Purna Sun Salute

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

In the final posture of the Purna Surya Namaskar series we look at Adho Mukha Svanasana, a basic arm supported inversion. 

 
 

Bhujangasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

In the fifth posture that comprises the Purna Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), we look at Bhujangasana, a basic prone backbending pose.  

In this asana, the whole body from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head rise like the head of a cobra, symbolising the awakening of the serpent kundalini, the potential energy which lies coiled and dormant at the base of the spine, toward the third eye (ajna chakra) and undifferentiated consciousness.

Back bending asanas energise the sympathetic nervous system of the body, stimulating the kidney and adrenal areas. There is a squeezing action in this area as the spine arcs and the pose is held, which soaks this area with blood when the pose is released, maximising the function of the organs.

 
 

Balasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

In the fourth posture that comprises the Purna Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), we look at Balasana, a basic kneeling forward bend.   

The most central movement of the human spine is flexion - the one that emphasises its primary curve. In the womb and for a period of time following birth, a baby’s spine is shaped like the letter C. This curve is termed a primary curve, which is Kyphotic. As it’s name would therefore suggest, the Pose of the Child replicates the primary curve of the foetus floating in utero and holds a deep physical and psychological memory of our time as infants.

 
 

Ashva Sanchalanasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

In the third posture of the Purna Surya Namaskar series we look at Ashva Sanchalanasana, a low lunge pose. 

This asana is a variation of  ‘Anjaneyasana’, which is another name for Lord Hanuman the monkey God of Vedic mythology. Hanuman is an incarnate of Lord Shiva who wears the crescent moon in his hair. In Anjaneyasana, the torso is in an upright position and the arms are raised above the head, palms touching in namaskar.

The crescent moon shape of Anjaneyasana teaches that what we don’t see is just as important as what we do see and that stability comes from the equalisation of opposing forces: light and dark; sun and moon; ‘ha’ and ‘tha’. Through our practice of asana we begin to see the importance of balancing the forces of nature and intuition with the forces of intelligence, reasoning and logic.

 
 

Uttanasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

In the second posture that comprises the Purna Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), we look at Uttanasana, a basic standing forward bend.   The gesture of bowing down is an act of deep respect and humility, and represents our desire for balance, and a harmonious relationship with the earth and other beings.

The highest (head) joins the lowest (feet) as the heart is elevated over the brain. The seat of the ego at the solar plexus is empty and levitates as the palms of the hand and feet draw energy from the earth.

It is a pose that can be practiced on its own, or between standing poses because of its recuperative benefits.

 
 

Tadasana

Written by Kara Goodsell

The Vedic Scriptures speak of the sacred sound OM as the basis of all sound, emerging from Absolute Silence.  

It follows that all asana emerge from the perfect symmetry of Tadasana, the basis of the standing poses.  

 
 
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