Why should you do Sun Salutations?
Talk to ten yogis and you may get ten different answers to the question.
Before I was teaching yoga full time, I had an office job as a recruitment consultant. My old boss, who wasn’t very observant at the best of times, always knew if I had or hadn’t done some yoga at home before starting work. Starting each day with a little bit of yoga truly does transform your experience of the rest of the day. Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar can be a complete practise on its own taking anywhere between 1 minute to about 10 minutes so is the perfect way to add a little yoga to each and every day. At my yoga classes in Southampton I am encouraging everyone to do at least 1 Sun Salutation a day for 21 days in the Sun Salutation Challenge. Here are my top reasons for saluting the Sun:
1. The Sun Salutation can be a complete practice; the poses lengthen and strengthen, flex and extend many of the main muscles of the body while distributing the prana flow throughout the system.
2. Sun Salutations boost the cardiovascular system, strengthening the heart.
3. In this simple sequence I am really able to focus on coordinating my breath and movement creating a movement meditation which calms my mind preparing it for the day ahead.
4. By letting the speed of my breath dictate the pace of my movement, it stops me rushing and sets the tone and pace for the rest of my day as steady and focused. I achieve a lot more with this pace then when I feel rushed or hurried.
5. The sequence heats my body and awakens my metabolism giving me more energy for the day.
6. Through the strengthening of the core, the back and the upper body I feel physically and mentally strong and able to face any challenges which may lie ahead.
7. After my night’s sleep it feels great to stretch my whole body and stops me from having any niggling aches and pains as I go about my day.
8. It reminds me to be grateful. The Sun represents the physical and spiritual heart of the world. We salute the Sun to give thanks for a new day.
9. Every Sun Salutation allows us to experience devotion. We stand at attention, open ourselves up to energy, bow with respect and experience humility.
10. When I start my day by doing something good for my body I make better choices all day when it comes to looking after and nourishing by body with food, drink and activity. It reminds me of the union between my body and mind (this is the definition of the word yoga), that they both need to be nourished and to work in harmony.