Here are a couple variations of Surya Namaskar. These 2 move from half-kneeling and kneeling.
I learned the second from Tim, who I believe received it from Desikachar some years back (could be wrong? Maybe Desikachar got it from Tim).
They’re both great if your hamstring/back/calf/shoulders/wrists (any or all) are fucked, which may be the case if, say, you're an athletic human being in North America!
I did the second variation for some months after exploding my heel bone in 2012; the child’s position (balasana) was essentially my downward dog because I couldn’t put any weight on one foot.
The emphasis as always is on mobilizing, not stretching, and of course on entwining the breath with gaze, movement, and internal “sticking places” of awareness (tristana — ujjayi, vinyasa, drishti).
Get into this kind of detail at a few upcoming events: a 6-class series on the Primary Series at Yoga Pearl, a great way to learn the appropriate Primary Series for you.
I’m also doing both a Primary and Intermediate Series Saturations (Feb and April).
Finally, if you’re new to Ashtanga, or simply want a refresher, you can join the February 2-week Intro to Ashtanga course! (February 13-24.) You’ll get specific 1-on-1 modifications, either easier --- OR harder!
Jason owns and directs Portland Ashtanga Yoga.