The Sanskrit name Surya here refers to the Sun and Namaskar means salutation. The sun provides life force to the whole creation. And the Sun symbolizes spiritual consciousness and, in the ancient times, was worshipped on the daily basis. In yoga, ‘PINGLA NADI’ represents sun and moon represents ‘IDA NADI’.
Sun salutation is a complete physical and Spiritual practice in itself .It includes asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation. All the 12 postures involved in a round of Surya Namaskar are performed in a steady, rhythmic sequence, synchronizing with the Breath and mental awareness. This is an effective way of loosening, stretching, massaging and toning up all the body joints, muscles and internal organs.
Time of Practice: The ideal time is at the sunrise, the most peaceful time of day. But it can be practiced at any time provided the stomach is empty.
Position – I (Pranamasana Prayer pose): Stand erect with both the feet together. Now take the ‘Pranam Namaskar Mudra’. Place the palms together in front of chest with eyes closed. Relax the whole body and mentally offering homage to the sun, breathing normally, chanting mantra “OM MITRAYNAMAHA”.
Position – II Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Posed): Inhaling slowly, raise your arms up and bend back a little, keep both the arms separated, shoulder width apart, Chanting Mantra “OM REVAYE NAMAH”.
Position – III Padahastasana (Hand to foot pose): Exhaling, slowly bend forward and try to bring the hands on the floor by the sides of your feet. Try touching the knees with the forehead. Do not strain. Keep the knees straight, chanting Mantra “OM SURYAYA NAMAH”.
Position – IV Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): Place the palm of your hands flat on the floor besides the feet. Inhale slowly, take your left foot back on the floor with Straight arms, and with hips pressed down, look up. The Head should be tilted backward, the Back arched, Chanting mantra – “OM BHAHAVE NAMAHA”
CHAKRA: (AJANA CHAKRA)
Position – V Parvatasana (Mountain pose): while exhaling, take the left foot back beside the right foot. Keeping feet together, raise your hips up like a mountain. Try to place the heels on the floor and bring the head towards the knees. Chanting mantra – “OM KHAGAYA NAMAHA”
CHAKRA: (VISHUNDHI CHAKRA)
Position – VI Ashtanga Namaskar (Salute with eight parts): Lower the knees, chest and chin to the floor. In the final position only the toes, knees, chest, hand and chin touch the floor. Breathe normally. Chanting mantra, “PUSHNE NAMAHA”.
Position – VII Bhujangasana (cobra Poses): Now inhale slowly, raise the upper part of your body, up like the hood of ‘Cobra Snake’. Look up, pressing your hips down, feet together and arms stretched. Chanting mantra – “OM HIRNAYA GARBHAYA NAMAHA”
POSITION – VIII (Parvatasana): This stage repeat of position (5). Chanting mantra – “OM MARICHAYA NAMHA”
POSITION – IX ‘Ashwa Sanchalanasana’: This stage repeat of position (4). Chanting mantra – “OM ADITYA NAMHA”
POSITION – X (Padahastasana): This stage repeat of position (3). Chanting mantra – “OM SAVITRE NAMAHA”
POSITION – XI (Hasta Uttanasana): This stage repeat of position (2). Chanting mantra – “OM ARKAYA NAMAHA”
POSITION – XII (Pranamasana): This stage repeat of positions (I). Chanting mantra – “OM BHASKARAYA NAMAHA”
Benefits: Sun salutation stimulates and balances all the system of the Body, Including the endocrine, circulatory, respiratory and digestive system. Sun salutation increases awareness and Bestows good health and well-being, Removes Carbon dioxide and bring more oxygen, increase mental clarity by bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to the Brain. Its influence on the pineal gland and hypothalamus helps to prevent pineal degeneration and calcification.
Prevention: People suffering from high blood pressure, heart stroke, hernia and damage a weak heart should not practice this.
Duration: Beginners should practice 3 rounds and slowly add on one more round every week. After completion of sun salutation, it is necessary to perform ‘Shavaasana’.