Here comes the Sun: Sun Series Yoga class

In many cultures, light has long been a symbol of consciousness and self-illumination. In Yoga, the sun is represented by Pingala or Surya Nadi, which is an important source of energy being the source of life for this planet, present in everything you eat, drink and breathe.

Sun Series is a dynamic group of postures (Asanas) combined with rhythmic breathing which is effective in softening, stretching, massaging and strengthening the joints, muscles and organs. The practice of Sun Series is both a complete workout for the physical system as well as a tool that empowers us to break free from the compulsive cycles and patterns in our lives through aligning our physical cycles with the solar cycle.

A Sun Series class has as its foundation the twelve basic postures of classical Sun Salutation which mirror the number of years in the sun’s cycle. These twelve postures improve strength and flexibility of muscles and spine in addition to loosening up the body and tightening the abdomen muscles.

The twelve postures of classical Sun Salutation are:

• Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
• Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
• Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
• Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
• Plank Pose
• Knees-Chest-Chin (Ashtanga Namaskara)
• Cobra (Bhujangasana)
• Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
• Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
• Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
• Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
• Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Variations of Sun Salutation are legion, and because of the sequence's malleability, it's easy to add variations to focus on particular muscle groups or to develop strength or flexibility in certain areas. As the class proceeds additional poses such as Utkatasana (Chair Pose) or/and Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose) are added to the sequence to make things more challenging and physically rewarding.

During the practice, the length of time that poses will be held for will also vary. By elongating the amount of time that a pose is held for, the class will help build physical strength and stamina in addition to a warrior’s spirit and will. It also allows time to actually feel, adjust and re-adjust your position in the pose and improve your alignment.

In a Sun Series Yoga class, we pay particular attention to our breath, consciously breathing as we transition from posture to posture with either an inhalation or an exhalation. Breathing consciously helps us to connect with the subtle energy within to control our body, mind and emotions. The harmonisation of our movement, breath and subtle energy transforms our practice to a form of meditation in motion. We recognise our practice as a form of meditation in motion and centre our being at the beginning and end of our practice by chanting the universal sound: “AUM”. By chanting ‘AUM’ we calm our mind and nervous system to prepare for our Yoga practice and for returning to the world afterwards.

Some of the benefits of Sun Series include:

- Improve strength and flexibility of muscles and spine
- Lengthen and tone your muscles
- Stimulate muscles, joints, and ligaments.
- Improve circulatory and respiratory, stimulates the endocrine glands in the body
- One of the most effective cardiovascular exercises, weight loss
- Increase your energy circulation
- Experience moving meditation
- Increase Balance between physical and mental health
- Master every basic step of Surya Namaskar

If you would like to experience the physical and emotional benefits of Sun Series, join me on Saturday at 1.30 pm at in OSLO health.



Viv Tran Lynch

About the author

Viv, a 200RYT, 500RYT certified yoga instructor, has practised Yoga for many years. Having fallen in love with Yoga in Vietnam, she trained to become a teacher in Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, before coming to Dublin to share her passion.

Through her years of practising Yoga, she has discovered the importance of connecting one’s breath with every movement in Yoga practice. The benefits that this focus brings include increased stability, muscle endurance, balance and even the combination of strength and lightness in advanced asanas. Thus, in her class, she offers powerful Vinyasa with a focus on mindful movement to align the body, breath and mind. A firm believer that there is no one solution for everyone in yoga and one’s practise should be tailored to their ability and range of motion; she offers a variety of options for poses with differing degrees of difficulty in her classes. Viv creates a friendly, peaceful environment in her Yoga class by making Yoga down to earth and accessible for everyone.

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