• How to do Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B)

    Learning how to do Surya Namaskar B isn’t as difficult as you might think. In this tutorial, we give you video lessons that break down the individual poses, so you know exactly how to do Sun Salutation B. You’ll learn how to do each pose in the sequence correctly, and then follow along with the video that ties all of the poses together for you at the end of this post.

    If you already know how to do Surya Namaskar A, you’re well on your way to knowing how to do Surya Namaskar B. Sun Salutation B adds a few more poses to the sequence to ignite that inner fire and build heat in your body.

    In the beginning, you’ll take time to learn each individual pose. Once you can flow through the poses from memory, you will be able to do the poses with the corresponding breaths.

    Let’s start from the beginning and take you through each pose in Surya Namaskar B in order. Follow along with the video instructions to give you a better understanding of the pose. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a full practice of the sequence that you can practice with.

    Samasthiti (Mountain Pose)

    Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together and your arms at your sides.

    Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    From mountain pose inhale and sink down into chair pose by bending your knees like you are going to sit down. Bring your palms together over your head and look up at your thumbs.

    Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

    Exhale and straighten your legs. Fold your torso forward over your thighs into standing forward bend pose. Bend from your hips. You can bring your hands to the floor, or if you can’t reach the floor, place your hands on your shins.

    Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)

    From uttanasana, inhale and straighten your back, coming up onto your fingertips if your hands are on the floor and look forward. You can bend your knees slightly if you need to.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and place your palms flat on the floor. Step back into plank pose and lower down like you are going to do a push-up. This is chaturanga dandasana. Keep your elbows close to your body and stay broad through the collarbone.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and point your feet behind you and straighten your arms to come up into upward facing dog. Your legs are engaged. Your knees and pelvis are off of the ground.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and roll your toes over. Send your hips back and up to downward facing dog. Straighten your legs and bring your heels down into the ground.

    Virabhadrasana A (Warrior I)

    Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands. Rise up into warrior I pose.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and step back to chaturanga dandasana.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and move into upward facing dog again.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and return to downward facing dog.

    Virabhadrasana A (Warrior I)

    Now inhale and repeat warrior I but on the left side, so step your left foot forward.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and step back to chaturanga dandasana.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and move into upward facing dog again.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and return to downward facing dog. Stay in this pose for five breaths. Allow yourself to settle into the pose. Check in with your breath and make sure it is steady and even.

    Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)

    Inhale and step forward, returning to half forward bend.

    Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

    Exhale and bend from your hips into standing forward fold. Now that you’re warm, you’ll find that you’re a bit more flexible.

    Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    Inhale and return to chair pose.

    Samasthiti (Mountain Pose)

    Exhale and end the sequence by returning to mountain pose.

    Repeat this sequence of poses as many times as you like. You can follow along with this video to see how all of the poses fit together.

  • Suryanamskar (Sun Salutation) – Reverence for the teacher

    Suryanamaskar also know as Sun Salutation is a dynamic sequence of poses which is done as a ritual before starting the asana practice. The practice of these sequential poses is a form of dynamic meditation, which also helps in strengthening the limbs and increases the awareness of the body.

    Suryanamskar is a way to pay respect to the Sun God ‘Surya’, which sustains and preserves life. The Sun God is depicted riding a chariot with seven horses, which represents seven days of the week. The twelve wheels of his chariot are a representation of the twelve months in a year. ‘Surya’ with his bow drives away the darkness and gives light of life and knowledge. The Sun God was the teacher of great Sage Yagnavalkya and granted him Vedic wisdom.

    Lord Hanumana was the mighty general of Lord Rama’s army and led him to victory in his war against King Ravana. He was born with extraordinary strength and powers.

    Since childhood he was spellbound by the radiating energy and light of the sun and almost consumed the sun thinking it was golden glowing fruit, when his mother stopped him. When Lord Hanumana grew up he was curious to learn everything about the world and gain knowledge about all that existed. Lord Hanumana kept searching for a teacher who could help him learn and satiate his quest for knowledge and wisdom. Much dejected he went to his mother and asked for her guidance. His Mother ‘Anjana’ asked him to reach out to the Sun God and seek wisdom from him, because the sun sees everything that happens in the world and that ‘Surya’ would be able to share everything he had observed.

    Following his mother’s advice Lord Hanumana went to Sun God and put forth his request to learn everything Sun had observed. But ‘Surya’ declined Lord Hanuman’s request stating that he was too busy as he was always moving and he if stopped to take out time to teach, the world would fall out of balance.  Hanumana was so eager to learn that he convinced ‘Surya’ that he would not be required to stop to teach. Hanumana told him that we would travel with him and the Sun God could continue teaching him as he moved. Hanumana decided to ride alongside the Sun God’s chariot everyday so that the Sun God could teach him as he travelled. ‘Surya’ reminded Hanumana that the heat and glare will be unbearable if he stayed close to him, but Hanumana was determined to learn from his teacher was willing to make the sacrifices for gaining knowledge and wisdom from the Sun. Sun God was overwhelmed with Hanuman’s devotion and started teaching him. Both spent years together and ‘Surya’ would teach Hanumana each day as the travelled together. And then came a time when Hanumana had gained immense wisdom from his teacher and was ready to leave and take on his duties.

    Before leaving his teacher Hanumana requested Surya if he could do anything for his teacher in return of the knowledge that was given to him. Surya asked Hanumana to use all his wisdom, knowledge and strength for the benefit of the world and that would be his ‘Guru Dakshina’ (a fee or a gift that a student gives his teacher out of love and respect for making the student wiser).

    Hanumana felt so indebted to ‘Surya’ his teacher for all the teaching that he performed an elaborate ‘Namaskar’ (a gesture of respect made by bringing the palms together before the chest and bowing) as mark of immense respect for his teacher. This elaborate sequential namaskar came to be known as Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation) as it was performed by Lord Hanumana to pay respect to his teacher the Sun God.

    The Suryanamaskar reminds us to stay humble each day, because there is always something to learn towards becoming better. Lord Hanumana was born with supernatural strength and powers beyond the ordinary yet he chose to learn from Surya and took up all the challenges that came along the way because he was keen to learn. True learning happens when the ego is set aside and one submits oneself to one’s teacher with faith and devotion.

    By Ankur Tunaak

    Ankur Tunaak has been an Ashtanga yoga practitioner for over a decade, studied with Shree M. Vishwanath who was one of the first students and nephew of Shree Pathabhi Jois. Also, an alumnus of Bihar School Of Yoga, one of four premier Yogic Studies Institutions in India. Ankur is a storyteller and photographer, currently teaching yoga in New Delhi, India. Portrait photography by Ankur Tunaak.

    Read More Yoga Stories by Ankur Tunaak

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