The sequence involves back bends, forward bends, inversions and lunges, and because it is designed as a morning practice, does not include more complicated asanas such as twists or external rotations. The sequence, however, works and stretches every major muscle group in the body, and is therefore a great practice to get blood flowing and to clear the cobwebs of sleep safely and gracefully.
The name Surya Namaskar is loosely translated as "Greeting and Honor to the Sun". It is practiced facing the rising sun in an honor to the sun as the main source of light and energy for the earth. We also honor ourselves, with a place in the symphony of the universe, and we begin to see ourselves as just a part of the greater whole. We return to heart center in the beginning, middle and ending of each of the sun salutations to symbolize the return to the peaceful wisdom and truth of our deep most Self, that connection to all that is. The postures repeat themselves to reflect the cyclical pattern of nature - the sun, moon, earth, breath, life and death, and so on. The cycles and waves of the postures become steps in understanding the cyclical nature of the body and mind, and to see the connection and oneness in our body, minds, nature, and all that is.
I feel that there is something truly special about taking time in the morning to check in with ourselves, to see how we are. The fluid and repetitive motion of the postures creates an opportunity to allow the current situations of the body and the mind to come into awareness. The mind is still waking up, so having a repetitive practice in the morning requires less thinking and more easily allows the entering into the yogic state. The morning practice brings the ability to tune in and feel the personal and universal needs of the day. Not to make plans or think about the specific events of the day, but to see your needs beyond the surface and to realign with that wise, peaceful center of the self.
Come join me every Tuesday and Thursday morning to practice your Sun Salutations and honor that light within!