Surya namaskar – Sun Salutation
Surya or Sun is the giver of light and is responsible for giving life to living beings in Earth. According to Ayurveda scriptures, it is said, ‘Arogyam bhaaskaadicchet’, which means Sun is the giver of health. Worship of Sun has been given greater importance from ancient sages.
Surya is called as universal atma or universal soul. In individual horoscope, Sun represents soul or self. Also Sun signify confidence, strength etc. When Surya namaskar is done regularly, Sun in the horoscope is strengthened. Surya namaskar will help in bridging between human soul to universal soul.
Surya namaskar can be done in two ways. It can be done either with chanting mantra or without chanting mantra. But chanting mantra along with Surya namaskar will be more beneficial. Because the vibrations of sound of mantra is very beneficial to the body and prana.
Before starting Surya namaskar, one can chant following Dhyana shloka.
Dhyeyah sadaa savitru mandala maadhyavarti
naaraayana sarasijaasana sannivishtah
keyooravaan makara kundalavaan kireeti
haari hiranmaya vapudhruta shankha chakrah ||
Before taking each posture, one has to chant the beeja mantra for each of the posture. After completing Surya namaskaras cycle, you can chant following phala shruti mantra.
aadityasya namaskaaraan yekurvanti dinedine |
aayuh prajna balam heenam tejasah teshaancha jaayate ||
akaalamrutyu haranam sarvavyaadhi vinaashanam |
surya paadodakam teertha jathare dhaarayaamyaham ||
No need to chant Dhyana shloka and Phala shruti each of Surya namaskara. First chant dhyana shloka, then complete the desired number of Surya namaskaras. After completing the cycle, chant phalashruti.
The 12 positions of Surya Namaskar
1 – Prarthanasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om Hram Mitraya Namah
Stand straight with feet together. Balance your weight equally on both the feet. Join the hands like in Namaste in front of the chest. Relax your shoulders. Back should be straight but relaxed. Look at the tip of the nose.
Take a deep breath and exhale completely.
2 – Hasta Uttanasana – Inhale
Mantra – Om Hreem Ravaye Namah
Start breathing in and raise the head and stretch both the arms above. Stretch the whole body up. Keep the arms separated shoulder width and palms should face upwards.Inhale while doing this posture.
3 – Hasta Padasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om hroom Suryaya Namah
Start exhaling. Bend forward and try to keep the palms on the floor. Try to touch the knees with forehead. Keep the knees straight. Initially it will be difficult to touch the finger to floor. It will take some time before achieving complete success.Spine will become flexible and digestion gets better.
4 – Ardha Bhujangasana – Inhale
Mantra – Om Hraim Bhanave Namah
Inhale and push your right leg back as far as possible. Bend the left knee keeping the left foot on the floor and look up as per the diagram. Tilt the head backwards.
5 – Parvatasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om Hraum Khagaya Namah
Now exhale slowly. Keep the left foot back beside the right foot. Raise the buttocks and lower the head between arms. It looks like a mountain shape. Keep the heels on the floor firm and keep the arms and legs straight.
6 – Astanga Namaskara – No Breath
Mantra – Om Hrah Pooshne Namah
As the name suggests astanga means eight anga or limbs. In this asana, 8 parts of the body should touch the floor. They are, two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin. Gently bring your body down. Lower the knees, chest and chin to the ground and should touch the ground. The buttocks, hips and abdomen should be raised. The breath should be held in exhale position itself (No breath)
7 – Bhujangasana – Inhale
Mantra – Om Hram Hiranya Garbhaya Namah
Slide forward and raise the chest upwards as cobra position. Bend the head back and gaze upwards. Inhale while doing this posture.
8 – Parvatasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om Hreem Marichaye Namah
Raise the buttocks and lower the head between arms. It looks like a mountain shape Keep the heels on the floor firm and keep the arms and legs straight. This is the repeat of step 6.
9 – Eka Pada Akarshana – Inhale
Mantra – Om Hroom Adityana Namah
This is the repeat of step 4. but with opposite foot. Inhale and bring your left foot forward. between the hands. Bend the right knee keeping the right foot on the floor and look up as per the diagram. Tilt the head backwards.
10 – Hasta Padasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om Hraim Savitre namah
Now bring the right foot forward. Bend forward and try to keep the palms on the floor. Try to touch the knees with forehead. Keep the knees straight.
11 – Hasta Uttanasana – Inhale
Mantra – Om Hroum Arkaya Namah
Raise your hands up and bend backward slightly. Raise the head and stretch both the arms above. Stretch the whole body up. Keep the arms separated shoulder width and palms should face upwards.
12 – Prarthanasana or Namaskarasana – Exhale
Mantra – Om Hrah Bhaskaraya Namah
As you exhale, straighten the body and bring the arms down. Relax in this position and observe the sensations in the body.
Lower the arms to the side and relax. Concentrate on the breath and sensations in the body. This completes one round of Surya Namaskara. After completing the entire Sun salutation cycle, you can take Savasana to relax the body.
Benefits of Surya Namaskara
There are many benefits from doing Surya namaskar regularly.
- Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation in the body.
- It revitalises the energy centres of the body
- It strengthens the digestive system of the body including stomach, intestine, liver etc.
- It will improve the function of lungs when it is done along with breathing techniques
- Whole body will be toned up and strengthened
- It is the good remedy for back pain
- Concentration power will be improved
- It enhances the solar plexus, with that it increases one’s creativity and intuitive abilities.