Sunday, October 27, 2013

Surya Namaskar: A Salutation to Surya

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, is done in devotion of the centre of the universe, the Sun. Surya Namaskar is a way of salutation to this most powerful celestial body which provides heat and light to other planets. 

Surya Namaskar is experienced on three levels: mind, body and intellect. It is a sort of training to the mind and soul. We must know that only 35-40% of our muscles are involved in our daily activities and rest all remain inactive. Our body gets prone to diseases when there is imbalance of Kapha, Waat and Pitta. To remain active throughout our life, we must practice Surya Namaskar which involves the working of almost 95% to 97% of our muscles.

The breathing exercise, Pranayama, involved in Surya Namaskar provides more oxygen to the lungs making the rhythm of breathing heavy with vitality. Due to this, each breath becomes clear and carries more oxygen to different parts of the body. The Chakras (vital points) get charged and the Surya-Tej of these Chakras are enlightened with the sight and thought of Surya Devta (Sun God). 
Surya Namaskar steps

Step.1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose): Stand at the edge of the mat and keep your feet together, balancing your weight equally on both feet. Expand your chest and relax the shoulders. While breathing in, lift both the arms up and while exhaling, bring the palms together in front of your chest forming a prayer position.

Mantra: ॐ मित्राय नमः
             Salutations to the friend of all.

Step.2: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose): While breathing in, lift your arms and back up, keeping your biceps close to ears. The purpose of this pose is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the finger tips.

Mantra: ॐ रवये नमः।
             Salutations to the shining one.

Step.3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose): While breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping your spine erect. Breathe out and bring the hands down to the floor, beside your feet.

Mantra: ॐ सूर्याय नमः।
              Salutations to he who induces activity.

Step.4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): Breathe in and push your right leg back (as far as possible). Bring your right knee on the floor and look up.

Mantra: ॐ भानवे नमः।
             Salutations to he who illumines.

Step.5: Dandasana (Stick pose): While breathing in, take your left leg back, bringing the whole body in a straight line.

Mantra: ॐ खगाय नमः।
              Salutations to he who moves quickly in the sky.

Step.6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points): Slowly bring your knees down on the floor and exhale. Slightly take the hips back, slide forward, rest the chest and chin on the floor. Raise the posterior a little.

Mantra: ॐ पुषणे नमः।
              Salutations to the giver of strength.

Step.7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): Slide forward and raise your chest up forming the Cobra posture. Keep the elbows bent and shoulders away from the ears and look up.

Mantra: ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः।
              Salutations to the golden, cosmic self.

Step.8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose): Breathe out, lift your hips and tailbone up. Your chest should be downwards in an ‘inverted V’ (/ \) posture.

Mantra: ॐ मरीचये नमः।
              Salutations to the Lord of the Dawn.

Step.9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): While breathing in, bring your right foot forward in between the two hands. Bring the left knee down on the floor, press the hips down and look up.

Mantra: ॐ आदित्याय नमः।
              Salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic Mother.

Step.10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose): Breathe out and bring the left foot forward. Keep your palms on the floor. If necessary, bend the knees.

Mantra: ॐ सवित्रे नमः।
              Salutations to the Lord of Creation.

Step.11: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose): Breathe in, roll your spine up, hands should also go up and bend backwards a little, pushing the hips slightly outward.

Mantra: ॐ अर्काय नमः।
              Salutations to he who is fit to be praised.

Step.12: Tadasana: While exhaling, straighten the body and then bring the arms down. Relax in this position and observe the sensations in your body.

Mantra: ॐ भास्कराय नमः।
              Salutations to he who leads to enlightenment.

Click here to learn more about Surya Namaskar- Surya Namaskar Benefits

Surya Namaskar For Overall Development

Boosts overall health: Surya Namaskar not only completes the body warm up but also provides mental awareness. The deep breathes taken while doing the 12 asanas is very much beneficial for the health.

Improves digestion: The alternate stretching and compressing of the abdominal organs improves the digestive system. Surya Namaskar is very effective for the people suffering from constipation and indigestion, if done with an empty stomach every morning.

Bless you with rock-hard abs: The abdominal muscles are strengthened while performing the asanas providing workout to the core muscles including the abs.

Detoxifies the body: The active inhalation and exhalation process leads to thorough ventilation of the lungs and oxygenation of the blood. This helps in detoxification of the body by getting rid of the toxic gases.

Helps in getting rid of anxiety: Surya Namaskar improves the memory and nervous system. It also helps to calm down and getting rid of anxiety. Functioning of endocrine glands is also normalized.

Improves flexibility and helps in weight loss
The 12 asanas of Surya Namaskar workout the entire body and makes it flexible. It also helps in losing weight as compared to dieting.

Keeps you youthful: Incorporating Surya Namaskar in daily routine, keeps one youthful and healthy even in old age.

Surya Namaskar provides radiance and vitality to mind and brain. With its regular practice we can all have mental as well physical tensions at bay. A healthy and long life is possible with imparting Surya Namaskar in our daily schedule.

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