The Sun Salutation, or in Sanskrit, in the yoga language, Surya Namaskar (surya = the sun; namaskar stems from namas, which means “to bow to”or “to adore.”) is a great way to start the day. It also suits great for charging energy during the day.
The traditional Sun Salutation consists of twelve asanas (yoga poses) and of twelve breaths. At the beginning you might feel that it is difficult to move and breathe in sync. First just breathe, learn the poses and when you know them by heart concentrate on your breathing. Soon you will notice how the breath leads and the movement follows. Sometimes you might feel that the breath and your movement are one. That beautiful feeling is called a moving meditation.
There are many different variations of the Sun Salutation. So, don’t get confused if you go to a class where the teacher teaches something different than what you are used to. Just go with the flow and enjoy! You also can create something own out of the Sun Salutation. That’s fun! But don’t practice it in a class if the teacher is giving you her / his variation. It is just rude to do your own thing and ignore the teacher…
By the way, the Sun Salutation, which we practice nowadays is not thousands of years old. The yogis in India did not salute the sun in the beginning of the time by doing this practice. Actually, the Sun Salutation, as we know it, is only about 100 years old…A fun and interesting fact!