Friday, July 30, 2010

How often shall one practice the surya namaskaras?

How often shall one practice surya namaskara A and surva namaskara B? (Thanks to S I know this):

1. As long as a yogi/yogini does not practice the complete first series it is the rule that he/she does 5 surya namaskara As and 5 surya namaskara Bs.
2. Later, when the first series is complete, one practices only 5 surya namaskara As and 3 surya namaskara Bs.

This makes also sense, as the first series aims at building strength for different reasons:

1. Without strength some asanas are simply not possible.
2. Strength and engaging the muscles protect from injuries.
3. We need strenght also in daily life, not only flexibility.

How do we build strength when practicing the first Ashtanga series:
1. Strength can be build by practicing the surya namaskara As and Bs 5 times.
2. When performing an asana muscles are engaged, other body parts are open and relaxed, but there are always muscles that are engaged. An example: When doing paschimottanasana the thighs are engaged. Slowly this builds up strenght.
3. We build strength when we practice the vinyasa not only between the different asanas, but also between sides.
4. The bandhas are also muscles to be engaged.

To engage the leg muscles when I  do the standing poses and the sitting poses is something I discovered rather late. It makes a difference. The poses become stable. It is as if I give myself an adjustment. The feet come easy in the right position.

Today was the last Mysore class with M for the next two months. I will practice much more often alone during that time. I have a plan, but this is another post. I practiced with care today, as I am not 100% on top. Nevertheless back bending was excellent. I understand the movement now. Tomorrow is my day off and on Sunday I will practice as usual at home. My overstretched muscles and swollen joints and overstretched knee ligaments can relax and heal as I will practice a bit more modest at home than in a Mysore class. Surely.

David Swenson and his bible:


Krishna said...

As I am a beginner to Ashtanga I am currently doing 6 rounds of Surya Namaskar A and 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B .I think I need to now extend my Surya Namaskar B to either 6 rounds or practice both A and B for 5 rounds each .Anyway thanks for writing about this .

Alice said...

Thanks so much, Ursula. That really is SO useful for me to know (I never knew there was a reason to do them, or that they were to be performed first, in order to build strength).

Since I went to my first yoga class a couple of weeks ago I have actually found a local Ashtanga class, with Mysore sessions (instead). I can't tell you how excited I am about it. I start on Thursday.

Thanks to you, for the inspiration.

bindifry said...

i think it depends on the weather. when it's cold, i do 10 or more, when it's too humid, i do 6. i teach it that way, too. many beginners can not do 10 at all. i really think it's a day to day thing.

Ursula said...

Thank you all for the comments.

Yeah it is all not fixed.
Last but not least the yoga practice must be adjusted to the student and not the other way round.


Jayney3210 said...

Hi Ursula, thanks for leaving a comment the other day. I have to be honest I mainly practice Hatha yoga and although I do, do sun salutations, I don't know the difference between Surya Namaskar A & Surya Namaskar B.

Ursula said...

I like questions. I'll write about it. Soon. But I don't know yet when.

Good luck for you.