Surya Namaskar – Step By Step

Learn how to do a Surya Namaskar.

This A and B version of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, is what you will practice, learn how to instruct and demonstrate in the Hatha Vinyasa classes at Hatha Yoga World while doing you Yoga Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh.

Opening Ceremony

This ritual is performed on the first day of the yoga teacher training course. A puja (ceremony) mark this event of beginning something new. It is a way to celebrate and ask for support on the journey to become our highest self. In Indian culture this ritual is performed whenever we are beginning something new, to get a blessing from the universe. With the fire ceremony we burn away any past karma to restart and embark on a journey with fresh mind and soul to complete the course with no obstacles. After the welcoming ceremony you will be provided with a yoga kit which includes the book “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” Satyananda Saraswati, a manual and a T-shirt with the school logo.

Prana, Pranayama & Practicing Yoga

What is prana? It is not exactly the breath. It’s the breath, but it’s also everything else in the universe. This energy which is everywhere is called prana. Prana is a force.  

So, what is pranayama? In the Patanjali Yoga Sutra Chapter 1, sutra 34 it says: 

prachchhardanavidharanabhyan va prannasya
By throwing out and restraining the breath 

To control the breath through techniques is called pranayama. Inhaling, exhaling and holding the breath with awareness can make your mind calmer. Through breathing techniques, you can control motions in the mind and energy currents in the body. At Hatha Yoga World you’ll learn and practice different pranayama techniques every morning.   

To gain control and calmness takes time. Pranayama is a practice which will change the body over time because of new channels being made in your brain. But is takes time because humans like to use the old channels already in the brain because it’s easy. The word channel, in this case, is just an example to explain what happens in your mind and body.  

Whenever you think about something it makes a channel. This channel will close if you don’t use it. Memories will keep the channel open because the channel in your brain is being used when you have a similar thought.  

Whenever a new topic comes, a different thought, a new channel has to be made to be understood. This is difficult and therefore the brain resists these new thoughts and ideas. So, prana is trying to make new channels but the brain won’t allow it.  

The less channels a brain has, the more difficult it is to accept new thoughts. But the more channels, the easier it will be to accept new ideas and new thoughts.  

The yoga practice is new and this creates resistance in your mind at first and therefore also in your body. When you deal with philosophy and psychology it’s difficult to understand because it’s not familiar. When it’s new to you and you begin to think about it, it produces new channels in the brain which disturbs your whole system and makes the practice difficult at first. That is why you should choose the yogic path and yoga practice which is most suitable for you.  
 
In our 100, 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training course you will be introduced to the different yogic paths and aspects of yoga. This will help you find your yogic path and find a practice which can be with you daily and lifelong.  

Yin Yoga Poses: Cat Pulling Its Tail

This pose is one that we practice often and happily at Hatha Yoga World in the 200 & 300 hour yoga teacher training courses. It’s just a great pose with lots of benefits.

Benefits
– Cat pulling Its Tail bring chi or prana to the spleen and stomach (earth element), gallbladder (wood element), urinary bladder and kidney (water element) meridians.

– The variation shown on the pictures will give your spine a well appreciated twist which feels nice as a counter pose after any deep forward fold or backbend.

– If you want to and if it’s available, you can grab your feet for a hamstring stretch and quad stretch at the same time.

PS. Remember benefits will only be there for us if we listen to our body and limits. Never go beyond and never feel pain.

How to practice Cat Pulling Its Tail?

Step one: Lie down on your left side. Bring your right leg out in front of you.

Step two: Wiggle your left shoulder further forward and bring both shoulders towards the floor to twist your spine.

Step three: With your right hand you can now reach towards your left foot behind you (you can use a belt or strap if you want).
For an even deeper stretch you can reach your left hand to hold your right foot in front of you.

Notes: Practice the pose on both sides and bring your knees to chest afterwards as a counter pose.

Hold the pose 2-5 min on each side.

See you on the mat!

 

Principles and benefits of a Yoga practice

Principles of a Hatha Vinyasa practice

  • Flow, enjoy and express any desired movements.
  • Creates internal heat
  • Target muscles through a contraction
  • Encourage the practitioner to be aware of self
  • Feel which movement are appropriate to obtain natural balance.

What are the benefits?

  • Flexibility
  • Health
  • Strength
  • Calm mind
  • Self Improvement
  • Body awareness

Principles of a Yin Yoga practice

  • Identify the target area.
  • Explore variations.
  • Find the appropriate edge.
  • Support with props if necessary.
  • Relax muscles and body scan to check where tension is.
  • Cultivate stillness.
  • Stay long in the asana to feel the benefits.
  • Breath awareness.
  • Be mindful and present. Witness thoughts and emotions.
  • Rebound: When coming out the asana, be conscious and move slow.

Benefits of Yin Yoga

  • Prevents contracture of ligaments (natural shortening of ligament tissue)
  • Lubricates joints
  • Fascial release
  • Stimulates the flow of Qi and fluid in the body.
  • Creates a bridge from asana to meditation, nourishing acceptance and passiveness.
  • Naturally restores energy.
  • Stillness is the goal and relaxation is the key.

What Is Vinyasa?

Vinyasa is a flow and movement in coordination with the breath. The flow brings a feeling of natural balance.

‘Vi’ means ‘in a special way’ and ‘Nasya’ means to place. In this case the word special is describing the intention behind the placement of the body and the logic of the movements.

Experience the beauty of listening to your body and flow from one asana to another safely, with your knowledge on adjustments and alignment which you will gain in the teacher training courses at Hatha Yoga World in Rishikesh, India.

When you know the benefits of each asana then you can build a session for yourself and students according to the different bodies and the energy you want to create. You will learn how to create a sequence in the 200 and 300 hour yoga course and this way you’ll be able to roll out you mat and flow safely.

What is Hatha?

Hatha focus is to balance the flow of Prana, meaning life force, in Ida nadi and Pingala nadi. Ida nadi represents the female energy and the Pingala nadi, represents the masculine energy. This is the duality present is every human body.

We can create balance by purifying our body through yoga practices like an asana practice. In Hatha Yoga we are seeking balance and to unite our body, mind and spirit to find absolute truth. Only through self practice these benefits will arise. There are many ways to practice Yoga, but one of the fastest ways to experience this union and purification is through our body. That’s why we practice asanas. Our body is a vessel towards experiencing all your spiritual gifts that has been located inside of us all along.

Performing asanas is about much more than just exercise, but you cannot argue with the endless benefits for our physical well being. Traditional Hatha Yoga is a practice that will make you feel light, strong and healthy. Your muscles will feel stretched, joints will be painless, internal organs will get a massage and your mind will feel clear.

At the Hatha Yoga World school in Rishikesh, India we teach traditional Hatha with focus on adjustments to be in proper alignment in the poses and to gain the full benefits on the pose. In the 200 and 300 hour Yoga teacher training courses you will learn how to be aligned yourself but also how to help others to be aligned with hands on adjustments.

Through the physical body we are transforming our whole being with Hatha Yoga. We create a flexible body to be able to sit in solitude to obtain a flexible mind. This can only be achieved without any discomfort in our body when we sit in meditation. This is the main purpose of our Yoga practice.