In this blog, I will tell you everything there is to know about Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. I will tell you how I fell in love with the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, how it transformed my life, and why it is the most potent way to grow your immunity, increase your pran shakti, achieve mental balance, and transform your productivity.
We will discuss the ancient science of Surya Namaskar in flow with solar energy, and also learn Surya Namaskar step-by-step.
Introduction to Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, is an ancient technique to revitalize the solar energy in our body. The Sanatan tradition offers utmost importance to the Sun. In fact, the most important mantra in Sanatan dharma is Gayatri Mantra, a short prayer to the Sun, asking for it’s brilliance through intellect, health, and wealth. Gayatri mantra does to the mind, what Surya Namaskar does to the body.
The sun rises and sets, creating a daily routine, which we can choose to follow. In fact, the world’s oldest healing system, Ayurveda, revolves around the sun. If we can live in alignment with the sun, following its course and direction, we can live healthy and happy.
In the Yogic, and ancient Sanatana traditions, the morning hours are considered highly energetic, and spiritually charged. Early mornings are called Brahma Muhurta – the time between 3:30 am and 6:00 am, which is best for practicing deep meditations, yoga, and pranayamas. If you simply adjust yourself to the cycles of the sun by waking up early, during brahma muhurta, and going to bed a few hours after sunset, you will naturally benefit from the sattvik vibrations in the atmosphere. With just a few days of practice, you will notice priceless positivity and mental clarity.
Surya Namaskar is one of the techniques to activate this solar energy within, which is constantly transforming, and creating invisible effects on our mind and body during the day.
Surya Namaskar Step by Step Technique
Before you can practice the Surya Namaskar positions, there are prerequisites. Stand with your feet together, relax your body, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your whole body. Developing awareness is important because you are starting a process that will require all your physical and mental abilities, with all your pran shakti channeled in the direction of your body.
Become aware of your body from the top of your head, and move down, relaxing each muscle, and releasing all tension on the way. If you are doing this early in the morning, face the sun. Chanting Gayatri Mantra before starting Surya Namaskar is optional, but beneficial.
With the help of this awareness, feel the vital currents of your body moving up and down throughout your body. Allow yourself to be relaxed and comfortable. Stay in the state of awareness for a few minutes before you start the practice of Surya Namaskar. Once you feel the bodily indication to begin practicing the poses, start.
Step 1 – Pranamasana
(Normal Breathing, Prayer Pose) Keep both your feet together and close your eyes. Join your palms over your chest forming the Namaskar Mudra. Awareness is the key. Feel the pressure in your chest area. Pray in gratitude to the Sun. Chant Gayatri Mantra if you feel comfortable. Keep yourself calm and relaxed.
Step 2 – Hasta Utthanasana
(Inhale, raise arms above your head) Raise your arm above your head and stretch. Your palms should be facing upwards. Try to stretch as far as you can. Keep shoulders apart and arms separate. Your back should arch, and your whole body should stretch upward. Also stretch the head as far back as possible. Bring awareness to the curve of your body forms on your upper back.
Step 3 – Padahastasana
(Exhale, bend forward, touch ground)Bend forward. Your hands should touch the floor on either side of your feet. You can also try to touch your knees with your head. Make sure your legs are straight. Focus on your pelvis. Keep the back straight.
Step 4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana
(Inhale, bring chest forward, push right leg backward) Keep both hands touching the ground. Extend your right leg backward,and bend your left knee forward. Your right leg knee should touch the floor, and toes should be comfortably tucked under. Bring pelvis forward, chest out, and look up. Focus in between your eyebrows.
Step 5 – Parvatasana
(Exhale, position left leg back with right leg) With palms supporting your upper torso, place your left food with the right foot. At the same time, raise your pelvis forming a mountain position. Your head should be between your arms. Make sure your legs are straight, heels grounded to the floor. Keep your awareness around the neck area.