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Tag Archives: ashtanga

Surya Namaskar B {Sun Salutation B}

Surya Namaskar B is the second sequence of an Ashtanga practice. You would do this after five Surya Namaskar A. I’ve bolded what is different from Surya Namaskar A.

{Find a video of the Surya Namaskar B sequence at the bottom of the post}

1. Tadasna – Mountain Pose (link)

  • notes to self : remember to keep all four corners of the foot equally rooted, you can start with your feet hip width apart until your balance is better

2. Utkatasana – Chair Pose (link)

  • try to keep your hips at the same angle as when standing in mountain pose

3. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend (link)

  • bend from the hit keeping the back straight only curve head towards shins once bent over

4. Ardha Uttanasana – Half Standing Pose (link)

5. Plank Pose (link)

  • can start with half-plank pose (on knees) and work your way to full plank pose

6. Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose (link)

  • can lower yourself to your stomach and work towards this

7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward-Facing Dog (link)

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-Facing Dog (link)

  • do not hold this one for five breaths!

9. Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 (link)

  • right always goes first
  • work on bringing your hips forward

10. Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose (link)

  • can lower yourself to your stomach and work towards this

11. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward-Facing Dog (link)

12. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-Facing Dog (link)

  • also do not hold this one for 5 counts

13. Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 (link)

  • now repeat step 9 with your left foot forward
  • work on bringing your hips forward

14. Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose (link)

  • can lower yourself to your stomach and work towards this

15. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward-Facing Dog (link)

16. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-Facing Dog (link)

  • hold for 5 breaths – if you can comfortably hold this pose with your heels on the floor for all 5 breaths then place your feet further back

17. Ardha Uttanasana – Half Standing Pose (link)

18. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend (link)

  • bend from the hit keeping the back straight only curve head towards shins once bent over

19. Utkatasana – Chair Pose (link)

  • try to keep your hips at the same angle as when standing in mountain pose

20. Tadasna – Mountain Pose (link)

— repeat 5 times —

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Surya Namaskar A {Sun Salutation A}

Surya Namaskar A {Sun Salutation A} is the beginning sequence of an Ashtanga yoga practice. It should be repeated 5 times before moving on to Surya Namaskar B.

{Find a video of Sun Salutation A at the bottom of the post.}

– I’m going to cheat this week and just add links to descriptions of the poses. –

1. Tadasna – Mountain Pose (link)

  • notes to self : remember to keep all four corners of the foot equally rooted, you can start with your feet hip width apart until your balance is better

2. Urdhva Hastasana – Upward Salute (link)

  • if you cannot keep your arms straight and your shoulders back then lower your arms in front of you until you can

3. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend (link)

  • bend from the hit keeping the back straight only curve head towards shins once bent over

4. Ardha Uttanasana – Half Standing Pose (link)

5. Plank Pose (link)

  • can start with half-plank pose (on knees) and work your way to full plank pose

6. Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose (link)

  • can lower yourself to your stomach and work towards this

7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward-Facing Dog (link)

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-Facing Dog (link)

  • hold for 5 breaths – if you can comfortably hold this pose with your heels on the floor for all 5 breaths then place your feet further back

9. Ardha Uttanasana

10. Uttanasana

11. Urdhva Hastasana

12. Tadasna

— REPEAT 5 TIMES —

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

There are many forms of yoga of which I’ve chosen to take a beginners Ashtanga course. Ashtanga is the Sanskrit word for “eight limbed”. The eight limbs of Ashtanga are:

  1. Yama – moral codes
  2. Niyama – self-purification and study , personal observances
  3. Asana – body postures, physical study
  4. Pranayama – breath control
  5. Pratyahara – sense control
  6. Dharana – concentration, cultivating inner peceptual awareness
  7. Dhyana – meditation, devotion
  8. Samadhi – contemplation, union with the Divine

Ashtanga yoga consists of 150 asanas (poses) that are practiced in the same order (great for Type A Personalities). You can of course mix it up at home. One starts with 5 Sun Salutations A, then 5 Sun Salutations B, then Standing and Seated poses, followed by a finishing sequence. I’ll of course go into these as I learn them.

So where did Ashtanga yoga come from? The Ashtanga Vinyasa series is said to have its origin in an ancient text called the Yoga Korunta. In addition, there is evidence that the Ashtanga Vinyasa series incorporates exercises used by Indian wrestlers and British gymnastics. Krishnamacharya has had considerable influence on many of the modern forms of yoga taught today. Among his students were many notable present-day teachers such as K. Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Indra Devi, and Krishnamacharya’s son T.K.V. Desikachar. Vinyasa has since been thought of as a physically demanding practice, which can be successful at channeling the hyperactivity of young minds. This system can also be used as a vessel for helping calm ongoing chatter of the mind, reducing stress and teaching extroverted personalities to redirect their attention to their internal experience. – from Wikipedia

What can Ashtanga yoga do for you? Not only is it a full body work-out, but it helps ease stress!