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- Mother Teresa, Prominent philanthropist

Creative Surya Namaskar Sequence with Alessandra Pecorella, Vinyasa Energetic Flow teacher

By Alessandra Pecorella on 10 July 2013

This creative Namaskar is based on a Mandala ( circular rotation around the mat ) Virabhadrasana 2 and Anjayenasana . A Mandala means a circular pattern, whether this is an arm rotation or a circular rotation of yourself around the mat as you perform the Namaskar. The benefits of this particular type of practice are several: on the physical level there is an increased circulation of synovial Fluid in the Joints of both the lower and upper body . On the emotional and mental plane it is also important to keep things moving and flowing in all directions! In fact we live most of our lives in the frontal plane so in this kind of Namaskar (Salutation ) we literally open ourselves to all possibilities that life is offering .

I have chosen Virabhadrasana 2 and Anjayenasana ( lunge in Virabhadrasana 1) as they are very simple yet effective standing postures that work the hip joints in both the symmetric and asymmetric plane. The arms are sweeping up and down with fast circular motions, activating the circulation of the Lymph to removes toxins form the blood. Also these fast sweeping movements activate the internal heat ( a speedier metabolism helps in reducing toxicity ) as the arms are connected with “Jataragni”  the fire in the belly (between the solar plexus and navel area ).

This Mandala Namaskar can be a mini practice for when you have limited time to spend on your mat.
In Vinyasa Flow we follow the very simple rule that we only go where our breath can take us; in fact the Breath initiates all our movements and when we find ourselves out of breath means that we have gone too far. A very simple rule but often forgotten!


IN = Inhale EX = Exhale DD = Downward Facing Dog
IN the first round just go from down dog to low lunge , R foot forward , take 3 breaths where you can explore and tune into your legs, then step the feet together to the front of the mat and do the other side.

In the following round from DD stance
IN extend the R leg back and up
EX step forward and come to high lunge
IN reaching the arms up
As you EX throw the L arm down and around in a circular motion and let your L foot follow the movement, ground the heel down and open the hip into Virabhadrasana 2

Then IN turn your feet on your mat and open in to Vira 2 facing the back of the mat and still IN continue lift your back heel , parallel your hips and get into Lunge facing the back of the mat
Ex take it back into DD or continue with a Vinyasa ( any Vinyasa that you can sustain ) if this is integrated in your practice.

Repeat the same pattern but this time initiate the cycle by extending the L leg up, stepping into Lunge as you IN, Ex open into vira 2 then as you IN turn into vira 2 to face the front of the mat and still IN reach the arms up into lunge. Ex continue with a Vinyasa to DD.
This way you will have rotated around the mat at 180 degrees which is very beneficial for your joints (hips and shoulders ) and for your mind too!



For a full interview with Alessandra click here.