Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation)
The Sanskrit word Surya means “sun” and Namaskar meaning “Salutation”. It is a complete exercise, which is made up of twelve successive movements of the body. As per traditional texts, it is good to practice Suryanamaskar only at dawn, before practicing asanas and pranayama. Because when you practice these twelve successive movements repeatedly one after another, you will engage the whole muscular structure into play, warming it up and conditioning it for the asanas.
How to perform?
Step 1 – Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
Mantra to chant – Om Mitrāya Namah (Salutations to the friend)
Stand straight at the top end of your mat, keep your feet together, bring your hands to the center of the chest and join your palms for namaste mudra.
Step 2 – Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)
Mantra- Om Rāvaye Namah (Salutations to the ever-shining)
Inhale, raise your hands above your head then stretch your whole body in an upward direction.
Make sure that your hands are close to your ears.
Look up then push the pelvis forward just a little.
Step-3 – Pada Hasta Asana (Hand to foot pose)
Mantra- Om Sūryāya Namah (Salutations to the cosmic light)
Exhale then bend forward from the hip joints while keeping your spine straight.
Complete this posture by placing your hands down to the floor beside your feet.
Step-4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Mantra- Om Bhānave Namah (Salutations to the illuminator)
Inhale then push your left leg far behind. Bring your left knee near to the floor then arch your back, stretch your torso in an upward direction and slowly lookup.
Step-5 – Mountain pose – Parvatasana
Mantra- Om Khagāya Namah (Salutations to the performer)
Exhale, take your right foot next to your left foot then lift up your hips as well as your tail bone. Now push your upper back towards the floor create an inverted V pose, look towards your navel.
Step-6- Ashta Anga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts)
Mantra- Om Pusne Namah (Salutations to the nourisher)
Inhale and bring your knees down to the floor then place your chest between your hands and chin ahead. Arrange your body in such a way that your two hands, two feet, two knees, chest, and chin should touch the ground.
Step-7- Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
Mantra- Om Hiranya Garbhāya Namah (Salutations to the cosmic power)
Turn your head in an upward direction then inhale and raise your chest up into the cobra pose. Keep your elbows bent and your shoulders away from your ears then look to the sky.
Step-8 – Mountain pose (Parvatasana)
Mantra – Om Marīcāye Namah (Salutations to the cosmic rays)
Exhale then lift up your hips as well as your tail bone. Now push your upper back towards the floor create an inverted V pose and look towards your navel.
Step-9- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Mantra- Om Adityāya Namah (Salutations to the son of Aditi)
breathe in and bring your left foot forward between your palms. Bring your left knee near to the floor then arch your back, stretch your torso in an upward direction and slowly lookup.
Step-10- Padahasta Asana (Hand to foot pose)
Mantra- Om Sāvitre Namah (Salutations to the stimulator)
Exhale, bring your right foot next to the left foot, bend forward while keeping your legs and spine straight.
Place your hands down to the floor beside your feet.
Step-11- Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)
Mantra- Om Arkāya Namah (Salutations to the elixir of life)
Inhale, while keeping your hands close to your ears, roll up, straighten your upper body. Once to reach the standing position then push the pelvis forward and lookup.
Step- 12- Pranama asana (Prayer pose)
Mantra- Om Bhāskarāya Namah (Salutations to the enlightener)
Exhale then bring your palms to the center of the heart and form a namaste, Mudra.
Limitations -: People suffering from fever, high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, after stroke, should not practice Surya namaskar. Women during menstruation and pregnancy should avoid this practice.
Method of Practice -:
Before practicing the complete cycle, repeatedly practice each posture separately for a few days.
To get maximum benefit, it is good to practice in the morning hours.
As a beginner, you may practice Sun salutation as slowly as if it is an asana.
After 3 months of practice, your aim should be to do 21 rounds of Suryanamaskar within 20 minutes time to get superb health and vibrant energy.
Duration of Practice -: Start with 10 rounds in the beginning and increase gradually up to 21 rounds.
Stimulating Charka -: It activates all major and minor chakras in the body.
It is a splendid exercise, it prepares the body for the asanas through toning up the muscles, quickening and intensifying the respiration without inducing any fatigue.
Sun salutation is a complete series of asanas which is a great help for growing kids in order to improve their concentration and height. As it revitalizes the key systems like- digestive, circulatory and nervous system.
It helps to stimulate the whole body within a short span of 10 minutes.
Surya namaskar reduces excess fat from the abdominal region by stimulating and toning muscles and organs of this region. It massages the viscera (intestines, liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach), improves the digestive system and reduces the fat.
It tones up the nervous system by repeated and successive stretching bending the spinal column.
It stimulates and normalizes the thyroid and parathyroid gland by a variety of successive movements and by compression of the neck. This process helps to get better sleep and to improve memory power.
Regular and diligent practice helps to throughout toxins from the body in the form of sweating by activating billions of cells within a short span of time.
It increases the immunity system by stimulating and strengthening all endocrine glands in our body.