recall, just before Christmas, we started a mini-guide covering about the benefits and different types of Sun Salutations. Click here, to refresh and recap about Part 1 of this series which includes a video demonstration of the Sun Salutation and here for Part 2 which offers another video showing you how to do a Seated Sun Salutation At Your Desk To Boost Your Energy. When I teach Chair Yoga lessons with office workers, the Seated Sun Salutation is always popular because it gives you a complete stretch to your spine and leaves you feeling invigorated.
And in today’s post, Pt 3 in this series,I’d like to go through with you some of the more frequently asked questions I am asked by yoga beginners about the Sun Salutation. I know when I first started yoga, I always gained a sense of achievement whenever we completed the Sun Salutations and I’m sure you must have your own feelings and views about doing this part of your yoga lesson. So, without any further ado here are 12 of the most popular questions I’m asked by yoga beginners about the Sun Salutation.
Here are 12 of the most popular questions I’m asked about the Sun Salutation
1. What is the Sun Salutation?
The Sun Salutation is an ancient yoga practice that draws energy and sunlight into the mind and body. It is made up of twelve different movements or positions which form a graceful sequence.
2. What part of the body does it stretch the most?
The Sun Salutation limbers up the whole body and mind. Each of the twelve positions stretch the spine in different ways, thus giving movement to the whole spinal column and greater flexibility to the limbs.
3. Why is it always practiced at the beginning of a yoga session?
The Sun Salutation helps to limber up the body which makes it easier for you to do the rest of your session. It also helps to focus your mind for the session ahead.
4. How quickly, fast am I supposed to do the Sun Salutation?
Generally speaking, the Sun Salutation is performed gracefully and in time with the movement of the flow of your breath. It is designed to be a smooth, fluid sequence which harmonises the mind and body. There are many different schools of yoga, ranging from a more physically demanding practice to a more gentle, less dynamic style of movement. Regardless of the style of yoga, the emphasis is always to be mindful of your breath and co-ordinate the sequence with your breath.
5. Why is it called the Sun Salutation?
The correct Sanskrit name for the Sun Salutation is Surya Namaskar, which means Salute to the Sun. Its origins lie in a worship of Surya, the Hindu solar deity. In ancient times, the sun was considered to be deity for health and long life. Traditionally, you would practice the Sun Salutation, as a dance to the sun, at dawn break, as part of your spiritual practice. In honouring the sun, you bring sunlight and energy into your body.
6. What are the main physical benefits of practicing the Sun Salutation?
The main physical benefit is it brings flexibility to the body, particularly the spine. It also helps to regulate the breathing, helps to distribute blood and energy to all the organs and circulation is stimulated.
7. What are the other benefits?
Spiritually, practicing the Sun Salutation re-aligns and centres your core. It brings focus to the mind. Traditionally, each position is associated with a particular mantra and when you co-ordinate the 12 mantras with each pose, your practice takes on a whole new meaning.
8. How long is one round?
A full round of Sun Salutation is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses, leading first with the right leg and then with the left leg.
9. How many rounds am I supposed to do at a time?
Traditionally, yogis practiced 12 rounds in honour of the twelve names of the sun according to the monthly sign of the zodiac. As a beginner, it is advised to practice 3 – 5 rounds until you feel comfortable.
10. Does it matter which way I face to do the Sun Salutation?
Traditionally, the Sun Salutation is always practiced facing in the direction of the rising or setting sun. However, if this is not possible, the main thing to holding your heart is your intention and dedication to the practice.
11. I’m too stiff and have trouble standing up, can I still do the Sun Salutation?
Yes you can. Ask your Yoga Teacher to show you how to do the seated Sun Salutation. If you practice at home or at work, here’s a Seated Sun Salutation you can practice.
12. Can I practice the Sun Salutation at home by myself?
Definitely. Once you feel confident and comfortable with the sequence daily practice of the Sun Salutation provides you with an excellent way to promote sound health and a strong body. On days when I’m tired or pushed for time, a few rounds of the Sun Salutation is all I need to pick me up and get me set up for the day.
The above are the more popular questions and comments I’m asked about the Sun Salutation. Have I missed any? If you have a particular question or concern about the practice, feel free to ask me for advise and I’ll gladly answer your questions.
The next post in this mini-guide to the Sun Salutation will be a round-up of all the main points we’ve covered. I’ll do a guide which you can print out and pin up on your wall to remind you of the sequence and little pointers to keep you on track with your practice. Hopefully, that will be ready within the next two weeks.
Keep an eye out for this week’s Prayer to brighten your day.
May you be well and may you be safe and happy.
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