Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)- Definition steps benefits with precautions

Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a popular yoga sequence that is performed in a series of graceful, flowing movements. This ancient practice is a complete body workout that includes a sequence of twelve yoga poses, each flowing into the next with synchronized breathing. Surya Namaskar is a way to bow to the sun and is often practiced at sunrise as a way to greet the new day.

The Surya Namaskar is steeped in tradition and has deep spiritual significance. It is said to be a complete sadhana, which means a spiritual practice, in itself. The sequence of asanas (poses) in Surya Namaskar helps to improve flexibility, posture, and balance, as well as increase strength and stamina. It serves as a great way to start your day by energizing and setting a positive tone for the day ahead.

The Sanskrit slok “Om Mitraya Namaha, Om Ravaye Namaha” is often chanted before and after performing the Sun Salutation. This mantra is a salutation to the sun, and it means “I bow to the friend of all, I bow to the shining one.”

Steps to Perform Surya Namaskar:
1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
5. Dandasana (Stick Pose)
6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts)
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
12. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Benefits of Surya Namaskar:
– Improves flexibility of the spine and joints
– Strengthens the muscles and improves posture
– Stimulates the digestive system and aids weight loss
– Boosts blood circulation
– Reduces anxiety and calms the mind
– Enhances lung function and regulates respiration
– Energizes the body and uplifts the mood

Precautions for practicing Surya Namaskar:
– Avoid practicing Surya Namaskar during menstruation
– People with high blood pressure or heart problems should perform the poses under supervision
– Surya Namaskar should be done on an empty stomach or at least 3-4 hours after a meal
– Pregnant women should practice modified versions of the poses under the guidance of a yoga instructor

In conclusion, Surya Namaskar is a beautiful and powerful practice that has been passed down through the ages. By incorporating this practice into your daily routine, you can experience the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that it offers. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced yogi, Surya Namaskar can be a transformative addition to your wellness journey.