How to practice: Surya Namaskara B (Sun Salutation B)

by Delight Yoga

For thousands of years, Hindus have revered the sun, which they call Surya (the god of health), as both the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself. The sun has immense power and by becoming aware of the effects of the sun on our lives, we will begin to awaken our inherent solar forces.

Handed down from sages of ancient times, sun worship is found in many ancient cultures: Egyptians, Mayans, Incas, Aztec, Atlantis, Stonehenge, Native Americans, and the Chinese Yin and Yan. By practising the Surya Namaskara, we superimpose this solar energy and form on our present body/mind complex. This is the transforming force for a fuller and more active life, and leads to a greater appreciation of the richness of the world we live in.

By starting our Astanga practice with the dynamic flow of the Surya Namaskara A, followed by Surya Namaskara B, we set the foundation and tone of our entire practice. It is during this beginning flow that we establish the connection of breath and movement (vinyasa) and set the rhythm, grace, and the stability of our practice. Repeating these fluid movements with dedicated awareness five times will prepare the body and form the correct attitude in the mind.

When we understand the ‘correct method’ for practising Surya Namaskara, we will understand the whole Astanga Vinyasa system. Each series of postures in the practice can be simply considered an extension and refinement of the movements of the sun salutations.

 

Sūrya Namaskāra B Instructions

 

1. ekam
Inhale, bend your knees and raise both arms (Utkaṭāsana)
Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (añguṣṭhamadhye)

2. dve
Exhale, bend forward, stretch the legs and place the hands onto the floor (Uttānāsana)
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

3. trīṇi
Inhale, lift the head, straighten the spine
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

4. catvāri
Exhale, firmly ground your hands onto the floor, float back, elbows hug the body (Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana)
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

5. pañca
Inhale, roll onto the tops of your feet, straighten the arms, open your chest wide, roll the shoulders back and down (Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

6. ṣaṭ
Exhale, roll back onto your feet, raise your hips, straighten the spine, stretch the arms (Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)
Dhristi: to the navel (nābicakre)

7. sapta
Inhale, position the left foot at a 45 ° angle, place the right foot forward between the hands and raise your arms up (palms touching)
Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (añguṣṭhamadhye)

8. aṣṭau
Exhale, place the hands down onto the floor, step your right foot back, lower down slowly
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

9. nava
Inhale, roll onto the tops of your feet, open the chest, stretch the arms, roll the shoulders back and down (Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

10. daśa
Exhale, roll back onto your feet, raise your hips, straighten the spine, stretch the arms (Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)
Dhristi: to the navel (nābicakre)

11. ekādaśa
Inhale, position the right foot at a 45 ° angle, place the left foot forward between the hands and raise your arms up (palms touching)
Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (añguṣṭhamadhye)

12. dvādaśa
Exhale, bend forward, place your hands onto the floor, step your left foot back, lower down slowly
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

13. trayodaśa
Inhale, roll onto the tops of your feet, straighten the arms, open your chest wide, roll the shoulders back and down (Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

14. caturdaśa
Exhale, roll back onto your feet, raise your hips, straighten the spine, stretch the arms
Dhristi: to the navel (nābicakre)

- 5 Breaths: Adho Mukha Svānāsana

15. pañcadaśa
Inhale, float forward, feet in between the hands, lift the head, lengthen the spine
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

16. ṣoḍaśa
Exhale, take your head towards the knees (Uttānāsana)
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

17. saptadaśa
Inhale, bend the knees, raise the arms up, palms touching (Utkaṭāsana)
Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (añguṣṭhamadhye)

18. aṣṭadaśa
Exhale, straighten the legs, lower the arms, Samasthitiḥ
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

 

Sūrya Namaskāra B Benefits

- Improves posture 

- Strengthens the spine, arms, legs and wrists 

- Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, abdomen, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands 

- Tones the abdomen and stimulates the abdominal organs

- Energizes the body and improves digestion 

- Relieves stress, mild depression, sciatica headache, insomnia, back pain, fatigue and the symptoms of menopause 

- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

- Calms the brain