Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ten Minute Yoga Practice: Basic Suriya Namaskar

If you've only got ten minutes to do yoga...
Reaction to last week’s blog came mainly in the form of “can you make a video?”  Actually, I was really tired last week and didn’t have the energy to make a video but I must agree, videos are often more helpful when you are trying to learn about yoga.  Watching someone else do yoga often makes your own body itch to get out there on the mat.  I know that after I have spent an afternoon doing some yoga research on the web my right hand is virtually grabbing me by the scruff of my own neck to drag me away from the computer and onto my mat.
Anyway, I made another movie and even decided to bite the bullet and narrate this week’s clip rather than try and dodge having to record my voice by using nice music instead!  I was a bit nervous as you might be able to tell. 
This week’s video is a basic suriya namaskar sequence and I plan to do a whole suriya namaskar series.  There are millions of suriya namaskars that you can do.  I often make one up to suit the type of practice I am going to do on a particular day.  That is, if I want to work deeply in my hips I will do a suriya namaskar that gently warms them up and so forth. 
Doing a few rounds of suriya namaskar (sun salutations) is a traditional way to warm up for your yoga practice and you can use them to set the tone for the rest of your practice on a particular day.  This is not to say you have to start with any suriya namaskar at all—sometimes I get sick of them myself and do something else instead.  This is likely because I am basically from the yoga school that says I need to craft my own practice (of course, being mindful of the wisdom of my teachers) rather than stick to any particular dogma. 
However, if you are newer to yoga and just trying to establish a bit of self practice then a few rounds of suriya namaskar is a great way to get yourself onto you mat. 
The video I have made this week is ‘Basic Suriya Namaskar’.  It is a ten minute sequence of three different suriya namaskars.  Most of us can probably sneak in ten minutes a day, can’t we?
Over the next few weeks and months I am going to post some more ten minute snippets, including a few more suriya namaskar variations.  Coming soon will be the hip opening suriya namaskar and the hamstring lengthening version.  I know a lot of my students have moved overseas to a variety of other postings and, in case you have not found a yoga class yet (could be difficult to find in Tchad perhaps?), I hope you find them useful. 
Happy practicing!

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