Everything about Surya Namaskar

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Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is one of the oldest exercises which can cure enormous number of diseases. It contains various steps which focuses on every nerve inside your body which ultimately impacts positively on your brain and body.

Besides good health, it gives us a prospect to show gratitude to sun for assisting human beings, animals, plants and the whole solar system.

So, In this article we will cover almost everything about Sun Salutation, from its true meaning to its various steps and its health and mental (fitness) benefits.

What is Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation, is a practice in yoga as exercise incorporating a sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence originated in the Hatha Yoga tradition on 9th century in India.

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What is the right time to practice Surya Namaskar?

“Surya namaskar” means “sun salutation,” therefore you should do this in the morning, as the sun is rising with an empty belly.

Steps of Surya Namaskar

Step 1: Prayer pose – Pranam-asana

Mantra to chant in this poseॐ मित्राय नमः (Om Mitrāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantraWho is friendly to all

Execution:

  1. Stand at the end of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight on both feet equally.
  2. Expand your chest and just relax your shoulders.
  3. Take Breathe in and lift both arms up from the sides.
  4. Exhale and bring your palms together in a prayer position in front of your chest.

Yoga stretch deepening tip:

  1. Activate your feet and stand as if they are tripods.
  2. Activate your legs and keep your spine erect.
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Step 2 : Raised arms pose – Hastauttan-anasana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ रवये नमः (Om Ravaye Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra The shining one, the radiant one

Execution:

  1. Breathing in and lift your arms up and back.
  2. Keep your biceps close to your ears.
  3. Try to stretch your whole body up from the heels to the tips of finger.

Yoga stretch deepening tip:

  1. Push the pelvis forward just a little bit.
  2. Instead of bending backwards, reach up with fingers.

Step 3 : Hand to foot pose – Hasta-Pad-asana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ सूर्याय नमः (Om Sūryāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantraWho is the dispeller of darkness and responsible for bringing activity

Execution:

  1. First Breathing out and bend forward from the waist and keep your spine straight.
  2. Exhale and completely bring your hands down to the floor beside your feet.
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Yoga stretch deepening stretch:

  1. Bend your knees to bring your palms down to the floor.
  2. Make a moderate effort to straighten your knees.
  3. Keep your hands motionless in this position.
  4. Never move them until you compete this third sequence.

Step 4 : Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchal-anasana

Mantra to chant in this pose – ॐ भानवे नमः (Om Bhānave Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra One who illumines, the bright one

Execution:

  1. Breathing in, push your right leg back as possible.
  2. Bring the right knee to the floor and slowly look up.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Check if your left foot is exactly in between the palms.

Step 5 : Stick pose – Dand-asana

Mantra to chant in this pose – ॐ खगाय नमः (Om Khagāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra – Who is all-pervading, one who moves through the sky

Execution:

  1. Breathe in and take your left leg back.
  2. Bring your whole body in a straight line.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Keep your arms erect to the floor.
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Step 6 : Salute with eight parts or points – Ashtanga Namaskara

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ पूष्णे नमः (Om Pūṣṇe Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra Giver of nourishment and fulfillment

Execution:

  1. Slowly bring your knees down to the floor then exhale.
  2. Slightly take your hips back and slide forward.
  3. Rest your chest and chin on the surface.
  4. Elevate your posterior a little bit.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. The eight parts of your body including two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin should touch the ground.

Step 7 : Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः (Om Hiraṇya Garbhāya Namaḥ).

Meaning of this mantra –Who has golden color brilliance

Execution:

  1. Slide forward and raise your chest up into the Cobra pose.
  2. Keep your elbows bent in this pose.
  3. Try to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  4. Slowly look up.
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Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Inhale and make a moderate effort to push your chest forward.
  2. Exhale and make a light effort to push your navel down.
  3. Tuck your toes under.
  4. Make sure that you are stretching just as much as you can and do not go beyond the limits of your body.

Step 8 : Mountain pose – Parvat-asana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ मरीचये नमः। (Om Marichye Namah )

Meaning of this mantra – The giver of light with infinite number of rays

Execution:

  1. Breathing out and lift the hips as well as your tail bone up.
  2. Put your chest downwards to create an inverted V pose.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  • Keep your heels on the ground as possible.
  • Make a moderate effort to lift your tailbone up.
  • Gradually go deeper into the stretch.

Step 9 : Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ आदित्याय नमः (Om Ādityāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra – The son of Aditi, the cosmic divine Mother

Execution:

  1. Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands.
  2. Keep left knee down to the ground.
  3. Press the hips down then look up.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Place your right foot exactly between the two hands.
  2. Make sure that your right calf is perpendicular to the ground.
  3. You only need moderate effort in order to push your hips down towards the floor and deepen the yoga stretch.
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Step 10 : Hand to foot pose – Hasta Pad-asana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ सवित्रे नमः (Om Savitre Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra – One who is responsible for life

Execution:

  1. Breathing out and bring the left foot forward.
  2. Keep the palms on the surface.
  3. You may bend your knees, if you feel some discomfort.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Gently straighten your knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees.
  2. Keep on breathing.

Step 11 : Raised Arms Pose- Hastauttanasana

Mantra to chant in this pose ॐ अर्काय नमः (Om Arkāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra – Worthy of praise and glory

Execution:

  1. Breathing in and roll the spine up,
  2. Make sure the hands go up and bend backwards a little bit
  3. Pushing the hips slightly outward.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Make sure that your biceps are beside your ears.
  2. Aim to stretch up more instead of stretching backwards.
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Step 12 : Standing Mountain pose – Tad-asana

Mantra to chant in this pose – ॐ भास्कराय नमः (Om Bhāskarāya Namaḥ)

Meaning of this mantra – Giver of wisdom and cosmic illumination

Execution:

  1. Exhale and first straighten your body.
  2. Bring your arms down.

Yoga stretch deepening tips:

  1. Relax in this yoga pose.
  2. Observe the sensations that the Sun salutations bring in your body.

For the finishing, lie down and relax your entire body in a Yoga Nidra. Your body needs sufficient time to adjust to the effects of the stretches of your sun salutations. It can bring enough rest for the mind and body.

Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar

benefits of sun salutations
Credits – mindfood.com

1. Tones muscles and improves flexibility

Surya Namaskar have various poses which focus on different muscle groups and nerve centers called Chakras. This helps you to tone almost all your body parts including arms, abs, thighs, and butt.

It also makes your body more flexible. This results in improving your overall posture and makes it easier to balance your body.

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2. Great cardio training and hormonal balance

Surya Namaskar gives your body a quick and nice workout. If done in a fast manner, it acts as a cardio workout for your abs, thighs, and butt. Improved blood circulation results in low cholesterol levels and improved heart health.

Another benefit of proper blood circulation is a good hormonal balance. Keep in mind that blood is the carrier of our hormones, so, if it is working properly, they’ll reach all your organs without a problem. 

3. Improves digestion and promotes weight loss.

Credits : hubpages.com

Proper intensive physical exercise that works on every part of the body and proper rest along with a balanced diet result in improved insulin sensitivity.

Sun salutations stimulate the digestive tract by producing the right kind of digestive juices. Thus, you improve your metabolism, which helps you get rid of all toxins and burn all the extra calories.

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4. Ensures regular menstrual cycle

Surya Namaskar also helps in better regulation of the menstrual cycle. Regularly practicing the movements of the asana also help in easing the process of childbirth. Perform the asana everyday for getting stronger abdominal muscles and for a less-painful experience of the menstrual cycle.

5. Increases energy and awareness levels

Along with asanas, the breathing pattern is also an important aspect of Surya Namaskar. This gives deep conscious relaxation to the body and mind. It helps to relax the mind and sharpen the senses. It increases your self-awareness, which increases your energy levels.

6. Enables Better Absorption of Nutrients

Due to unhealty lifestyle, number of illness such as PCOD, PCOS, and obesity are increases. By performing Surya Namaskar daily, you can boost your digestive system and prevent many diseases from occurring. Proper blood circulation and digestion enables better absorption of nutrients, which in turn improves your overall health.

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7. Reduces moods swings and brings more emotional stability

Deep breathing techniques with specific asanas provide great relaxation to the nerve cells or chakras. It can positively impact brain functioning. Specifically, it helps you balance between the right and left sides of the brain. This brings you more emotional stability and increases your creativity and mental capacity. 

You can also check our previous article about increasing mental strength : “12 Practical tips to Build mental strength”.

8. Improves Your Skin’s Glow

A nice-glowing skin is a result of good blood circulation and Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation to all parts of the body, thus keeping the skin young.

It increases energy and vitality, thereby making your face glow with radiance. This helps the skin retain its firmness.Surya Namaskar prevents the onset of wrinkles by relaxation, good sleep and mind of stress.

Thank you for reading this article,

Team BloggerBoy

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