Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) – A Complete guide

Surya-Namaskar-Sun-Salutation

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) – A Complete guide

Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutations is a series of Yogasanas to greet and exalt the Sun, the source of all light and energy. It is a powerful technique of vitalising one’s own energy.

Surya Namaskar is a sequence of total 12 Yoga Asanas. Basically there are just seven asanas, out of which five asanas are repeated twice, to come up to a total of 12 Yoga Asanas. Though Surya Namaskar is not included in the traditional Yoga, it works wonders for the body. This sequence can be used as a warm-up or even as a dynamic routine. The sequence of Sun Salutations works on the entire body, as it uses all the muscles and joints.

The body goes through all the forward and backward bends, thereby stretching and flexing the entire spinal column. It stretches, tones, stimulates and massages all the organs and muscles of the body. Surya Namaskars does wonders for activating the circulatory and nervous system.

A few points to remember while practicing the Surya Namaskar:

  • Proper and complete rounds are more important than the total number of rounds.
  • Ensure that the cycle is in sync with your breath.
  • Be aware of the gross and subtle movements of the body, breath, and mind while doing each pose.
  • Listen to your body, if it demands rest, you must rest it out.

 

Must Read: Top Reasons to Sign Up for a Yoga Teacher’s Training Course

Limitations:

Avoid this practice if you have: Vertigo, High Blood Pressure, Slip Disc, or if undergone surgery recently.

Surya Namaskar Benefits:

  • Physical: Improves the digestive systems and minimises the issues related to it, like constipation. Removes toxins from the body. It also improves the menstrual cycle, sleeping pattern, endocrine system, lung capacity, blood circulation in the body.
  • Psychological: Brings about mental wellbeing, improves concentration, self-confidence, and optimism in an individual. It also helps in your spiritual and emotional growth.

 

Steps of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Stitha Prarthanasana (The Standing Prayer Pose):
    Stand with your feet together and palms in front of your chest in the Namaskar position. Breath normally in this position.
  2. Hastha Uttanasana (Raised Arms, Backward Bend Pose):
    As you inhale, take the arms above your head, stretch and bend backward. Ensure that the hands are close to the ears and the palms are facing forward.
  3. Hasta Padasana (Forward Bending Pose):
    Then exhaling and keeping the spine straight, bend forward and place the palms by the side of the feet, on the floor. Try to touch your forehead to the knees and hold the position for 2-3 breaths.
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose):
    Inhaling, extend the right leg backward. Try to take the leg as far as possible to touch the toes on the floor. Ensure that the left leg is perpendicular to the floor. Give the spine a little backward bend in this position and look upwards while balancing the body.
  5. Adhomukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose):
    As you exhale, bring the other leg behind, to the right leg. While you do that, take the hips upwards, so that the body is in an inverted V position. Make sure that the arms and legs are straight in this position, while the heels are touching the floor. Keep the head in line with the spine.
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Limbs Salutations Pose):
    Gently lower your body on the floor so that only eight limbs of the body are touching the floor; namely: toes, knees, chest, palms, and chin. Ensure the abdomen and hips are lifted in this position and the breathing is suspended.
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
    As you inhale, gently move your body upwards into a backward bend. Keep the arms straight and back bent backward. So in this position, you are only on your palms, with the arms straight, and the toes touching the floor.
  8. Adhomukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose):
    Exhaling, we’ll again get into the fifth position of the sequence, which is an inverted V position.
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose):
    To come out of the sequence, we’ll repeat the fourth position. Again, while inhaling, bring forward the leg that you first took backward, that is the right leg. Bring the right foot in between your palms, giving the back a slight arch.
  10. Hasta Padasana (Forward Bending Pose):
    Exhaling, bring the other leg forward as well, in between your palms. In the final pose, the legs will be straight, palms by the side of the feet, and trying to touch the forehead to the knees.
  11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms, Backward Bend Pose):
    We’ll again repeat step number 2. Inhaling, take the arms above the head, and give the back a slight arch.
  12. Sthita Prarthanasana (Standing Prayer Pose):
    Exhaling, we’ll come back to the initial position, into the Namaskar position.

This completes only half of the round, repeat the same with the other leg to make one round of Surya Namaskar. Come visit The Yoga Institute in Goa, to practice and learn Surya Namaskar under the guidance of a trained teacher and under the influence of Nature.

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