Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A, Ashtanga Yoga – Alexia Bauer


Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A is the first sun salutation traditionally performed five times to start the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series practice. Hello my name is Alexia and this is
Shelly right here, she will be demonstrating for me today
and I will guide her through Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A, the way
we do it in Ashtanga Yoga. So let’s start by bringing the feet together at the
front of the mat and the arms by the sides, shoulders down away from the ears
and the pelvis in a neutral position. This pose is called Samastitihi. Samastitihi means equal standing posture and that’s where we start and where we end.
The first time we do it I will break it up a little so that I can go into
details in each position and then we’ll do a couple where she just flows with my
count. So let’s begin the first position or ekam number one. Inhale, bring your
arms over the head, touch your palms, bring the shoulders down away from the
ears and maintaining the ribs in a little, the legs together, pressing in
towards each other and then as you exhale, fold forward, leading with the
chest and bringing the top of the head down towards the ground. Then
take a deep inhalation lift your head and your chest but keep
your gaze down towards the ground and as you exhale place your hands down on the
mat, step back, lowering down bending the elbows, keeping the chin lifted and the
shoulders up. If you need to bend your knees here and bring them to the ground,
do that, but maintain the shoulders up, the feet down, and the chin still up. Then
take a deep inhale, press your hands down, straighten your arms and bring the head
slightly back, gaze down for upward facing dog. The shoulders down away from
the ears lifting the chest and pressing firmly down with the tops of the feet so
that the legs are engaged as you exhale. Lift your pelvis and drag through to
make your way into downward facing dog hands firmly pressing into the ground
with the fingers wide opens, the index fingers pointing straight forward and
the shoulders away from the ears. Sometimes it helps to bend the elbows
and bring them in towards each other so that you can create that space bringing
the shoulders down so that the back can be engaged, the pelvis going up, heels
pressing down towards the ground. If the heels don’t go down and you feel like
your back is rounded you can bend your knees and then send the chest towards
the back or towards the thighs pressing the hands down and forward and slowly
and eventually you will create the flexibility so you can straighten your
legs. After five breaths here, step or jump forward towards the hands take a
deep inhalation lift the head up and then exhale fold forward. Then inhale
raise your arms up again, touch your palms, look at the thumbs and exhale arms
by the sides for Samastitihi again. Okay let’s do another round ekam.
Inhale, reach up, touch your palms, look at your thumbs, to a exhale fold forward top
of the head down. trainee inhale lift your head on your chest.
Catvāri, step back bending the elbows as you go down to get into Chaturanga Dandasana, inhale to upward facing dog lifting the chest and exhale roll back
to down dog. And we hold. One, engage the pelvic floor muscles and keep the low
belly slightly in for Uddiyana and Mula Bandha. Two, deep breaths through the
nose. Three, keep your gaze soft and steady towards the navel or somewhere
between the thighs. Four. And five, Supta step or jump forward. Inhale, lift your
head up, astau exhale, fold. Nava inhale reach up touch your palms look at the
thumbs and arms by the sides back to Samastitihi.
All right, that’s Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A.