Surya Namaskar Essay

Surya Namaskar Essay

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a gesture of gratitude to the Sun – which is the source of life on our planet. This postures act as a nice link between warm-ups and Asanas and can be done any time when you have an empty stomach.

Surya Namaskar Essay

However, morning is preferable when sun rises is considered to be the best time for Surya Namaskar as it revitalizes the body and refreshes the mind, making us ready to take on all tasks of the day. If done in the afternoon, it energizes the body instantly and if done at dusk, it helps you unwind. When done at a fast pace, Surya Namaskar is an excellent cardiovascular workout and a good way to lose weight.

The need for Surya Namaskars

Surya Namaskar is the Sanskrit name for a specific sequence of twelve yoga asana, otherwise known as a Sun Salutation. It is one of the most widely known yoga practices, incorporated into several different traditions such as Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga. The term is derived from two Sanskrit roots; surya, meaning “sun” and namaskar meaning “greetings” or ‘salutations’”.

Traditionally, the practice of Surya Namaskar was used as a means of paying respect to the sun. In Indian culture from which the practice came, the sun is regarded as the source of all life, and it is therefore of great importance.

In Hinduism, Surya is the God of the sun, understood to be the creator of the universe, and in Vedic tradition the sun is symbolic of consciousness and the Divine. As such, Surya Namaskar is considered to be one of the most important yoga practices.

Surya Namaskar is also referred to as Sun Salutation in English.

Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is generally considered to be a morning practice, designed to harness the prana shakti (life energy) which is most abundant at dawn. The sequence stimulates all muscles, organs,

We are sure that all of you, or at least most of you would have heard of Surya Namaskars. The Surya Namaskar is a sequence of yoga postures that serves as an excellent workout for the entire body. The Surya Namaskars is considered to be the best exercise not only for the human body but the mind too.
Surya Namaskar is a Sanskrit word which means paying obeisance (Namaskar) to the Sun (Surya). It is automatically implied that to do this exercise or salute the sun, one has to get up at sun rise and do this exercise and pay respects to the rising sun. The importance of the Surya Namaskars is that it should be done in the morning on an empty stomach.

Advantages of Surya Namaskars

Take a look at the advantages of doing Surya Namaskars:
• It acts on the entire body.
• It tones up all the organs and systems in the body.
• It thoroughly ventilates your lungs and oxygenates the blood.
• It detoxifies the blood and gets rid of carbon dioxide.
• It tones up your nervous system.
• It provides excellent exercise to the spinal column.
• You can be assured of sound sleep.
• Surya Namaskars improves your memory.
• Surya Namaskars improves your immune system.
• It stretches and tones your muscles and maintains youthfulness.
• It reduces depression, anxiety, and stress.
Tips for doing Surya Namaskars
Here are a few tips for doing Surya Namaskars correctly and effectively.
• Do a few warm-up exercises before doing Surya Namaskars.
• Do it facing the sun – East or West, depending on the time you are doing it.
• Relax and keep a smile on your face.

 The twelve asana which comprise Surya Namaskar are:

Surya Namaskar

  1. Pranamasana(Prayer Pose)
  2. Urdhva Hastasana(Upward Salute)
  3. Uttanasana(Standing Forward Fold)
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana(Equestrian Pose or Low Lunge)
  5. Chaturanga Dandasana(Plank Pose)
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara(Eight Limbed Salute)
  7. Bhujangasana(Cobra Pose)
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana(Downward-facing Dog Pose)
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana(Equestrian Pose or Low Lunge)
  10. Uttanasana(Standing Forward Fold)
  11. Urdhva Hastasana(Upward Salute)
  12. Pranamasana(Prayer Pose)

Whilst this sequence is widely accepted as the traditional version, modified variations are taught by different schools of yoga, sometimes even incorporating additional postures. For example, Ashtanga yoga teaches two sequences, Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B, both of which contain different asana to those listed above. In some traditions such as Sivananda, each step of the sequence is combined with a Sanskrit mantra.

The transition from posture to posture is facilitated by either an inhalation or an exhalation, allowing the practitioner to connect to their breath as a means of cultivating concentration. The repetitive nature of Surya Namaskar fosters a meditative practice, in which little thought needs to be given to the movement once it has been learned. Additionally, Surya Namaskar provides many overall health benefits such as:

  • Maintaining cardiovascular health
  • Stimulating the nervous system
  • Improving strength and flexibility
  • Enhancing cognitive functions
  • Relieving stress and fatigue
  • Regulating hormones

The sequence should be practiced at least three times daily for maximum benefit. Those who have issues with blood pressure or have had recent injuries or surgery should check with a medical professional prior to practicing Surya Namaskar. Pregnant women may need modifications for some of the postures and should consult an experienced prenatal teacher before practicing.

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