Surya Namaskar C – Sun Salutation C

Surya Namaskar C or Sun Salutation C is another variation of the Sun Salutation A. This sequence is not practiced in the traditional Ashtanga Series, but is seen in Dharma Yoga and many other types. To me, this is a different rhythm that I’m used to, with some added backbends, so I like that challenge. For beginners, this Sun Salutation might be a little more friendly- with no chaturanga!

 

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

 

I won’t post any beginner’s tips for this one, but see Sun A and Sun B blogs for some more tips!

Surya Namaskar B – Sun Salutation B

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.

  1. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) replaces a simpler Urdvha Hastasana.
  2. We add in Virabhadrasana 1, or Warrior 1. There is one for each leg, with a vinyasa in between.
  3. 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

Beginners’ Tips

*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

*Modifications*

  1. Arms: leave palms shoulder width apart; bend elbows if needed; or lower arms to where it is comfortable; maybe not at all!
  2. Legs: Shorten stance or straighten out the front leg as much as needed.

Warrior.png

 

Surya Namaskar A – Sun Salutation A

Surya Namaskar A, or Sun Salutation A, is the first sequence practiced in the Ashtanga Series. It is performed in 5 rounds at the beginning of your practice, linking breath to movement to form a rhythm.

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

Tips

Work on creating a smooth rhythm, linking your breath and the movement between the poses.

When you reach Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog), hold the pose for 5 complete breaths, inhale and exhale; before moving through to the next pose. This will really fire up your body!

Beginners Tips

*Edit*

Surya Namaskar A is a fairly simple sequence, but there can be some difficulty for beginners. The most complicated part of the sequence is from Ardha Uttanasana transitioning down to Chaturanga. To go from a standing forward fold to a push-up in one breath can be intimidating, but it can be broken down into a few more breaths to make it more approachable.

[From Ardha Uttanasana]

(If your hands don’t quite reach the ground yet in Ardha Uttanasana, bend knees and fold forward until you can place both palms firmly on the ground)

Exhale: Step right foot to the back of the mat in a High Lunge position. Keep left knee stacked over left ankle as you straighten the right knee and press down into the toes.

Inhale: Step left foot back to right foot in a High Plank position or the high end of a Push Up. Keep the body long and back straight, pressing firmly through the palms.

Exhale: Lower down to Chaturanga Dandasana, a low Push Up position. Ideally, this is:

  • Gazing straight ahead, but with a relaxed neck; don’t strain it!
  • Shoulders are strong and squared, and pushed back
  • Elbows at bent 90° with the arms squeezed into the torso
  • Back is strong and straight,

*Modifications*

  1. To lower down with more control, bring the knees to the floor first.
  2. Lower down directly onto the mat; keeping shoulders stacked over the wrists, and just lay stomach and thighs on the mat, keeping the chest lifted as much as possible.

Chaturanga.png