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Sun Salutations

Updated: Jan 28

On this page, texts by members of the Association are posted, regarding the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and yoga in general. The opinions expressed in the texts are personal, fall under the sole responsibility of their author and do not constitute an official position of the Association.

We begin the practice with the sun salutation. Perhaps at some moments the thought of whether I feel like practicing will arise.

Such a feeling can be ambiguous in the sense that having a desire for practice we might be disappointed, while not having a desire (for practice) we are likely to enjoy and benefit from it.

It is easier to get well when we are not feeling well through an activity than when we are well and looking for something beyond an activity, which sometimes or often leads to disappointment.

Yoga is a practice that always starts from the present moment, not from what we had in mind as the past, nor from what we would like in the future.

So, what is important is staying in the present, which we discern experientially through the various stages of the practice such as for example the exercises (asanas) or holding the breath in pranayama (kumbhaka), various concentration exercises, self-observation etc.

The name "Sun salutations" literally represents various qualities of the sun, such as warmth, the 'awakening' of nature, life, to name a few. We can imagine the important influence of the sun on our planet and the value of the thing that is evident when we feel its absence.

The feeling in our being will be similar when we do this practice. The 'sun salutation' or Surya Namaskar as it is called in the Sanskrit language is a series of movements that follow each inhalation and exhalation.

Yoga practice is inspired by nature, animals, geometry, various Gods, Sages or Saints (Rishis) of its practitioners from the past. Starting in the standing position of Tadasana and bringing the two palms together in front of the heart we recite either verbally or mentally some phrases of gratitude to each teacher who has inspired us and inspires us. A teacher is, for example, not only a teacher who guides us in a lesson, but any teacher or form of existence that awakens this feeling in us, in any form.

A few repetitions of the practice of "Sun salutations" in everyday life are beneficial at the start of each day, each practice either physically or mentally. The various positions of the sun salutation in addition to physical benefits have mental benefits as well. Physical well-being is a useful preparation or a stage before mental well-being, which is experienced by those who are initiated into the practice of yoga.

November 2023, Nektarios Mitritsakis

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