Surya Namaskar: A Perfect beginning to the day

Rig Veda says “Surya is the Soul, both for mobile and immobile beings”.

In Hindu mythology, Surya or the Sun has been given much importance. It is the source of energy to all the beings. Without the sun no life would be possible. Surya Namaskar or sun salutation is a way of paying respect to the sun . But that’s not all, Surya Namaskar is also considered as a complete body workout.

Surya Namaskar or sun salutation deals with nearly all elements or aspects of yoga. It helps in rejuvenating our body from the stressful, fast and unhealthy lifestyle and maintains perfect balance for fit body and calm mind. Surya Namaskar can be practiced in the morning(on empty stomach) as well as in evening. There are twelve poses involved in Surya Namaskar through which each and every part of the body gets apt exercise. It also help in enhancing our vision and outlook towards life. Among the twelve poses of Surya Namaskar, first and the last are positions and rest 10 are different asanas. The sequence of 25 continuous Surya Namaskar completes one Aavriti (frequency). Surya Namaskar can be practiced by the people of all age group.

The real meaning of Surya Namaskar can be understood by knowing the true meaning of the mantra which can be chanted (optional) while practicing it. The mantras are not mandatory and can be skipped to just do the physical part.

Om Mitriya Namaha

Kneeling to him who is affectionate to all

Om Ravaye Namaha

Kneeling to him who is cause for change

Om Surya Namaha

Kneeling to Him who induce activity

Om Bhanave Namaha

Kneeling to Him who diffuses light

Om Khagaya Namaha

Kneeling to Him who moves in the sky

Om Pushne Namah

Kneeling to Him who nourishes all

Om Hiranya Garbhaye Namah

Kneeling to Him who contains everything

Om Marichaye Namah

Kneeling to Him who possesses rays

Om Aadityaaya Namah

Kneeling to Him who is Gods of god

Om Savitre Namah

Kneeling to Him who produces everything

Om Arkaya Namah

Kneeling to Him who is fit to be worshiped

Om Bhaskaraya Namah

Kneeling to Him who is the cause of lusture

 

surya namaskar

Poses involved in different steps of Surya Namaskar:

The first posture is called Pranamasana(Prayer Pose).

How to do:

Stand upright with your feet together. Make your chest expanded and relax your shoulders. As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.

Health benefit:

It help to stimulate respiratory system, exercise of shoulder, back and neck and promotes balance of the body and mind. Focusing the vision on the nose helps to control the mind. It also increases the glow on face.

Second posture is Hasta Uttanasana(Raised Arms Pose)

Breathing:

During this we have to inhale.

How To Do:

In this step raise your arms up while breathing in, stretch whole body backward while gazing the sky with eyes open. Bend backward as much as possible and expand your chest at the same time.

Health Benefit: Shoulders and oesophagus gets exercise and the ailments related to them are eliminated.

Third posture is Hasta Padasana(Hand To Foot Pose) .

Breathing :

During this pose breath should be exhaled.

How To Do:

Slowly breathing out, bend the body in the forward direction with erect spine and without bending the knees. Rest your palms on the ground and touch the knees with the forehead(if possible) as you exhale completely.

Health Benefit: Disorder related to stomach and digestive system are eliminated. Ailments related to feet and toes are also taken care of.

Fourth posture is called Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose).

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be inhaled.

How To Do:

While performing this pose inhale slowly and pull your right leg backward in such a way that knee and foot of the right leg touches the ground. Push forward your left leg pressing the abdomen hard. Raise your head as high as possible and look upward.

Health benefit: It strengthens the spine and hands. Throat ailments are eliminated.

Fifth posture is called Dandasana(Stick pose).

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be inhaled.

How To Do:

While breathing in, stretch the left leg backward and place left foot next to the right foot. Bring the whole body in a straight line with your arms perpendicular to the floor.

Health benefit:

It help to improve posture, strengthens spine, wrist, may help to relieve complication related to reproductive organs and increases body resistance to back and hip injury.

Sixth pose is Ashtanga Namaskara(Salute With Eight Parts Or Points)

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be exhaled.

How to do:

While performing this pose, gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. The hands, feet, knees, chest and chin should touch the floor.

Health benefit: Improves flexibility and strength of back muscles. Also helps to reduce tension and anxiety.

Seventh pose is Bhujanagasna(Cobra pose)

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be inhaled.

How To Do:

To do this asana slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture. Elbows should be bent and shoulders should be kept away from ears. Look up. As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward.

Health Benefit: Strengthens spine, tones body, improve digestion as well as male and female reproductive system, issues related with irregular menstrual cycle can also be rectified.

Eight pose is Parvatasana(Mountain pose)

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be exhaled.

How To Do:

While performing this slowly exhale your breath, lift the hips and the tail bone up, push chest downwards in an 'inverted V' posture. If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tail bone up, going deeper into the stretch.

Health Benefits: Back get toned due to the elongation of spine. Strengthens hand , waist muscle and heart. This is one of the most effective pose for reducing bulging belly and reducing waist line.

Ninth pose is Ekapada prasaranasana(Equestrian pose)

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be inhaled.

How To Do:

Slowly inhaling, bring the right foot forward and place it in between the hands. Keep the left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look upwards. Right foot should be placed exactly between the hands with the right calf perpendicular to the floor.

Health Benefits: This posture helps to get rid of constipation and diseases of the liver, throat ailments. It also aids in improving the thickness of semen.

Tenth pose is Hasta Padasana(Hand To Foot Pose).

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be exhaled.

How To Do:

Slowly exhaling bring your left foot next to the right one. Keep the palms on the floor.

Health benefits are similar to the third pose.

Eleventh pose is Hasta uttanasana(Raised Arms Pose).

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be inhaled.

How To Do:

Breathing in, roll the spine up, take arms upwards to above the shoulders with hands folded and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.

Health Benefits are similar to the second pose.

Twelveth pose is the Tadasana

Breathing:

In this pose breath should be slowly exhaled.

How To Do:

As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position for a moment and feel the energy inside your body.

Every pose of surya namaskar turns out to be a beautiful gift to our body. It actually pushes the toxin out of body. Performing Surya namaskar actually lightens up mind, body and soul. This exercise not only helps us to be physically fit but can also act as the unending source of energy inside you.

Note: This article is just for informative purpose to understand once body and improve lifestyle. Consult a doctor for any health related issue.

References:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/

https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-poses/cobra-pose

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