Benefits of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
A Technique of Solar Vitalisation
Benefits of Surya Namaskar, This is what we are going to discuss today.
Surya Namaskara is a well known and vital yogic practice.
It is a series of 12 yogic asanas that induces a healthy, vigorous, active life and at the same time, helpful for spiritual awakening and expansion of awareness.
For most of us, today’s lifestyle is full of mental tension, worries and seemingly insoluble problems at many levels, such as personal interrelationship, physical disease, sedentary or semi-sedentary work due to technical advancement and ignorance to cope with the challenges of life.
This leads to a situation in which mental and physical imbalance occurs that is visible in human behavior in daily life.
Without an antidote, there seems to be little hope.
Yoga practices are an ideal antidote to stress and tension, proving to be the most effective therapy for mental and physical disease.
Divine Yoga School Rishikesh focuses on proper teaching practice of Surya Namaskara during 200-hour yoga teacher training as Surya Namaskara is an integral part of the yogic approach to these problems and can be practiced on a daily basis to obtain mental and physical health.
The Solar Tradition:
The origin of Surya Namaskara and benefits of Surya Namaskar is very old in history.
When human being first became aware of spiritual power within himself and an entire universe, he started to worship the sun and all that represent the solar energy on the micro and macrocosmic level.
The practice of Sun Salutation:
Surya Namaskara is a series of twelve physical postures in which 5 postures are repeating.
These alternating backward and forward bending asana flex and stretch the spine and limbs through their maximum range.
This is an intense yoga practice that few other forms of exercise can be compared with it.
Before commencing the practice, stand with the feet together but slightly apart with the balance of body equally distributed on both the legs.
Arms relaxed by the side of the body. Close your eyes and become aware of the whole physical body.
Develop awareness of your whole body from top to toe, relaxing any tension you find on the way.
Keep your breathing normal and rhythmic.
Be aware of this for a few moments and then go on the practice of Surya Namaskar and reap the benefits of Surya namaskar.
Position 1: Pranamasana (prayer pose)-
Stand erect with the feet slightly apart and close the eyes.
Place both palms together in front of the chest in namaskar mudra.
Become thankful of the existence with your awareness on the hand mudra.
Mentally offer homage to the Sun, the source of life.
Breathing: Breath normally.
Position 2: Hasta Utthanasana (raised arm pose)
Raise and stretch both arms above the head, with the palms facing upwards.
Arch back and stretched the whole body.
Keep the arms separated, shoulders width apart.
Stretch the head back as is comfortably possible.
Become aware of the stretch on the back.
Breathing: Inhale while raising the arms
Position 3: Padahastasana (hand to foot pose)-
In a continuous movement bend the back forward from the hips.
Bring the hands to the floor on either side of the feet and try to touch the knees with the forehead.
The legs should remain straight. Focus your awareness at the pelvis.
Breathing: Exhale while bending forward.
Contra-indication: People with back condition should not bend forward fully.
Position 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)-
Keeping both the hands-on either side of the feet, take the right leg back as far as possible and place the knee on the ground.
Bring the pelvis forward, arch the spine and lookup.
The fingertips should touch the floor and balance the body.
Focus your awareness at the eyebrow center or stretch on the lower back.
Breathing: Inhale while bringing the chest forward and up
Position 5: Parvatasana (mountain pose)
Bring the palms to the floor.
Take the left foot back and place it beside the right. Simultaneously raise the buttocks and lower the head between the arms, so that the body forms a triangle.
The legs and arms should be straight in the final position.
Bend the head to look at the knees
Focus your awareness at the neck area.
Breathing: Exhale while taking the left leg back
Position 6: Ashtanga Namaskarasana (salute with eight parts pose)
Lower the knees to the floor then bring the chest and chin to the floor, keeping the buttocks elevated.
The hand’s chin, chest, knees, and toes touch the floor and the spine is arch in shape.
Focus the awareness at the center of the body or on the lower back muscles.
Breathing: The breath is held outside in this pose.
Position 7: Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Lower the hips while pushing the chest forward and upward with the arms.
Straighten the elbows, arch the back and push the chest forward into the cobra pose.
The legs and lower abdomen remain on the floor and the arms support the trunk.
Focus the awareness at the base of the spine feeling the tension from the forward pull.[
Breathing: Inhale while raising the torso and arching the back.
a. Position 8: Parvatasana (mountain pose).
b. Position 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (equestrian pose).
c. Position 10: Padahastasana (hand to foot pose).
d. Position 11: Hasta Utthanasana (raised arm pose).
e. Position 12: Pranamasana (prayer pose).
Practice Note: Position 1 to 12 constitutes half a round of Surya Namaskara.
To complete the other half the same movements are performed, the only variation being that the left leg is brought back in position 4, and the right leg is moved forward in position 9 so, one full round consists of 24 movements, two sets of 12 postures.
After practicing for some time, when it becomes easy, Sun Salutation is practiced in a continuous and unbroken flow.
Limitations: There are no limitations as far as age is an issue.
Surya Namaskara is possible throughout all stages of growth, maturity and old age.
However elderly people should avoid overstraining that can cause physical injury and exhaustion.
Children under eight years of age usually do need Surya Namaskara.
Surya Namaskar should be avoided by the people with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease or weak blood vessel or in case of heart stroke.
People with spinal problems should consult a medical expert before practicing Surya Namaskar.
Shavasana is a yogic pose of relaxation, should be practiced with breath awareness after completing Surya Namaskara.
It relieves any tensions which may be present in the body.
After the practice of Shavasana, complete mental and physical relaxation is achievable in a few minutes and afterward, one feels fully refreshed.