Surya Namaskar : Sun Salutation


Surya Namaskara was a part of the daily ritual of our ancients. It is a wonderful regular routine of exercise, prayer and worship given in the scriptures of ancient of India. Surya Namaskara means salutations to Lord Surya. Stand facing the east at dawn and recite the mantras to pray Lord Surya and offer red sandals, flowers, rice grains (Akshatas) with water or simply water as libation and perform Surya Namaskara. It must be performed before the sunrise. Take water in a pot and mix all the materials in it and hold the pot in your fingers, keeping the thumbs aside and face the east. Chant the following Mantra and offer the libation thrice.

surya namaskar

” Ehi Soorya sahastransho tejorashe jagatpate
Anukampaya mam bhaktya grihanarghyam divakara “
Then offer the following prayer to Lord Surya.

Dhyaeah sada savitri mandala madhyavarti
Narayanah sarashija sanasanni vishtha
Keyurvan makara kundalavan kireeti
Hari hiranyamaya vapurdhrit shankha chakrah
Surya Namaskaras There are twelve positions in Surya Namaskara. Twenty-five such Namaskaras form one Avriti (frequency). Surya Namaskara must be performed preferably in an open and airy place. Perform Surya Namaskara slowly without exerting too much or panting and puffing. There is one Mantra for each of the twelve Namaskaras- there by you also recite the dwadasa namas of Sun.

1st Position – Dakshasana

Mantra: Om Mitraya Namah
Procedure : In the first position of Surya Namaskara contemplate the virtues of Lord Surya with concentrated mind and feel that you are the friend of everybody and have friendship with every creature on the earth. Immersing yourself with these feelings stand erect stretching your hands, neck and all other parts of your body. Stretching both of your arms, touch your thighs with palms and inflate the chest and point your vision on the tip of the nose. This is a position of attention.
Benefits: Disorders of the skin and waists are corrected, the back and the legs become strong. Focusing of the vision on nose helps to control the mind. It is an easy and effective way of attaining good health and development of personality for the students. Meditating with concentrated mind enhances confidence.

2nd Position: Namaskarasana
Mantra : OmRavaye Namah

Procedure : Fold together both of your hands in such a way that that both the thumbs begin to touch your chest. Expand your chest and pull in the belly as far as possible. Look straight ahead. The head, the neck and the body should remain in a straight line. Closing the mouth inhale the breath and hold it inside as far as possible and then expose the breath.
Benefits: Good for the diseases of the throat and voice is enhanced. Both mind and body become healthy.

3rd Position: Parvatasana
Mantra : Om Suryaya Namah

Procedure: Raising the arms up, stretch whole of your body backward while gazing at the
sky with open eyes. Bend backward as mush as possible, inhale and expand your chest at the same time.
Benefits: Both the shoulders and the food pipe (Esophagus) get exercise and diseases related to them are corrected. Eyesight is also improved.

4th Position: Namaskara Hastapadasana

Mantra: Om Bhanave Namah
Procedure: Inhale deeply, retain the breath and bend forward without folding the knees. Rest
both your palms on the ground and touch your knees with your forehead or the nose and exhale the breath with audible sound. In the beginning if you can’t rest your palms on the ground, just touch the ground with fingers.
Benefits : Disorders of the belly and digestive system are corrected. The chest and hands become stronger and you become well balanced, beautiful and good looking. Diseases of the feet and fingers are also corrected.

5th Position: Ekapada Prasaranasana

Mantra : Om Khagaye Namah
Procedure: Inhale and pull your right leg backward in such a way that the knee and the fingers of the foot touch the ground. The abdomen and belly must be pressing hard into the left leg. Raise your head as high as possible and look upwards. Push the waist down and hold the breath and stay in the posture as long as you can – comfortably.
Benefits : The posture stretches the small intestine and the seminal vesicles. Hence this posture helps in correcting the constipation and diseases of the liver. Thinness of the semen is also corrected. Diseases of the throat are also corrected.

6th Position: Bhudharasana
Mantra : Om Pushne Namah

Procedure: Inhale the breath deeply and hold it and pull both of your legs backward, so that the thumbs of the feet, ankles and knees touch each other. Stabilizing the feet and keeping the head, waist, the back and the elbows in a line bend forward and resting both the palms on the ground keep your body like a bow.
Benefits : One gets relief from the pains – specially of arms, legs and the knees. Bulging waist is trimmed and it is good for the abdominal disorders.

7th Position: Ashthanga Pranipatasana

Mantra: Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namah
Procedure: Holding the breath, rest both your knees on the ground. Touch the ground with your chest and touch the lower part of the neck with chin. Also touch the ground with the upper part of the forehead and the nose. Please note that the abdomen should not touch the ground. It should be pulled in. Then exhale the breath. Both the hands/palms must be on the side of the chest.
Benefits : This posture makes the arms strong. If ladies perform this Asana before getting pregnant, the breast fed babies could be saved from the attacks of many diseases.

8th Position: Bhujangasana

Mantra : Om Marichye Namah
Procedure: Keeping the legs, palms and knees as in Ashtanga prampatasana position above,
unfold the arms and rise inhaling the breath, push the chest out and bend the waist in a circle backward. Then rise and bend your head backwards looking up and back as much up as possible and exhale the breath.
Benefits : Tones up the body and the back muscles and improves the eyesight. Corrects all kinds of disorders related to the reproductive system, corrects the irregularities in females menstrual cycles. Blood circulation is also improved.

9th Position: Bhudharasana

Mantra : Om Adityaya Namah
Procedure: Repeat the process of Bhudharasana as described in the step six – Inhale the breath deeply and hold it and pull both of your legs backward, so that the thumbs of the feet, ankles and knees touch each other. Stabilizing the feet and keeping the head, waist, the back and the elbows in a line bend forward and resting both the palms on the ground keep your body like a bow.
Benefits : One gets relief from the pains – specially of arms, legs and the knees. Bulging waist is trimmed and it is good for the abdominal disorders.

10th Position: Ekapada Prasaranasana

Mantra: Om Savitre Namah .
Procedure: Repeat the process of the fifth Namaskara as described in the fifth position but just reverse the position of the legs.

11th Position: Namaskara Hastapadasana

Mantra : Om Arkaya Namah
Repeat the process described in the fourth position.

12th Position: Parvatasana

Mantra: Om Bhaskaraya Namah

Procedure : Same as position 2

Then come back to the 1st position and repeat the full round once more. Our ancients used to do 25 rounds of Surya Namaskaras, called one Avriti.

The man who performs Surya Namaskara daily does not get poor in thousand births. Hence, give Surya Namaskara an urgent place in your daily routine. And like the daily rising of the sun. Surya Namaskara is indeed a daily routine.

Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation is considered the ‘king’ of asana practise. It is a beautiful weave of the physical, emotional/psychological, spiritual aspects of our being. It comprises of 12 vital postures that work on the spine and the major muscles of the body to give strength and flexibility.

When combined with appropriate breathing, it works on the deeper physiology of the body, the very endocrine system, whose synchronised functioning is responsible for the health of our body and emotions. It works on the various chakras or energy vortices at the etheric level.

When the bija and the surya mantras are chanted while moving the body in tandem with the breath, the frequency of the entire system can be altered to vibrate at a much higher level. When performed in its completeness, Surya Namaskar has the capacity to change our very bio-energy by cleansing, healing and rejuvenating us at the deepest cellular level.

It is a profoundly simple practice that brings together the body-mind-spirit to confer a feeling of expanded Oneness with all. It represents the masculine energy of activity and is done first thing in the morning as the sun rises in the horizon.

Yoga as we know is globally popular. This ancient Indian form of exercise has various exercises for the whole body and Surya Namaskar or in other words Sun Salutations is one of them. I am sure many out there would already be practicing this on a daily basis.

Surya Namaskar, a yoga based exercise or Asanas is considered an ancient Indian Tradition that has been gifted to mankind over years. Surya Namaskar helps in overall personality development and works at three levels namely physical, mental and when practiced with chanting of mantras it works at a spiritual level too.

Surya Namaskar is a unique exercise that can be practised by one and it a child or an adult. Different schools of yoga have different teaching methods, in this blog we will look at  Surya Namaskar from Swami Vivekananda’s School of teaching.

It takes 12 steps to complete one round of Surya Namaskar. And all these 12 steps of Surya Namaskar should be practiced at a time. Surya Namaskar practice starts with a prayer to Surya ( The Sun God).

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