Life on the planet is possible because of the sun. You ‘ll be learning one of the famous yoga sequences Ashtanga Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar. This age old secret provides the complete cardiovascular workout.
However, when practiced more slowly along with the chanting of the associated mantras, one can experience the most spiritual and meditative aspect of the sun salutation.
So, salute the Sun or gratitude Sun for good health.
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The solar plexus is also known as the second brain. It is located behind the navel and is the central point of the human body. The solar plexus is said to be connected to the sun.
Solar energy of the body flows through Pingala Nadi. The Pingala Nadi is regarded to balance the mental and physical energy systems of the body.
So, Surya Namaskar enhances the solar plexus. Thus, increases one’s creativity and intuitive abilities.
The postures of Surya Namaskar is a complete spiritual practice. It includes meditation technique, asanas, mantras and pranayama.
Surya Namaskara is composed of form, energy, and rhythm.
It has Twelve asanas. They give rhythm to the body and provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. These postures keep you calm, energetic and healthy. It improves the flexibility and balance of the body.
Time For Doing Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar can be practiced any time when your stomach is empty.
The ideal time to perform it is at sunrise. This is because it is the morning peaceful time.
You can practise it at the sunset also, as it stimulates the digestive system.
Please note, Surya Namaskar should be performed in the open air, facing the sun.
Ashtanga – Surya Namaskara
Sama means ‘straight’ and asthiti means ‘Stand.’
Samasthiti refers to stand straight, upright and well-balanced.
Begin by coming to the front of mat bringing your toes and heels together in Samasthiti.
Stand upright, balance your weight equally on the feet. Spread the toes and draw the thighs of the legs. As lifting the energy up from the earth. Keep your hands, by the side of your body.
It is a grounding pose, physically and mentally. A connection with the Earth is cultivated through this posture.
Samasthiti is a critical position that starts and ends the Surya Namaskar. It gives a sense of strength and relaxed power to the body.
Namaskar posture is also known as Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
As you inhale, the hands come up reaching to the fingertips looking to the sky.
When you breathe in, lift your arms up. Your arms may come close to your ears. Stretch your whole body from the heels to the fingertips. Look to the sky while breathing in during the asana.
Uttanasana can also be called Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
As you are breathing out, slowly bent forward from the hips and waist. You should keep your spine straight or erect. Bring your hands down to the floor, beside your feet. Place your palms beside your feet in a way that fingers lies in the line of your toes. Relax your neck and look to your nose. Make efforts to keep your knees straight.
If you are suffering from back pain or slipped disc, bend your knees and touch your palm on the floor.
4. Urdhva Mukha Uttanasana
As you inhale, lengthen through the front of your body and look up.
While breathing in, lengthen your spine and open the shoulders. Look forward and your fingertips should touch the floor.
You can bend your knees if there is a problem. But, the spine should be straight.
5. Chaturanga Dandasana
As you exhale step back and form a plank position. Continuing the exhale lower your body.
As you breathe out, step your feet back. Bend the elbows keeping them tucked into your sides. Now, lower the body, the knees should not touch the floor.
6. Urdvah Mukha Svanasana
From here pull the arms and inhale from an upward dog position.
As you inhale, point the toes away from the body. Lift your chest and keep your knees away from the floor. Open the shoulders, pull your arms and look up to the sky.
7. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhale and bring your hips backward. Your fingers should point forward. One should stay in this pose for five breaths.
As you breathe out, tuck your toes under. The knees and the hips should be lifted up. Bring the shoulders down that the palm touches the floor. The spine should be straight, and you should look to the navel.
To ease the posture you can give a little bent to the knees, but make sure the spine is lengthened.
8. Urdhva Mukha Uttanasana
Step in forward where your palms are. Inhale as folding your body in.
As you breathe in, Lengthen your spine. Open your shoulders and look in front.
The palms should touch the floor.
As you are exhaling, slowly bent forward from the waist and hips. Keeping your spine straight. Bring your hands down on the floor. Place them between your feet as your fingers lies in the line of your toes.
As you inhale, the hands come up reaching to the finger tips looking to the sky.
While breathing in, stretch your body upwards. Raise your arms above the head. Join the palms and Look towards the sky.
Then Back to the beginning position.
As you exhale, keep your arms to the sides.
Straighten your legs.
Health Benefits Of Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar provides physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.
1. Helps To Lose Weight
Surya Namaskar gives an excellent cardiovascular workout. This contributes to losing weight. The postures aid in stretching your abdominal muscles.
2. Aids Digestive System
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation helps in balancing your digestive system.It ensures the better functioning of the digestive system. The poses assist in improving blood flow in your gastrointestinal tract.
This results, in the better functioning of the intestines. The alternate stretching and compression of abdominal organs activate the digestion.
It helps to get rid of the gas problem, constipation, and dyspepsia. It also strengthens abdominal muscles.
3. Helps Strengthen Muscles And Joints
Surya Namaskar strengthens your joints, muscles, ligament, and the skeletal system. The stretching movements help in the improving the flexibility of your waist and spine.
Thus, it contributes to better muscle flexibility. When different postures are performed, limbs become symmetrical. This aids in the better functioning of vital internal organs.
When women perform a Sun Salutation, it stimulates the breast to maintain firmness. It restores lost elasticity and strengthens the pectoral muscles.
4. Stimulates The Respiratory System
The postures of this yoga ensure deep breathes. Thus, it ventilates the lungs. It vitalizes the lymphatic system by removing carbon dioxide from the lungs and replacing it with fresh oxygen. In a way, oxygenates the blood and supports respiratory system health.
5. Strengthens Cardiovascular System And Lowers Blood Pressure
Surya Namaskar strengthens the cardiovascular system. It oxygenates the blood and aids in the better heart health. It helps to prevent heart blockage, by easing the blood flow in your body.
The postures lead to stretching of the body and lowering of the high blood pressure. Thus, prevents your body from the different heart diseases.
6. Brain And Nervous System
The postures help in the better flow of blood. This, in turn, nourishes the nervous system. After that increases the mental clarity by delivering fresh, oxygenated blood to the brain. It improves your memory and concentration.
7. Benefits Endocrine System
It normalizes the activity of the endocrine glands. It enables different organs to function properly. This includes the thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid glands.
It also ensures proper functioning of the adrenal gland, testes, and ovaries.The influence of the postures on the pineal gland and the hypothalamus helps to prevent pineal degeneration and calcification. After that, it balances the transition period between childhood and adolescence in growing children.
8. Gives Glowing Skin
Surya Namaskar improves the blood circulation in your body. This aids in the glowing skin on your face. It prevents the onset of wrinkles, making your skin look ageless and radiant.
It refreshes your skin and prevents it from different Skin disorders. After that, giving you a flawless skin and maintaining the spirit of youthfulness.
9. Get Rid Of Hair Problems
Sun Salutation helps prevent loss of hair by improving blood circulation. It also reduces greying hair. Strengthens the roots and give you strong hair.
10. Ensures Regular Menstrual Cycle
Surya Namaskar is beneficial for the women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycles. It helps to regulate them. The regular practice of the postures helps in the movements and easy childbirth.
11. Helps Cope With Insomnia
The sleeping patterns can be improved by practicing Surya Namaskar. The asanas keep your mind calm and give you a sound sleep.
It is an excellent alternative to stimulants and depressants.This will ensure that you do not rely on drugs, and you get a peaceful sleep.
12. Acts As Detoxifying Agent
Sun Salutation ensures deep breaths, active inhalation, and exhalation process. This makes the lungs thoroughly ventilated.
It helps to detox your body, by getting rid of excessive carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. Thus, gives the fresh blood oxygen.
13. Manage Stress, Anxiety, And Depression.
The asanas provide many mental benefits. It helps you to calm down and get rid of anxiety.
It manages stress, relieves tension and alleviates depression.
The postures increase the metabolism through stretching.
After that eliminates unpleasant smell or body odor
15. It broadens the chest and beautifies your arms.
16. It reduces the abnormal prominence of Adam’s apple.
Duration Of Surya Namaskar
If you are seeking physical benefits, perform 3 to 12 rounds ver fast.
For seeking spiritual benefits, perform 3 to 12 rounds slowly.
If you are a beginner, you can perform 2 to 3 rounds at a time, slowly and gradually you can increase them. But, please note, do it as you are comfortable.
Do not strain your body.
About 108 rounds can be performed for purification of the body. But, so many rounds should only be performed under the guidance of the expert.
Surya Namaskar Calorie Calculation
One full round of Surya Namaskar including all the postures can burn up to 13.90 calories for an average weighing person.
You can slowly increase the number of rounds 108 under the expert guidance.This will tone your body and make it fit.
Who Should Avoid Surya Namaskar?
- The Pregnant women should not practice Surya Namaskar after the third month of pregnancy.
- The patients suffering from Hernia are warned against this practice.
- People suffering from high blood pressure should avoid the postures.
- The People who are suffering from back conditions should seek expert guidance before commencing Surya Namaskar.
- Women are advised to avoid Surya Namaskar during menses.
- It should be immediately discontinued if you are suffering from fever, acute inflammation, or if boils or rashes occur.
- It should be discontinued in the case of intestinal tuberculosis.
Sun Salutation Chanting
There are 12 mantras of the Surya Namaskar. These praise the different qualities of the Sun.
Each mantra has a unique meaning. They should be enchanted with gratefulness.
These mantras add a spiritual touch to the yoga asanas.
How To Include Mantras In The Surya Namaskar?
- You can chant the mantras verbally or in your mind.
- One set of the posture has two rounds. One should be performed with left leg, other with right leg.
- Start the first mantra in the first round.
- When you complete the first set, begin with the second round of asanas.
- Now, perform the second mantra.
- Simultaneously, perform 12 sets of asanas with 12 mantras.
- Please, show gratitude to the Sun while performing each mantra and asanas.
Sun Salutation Chanting
Salutation Sanskrit Translation
1. ॐ मित्राय नमः om mitrāya namaḥ
2 ॐ रवये नमः om ravaye namaḥ
3. ॐ सूर्याय नमःom sūryāya namaḥ
4. ॐ भानवे नमः om bhānave namaḥ
5. ॐ खगाय नमःom khagāya namaḥ
6. ॐ पूष्णे नमः om pūṣṇe namaḥ
7. ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः om hiraṇya garbhāya namaḥ
8. ॐ मरीचये नमः om marīchaye namaḥ
9. ॐ आदित्याय नमः om ādityāya namaḥ
10. ॐ सवित्रे नमः om savitre namaḥ
11. ॐ अर्काय नमः om arkāya namaḥ
12. ॐ श्रीसवितृसूर्यनारायणाय नमः om śrīsavitṛsūryanārāyaṇāya namaḥ
How To Maximize The Benefits Of Surya Namaskar?
The benefits of the Surya Namaskar can be maximized to the fullest by following the different steps.
1.Bathe In The Cool Water To Charge The Cellular Structure
Take a shower with the water that is a little cooler than room temperature, Before starting the yoga asans.
The benefits of yoga can be ensured if the cells contract and the intercellular spaces open up. This will charge the cellular structure. For this, a cold water bath is a necessity.
Because a warm water bath will open the pores and absorb the water. Thus, the cellular structure will not be charged.So, have a cool water shower.
2.Rub Sweat Into The Skin To Retain Energy
When you practice Surya Namaskar, and you start sweating, do not wipe off the sweat with a towel. You should rub it back, into exposed part of the skin.
Avoid wiping the sweat, drinking water and using the washroom in between the Surya Namaskar asanas. It is restricted as it may drain the energy.Please note, After practicing yoga, wait a minimum of 1.5 hours before taking a shower.
3.Consume The Right Amount Of Water
Drink water as needed by the body. Restrict the intake of caffeine and nicotine. It is said to drink 10 % extra added to your thirst level.
You should drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.Surya Namaskar has a great impact on the internal organs of the body. It balances three Vata, Pitta, Kapha Dosha.Sun Salutation is very beneficial. So, give it a try.