Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
The sun is the source of light and energy. People of all religions in the world praise and worship the sun. The sun’s rays have immense power in them. Without solar energy, there is no life on earth. So the Surya namaskar method came into practice to respect the sun.
Oxygen is available highly at sunrise and sunset. Many benefits arise when Surya Namaskar Asanas is practised at sunrise and sunset in front of the sun. These asanas are called “body positions” in yoga training.
Mantras with different names of the sun are also prescribed, which means that 12 asanas are practised to form a group of Surya-Namaskar. Reciting mantras creates strong vibrations in the mind and body. When Surya namaskaras are given the recitation of mantras, a solar inspiration is generated in the body.
When practising these asanas, the mind needs to focus on each part of the body to get more benefits. Everyone can practice Surya Namaskar Asanas. They are a blessing for the students. You must start with the first three asanas and gradually increase to establish 12 body positions in the 12 asanas.
People with heart trouble, high blood pressure, spondylitis, back pain and weakness should practice these asanas, only after they are relieved of their problems. This also should be avoided by women during pregnancy and menstrual periods.
Mantras of Surya Namaskar
There are 1008 different Divine Mantras of Surya Namaskar. Among them, 15 are more popular.
- Om Suryay namaha: Meaning- Salute to the life generator.
- Om Adityay namaha: Meaning- Salute to the first saviour- Son of the cosmic mother.
- Om Anshuley namaha: Meaning- Salute to the ray generator.
- Om Arkay namaha: Meaning- Salute to eradicator of evil.
- Om Hiranyagarbhay namaha: Meaning -Salute to golden sparjing self.
- Om Bhaskaray namaha: Meaning- Salute to the promotor of divine knowledge.
- Om Prabhakaray namaha: Meaning- Salute to the light generator.
- Om Dinakaray namaha : Meaning – Salute to day maker.
- Om Bhanavey namaha: Meaning- Salute to the great flame.
- Om Pushney namaha : Meaning – Salute to the energizer.
- Om Khagay namaha : Meaning – Salute to the sky dweller.
- Om Mitray namaha: Meaning – Salute to the friend of all.
- Om Marichey namaha: Meaning -Salute to the shining rays.
- Om Savitrey namaha: Meaning- Salute to the stimulator of universal energy.
- Om Ravaye namaha : Meaning- Salute to the giver of divine shine and happiness.
After reciting one mantra Surya Namaskar is started. One Surya Namaskar means a set of 12 asanas.
How to do Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar combines Yoga Asanas and Pranayama. As such it comes in between Sithilikarana vyayama and yoga asanas. It brings about the overall flexibility of the body preparing it for further Asanas and Pranayamas. This is usually done both at sunrise and sunset, facing The Sun. For Hindus, it can be done by chanting. But it is not mandatory!
There are mainly two modes of performing Surya Namaskar. In one, there are 12 steps and in the other only 10 in each round.
Each Stage regulation of breath accompanies Surya Namaskar. The 12 steps of the suryanamaskara are as follows:
1. Stand erect with legs together and palms together. Take the hands above the head and bend the trunk backward, Here, inhale fully. By chanting one mantra, Smoothly both hands are stretched in front, thumbs touching each other.
Awareness: Chanting of the mantra and then on arms.
2. Bend the body to the front and touch the knees by the forehead. Keep the palms on the floor on either side of the legs. Exhale fully.
3. In this stage, kick the right leg back, take the left knee forward, look up and inhale. Press the buttock close to the heel.
4. In the next step, take the left leg also back, resting only on palms and toes; keep the body straight from head to toes inclined to the ground at about 30degrees. Here exhale completely.
5. Now, bend at the knee and rest the knees on the floor without altering the positions of the palms and toes. Rest the forehead on the ground. In this position inhale while moving backwards and then exhale completely. Do not stretch the ankles.
6. Without moving the hands and toes, come forward on the chest and rest the forehead. In this position, Ashtanga Namaskara, forehead, chest, palms, knees and feet are the eight organs that will be touching the ground. The buttocks will be raised up. Stay in Breath-out condition (Bahyakumbhaka).
7. Inhale, raise the head and trunk making the spine concave upwards without changing the position of the hands and feet. Keep the knees off the ground.
8. Exhale. Raise the buttocks, push the head down and have a full arch with the heels touching the ground and palms on the floor.
9.Same as a 5th step. Inhale and exhale.
10. Inhale and bring the right leg in between the tow hands in line with them. Arch the back concave upwards as in step 3.
11. Exhale and bring the left foot forward next to the right foot and touch the knees with the forehead as in 2.
12. Inhale. Come up, stand erect with hands along the body and relax.
The ten stages SuryaNamaskara will not have the 5th and 9 the stages.
If the above order is followed, Surya namaskaras can be practiced practically every day with ease and comfort.
According to the strength of his body, this order is followed. Whenever you try or run out, you must rest completely, first Nispand-Bhavasan, then Shanti Asan.
Surya Namaskar has always attached great importance to body and soul. These asanas are preferably practised at sunrise. People work late into the night in the mechanical age and get up late in the morning. Therefore, you can always practice when the wonderful process takes advantage of it.
People with enough physical resistance can even practice 108 Surya Namaskaras that form a bad physical mantra.
Work with high morale. In the body, the accumulated additional fat is reduced to a minimum. The cheeks develop softness and are embellished. The face becomes lovely. They resolve indigestion, constipation and other problems. The uterus in women is cleansed. Excessive bleeding and other gynaecological problems are also resolved.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
- Suryanamaskar is useful for increasing height. People aged below 25 gain good result if they do the Suryanamaskara’s daily.
- Not only does the Surya Namaskar give you a great stretch and keep you fit physically (it is extremely beneficial for your joints, ligaments and improves flexibility and posture), but is also does wonders for your mental and emotional health.
- Surya Namaskar stimulates almost every system in your body.
- The cardiovascular system because it keeps the heart healthy.
- It also strengthens the digestive system as well as the nervous system.
- It also makes Endocrinol glands like the thyroid, parathyroid, and pituitary glands, function usually.
- Practising the Surya Namaskar is also known to ease stress and give you peace of mind besides increasing your levels of concentration.
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, the Surya Namaskar will help you fall asleep without using any external stimulants.
- By regular Practice of Surya Namaskar will instil these qualities into a person like friendship, devotion, energy, health, strength, lustre and vigour as Sun identifies with Supreme. Besides this, there are some physical benefits of SuryaNamaskar.
It also gives good physical activity:
->The stretches in each stage will massage the muscles, and by regular practice, it reduces many pains caused at back and joints.
->It helps the digestion system due to the backward and forward movements, So it better do Surya Namaskar daily to have a good digestive system which in turn contributes to having good health.
->By doing SuryaNamaskara one can have a good sleep, since it stretches the whole body parts and massages the muscles, if you have sleeplessness, it is better to practice Surya Namaskar.
Before starting the first time, It is better to learn from a yoga trainer.