Surya Namaskar B, or Sun Salutation B, is the second flow in the opening sequence practiced in the Ashtanga Series. It is performed in 5 rounds immediately following Surya Namaskar A, linking breath to movement to form a rhythm.
This flow is nearly the same as Sun Sal A, except for 3 details.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose) replaces a simpler Urdvha Hastasana.
- We add in Virabhadrasana 1, or Warrior 1. There is one for each leg, with a vinyasa in between.
- You do not hold all of your Adho Mukha Svanasanas (Downward Dogs); only the final one [Asana #15] is held for 5 full breaths.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar:
- Strengthens the body and improves muscle tone
- Improves posture
- Improves flexibility
- Increases blood circulation and warms up the body
- Helps relax mind, and build mental focus
- Reduces stress and anxiety
*Note: I added Beginners’ Tips to the Sun A blog, so this will only focus on Virabhadrasana 1
Virabhadrasana 1 [Warrior 1]
[For Right Side, From Adho Mukha Svanasana]
Inhale: Rounding back, lift right foot off the mat and bend knee, lifting the knee as close to the chest as possible.
Exhale: Gaze forward, bringing right foot forward and lowering to mat between hands. Pivot left foot outwards at a 45° angle, maybe stepping to the left for a more stable foundation.
Inhale: Sweep both arms up, meeting palms overhead for Virabhadrasana I which should look like:
- Palms together, arms straight and shoulders lowered away from the ears.
- Gazing up at thumbs, but not tensing the neck
- Lengthen the spine and draw the lower ribs inwards
- Hips squared to the front of the room, sending the right hip back and the left hip turning forward
- Right thigh should be parallel to the floor, with the knee bent at 90°, stacked over the ankle, and pressing down through heel.
- Left leg is straight, with the foot turned out to 45°, and grounding through the heel
- Arms: leave palms shoulder width apart; bend elbows if needed; or lower arms to where it is comfortable; maybe not at all!
- Legs: Shorten stance or straighten out the front leg as much as needed.