Surya Namaskar or otherwise known as Sun Salutation is an ancient method of expressing gratitude to the sun. The sun is known to be the ultimate source of life to the creatures on this planet. Surya Namaskar can be identified both as a scientific as well as a religious activity. In yoga, it is known to be a technique that balances the entire body when performed and helps get prepared for the rest of the routine. Yog science, therefore, puts stress for a person to learn surya namaskar.
While we trace the history of this technique, the rishis in ancient India advocated that the different body parts are rules by different divine lights. There is a central point of the human body known as solar plexus which is located behind the navel. Solar plexus is also known to be the second brain and is said to be connected to the sun. The reason why these rishis recommended learn surya namaskar. because the regular habit of this technique enhances the solar plexus, which helps in increasing one is creativity and instinctive abilities.
The following steps will guide us to learn surya namaskar. effectively.
Step 1 Prayer Pose- Pranamasana
For the Prayer pose, stand near the edge of your mat, put your feet together and adjust your weight equally on your feet. Thereafter, inhale to expand your chest and relax your shoulders. While you inhale, raise both of your arms up from your sides and as you breathe out, take your palms together forming a prayer pose.
Step 2 Raised Arms pose- Hastauttanasana
As you breathe in, raise your arms upwards and backwards. This needs to be done while keeping your biceps close to your ears. The purpose of this pose is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers. To draw maximum benefits, you need to uproot your pelvis in a forward direction and make sure you reach up with your fingers rather than going in a backward direction.
Step 3 Hand to Foot pose- Hasta Padasana
For this step, you need to breathe out, bend forward from the waist. While you do this, keep your spine erect. Now you exhale completely, take your hands down to the floor and rest is beside your feet.
Step 4 Equestrian pose- Ashwa Sanchalanasana
In this step, inhale and then push your right leg backwards. Push it as back as possible. With this, bring your right knee to the floor and then look up.
Step 5 Stick pose- Dandasana
This is the step where you inhale and take your left leg backwards bringing the whole body in a straight line and hold your arms perpendicular to the floor.
Step 6 Saluting with eight points or parts- Ashtanga Namaskara
This is the step where you have to bring your knees down to the floor in a gentle manner and then exhale. You take your hips back slightly, slide it forward and then rest your chest along with your chin on the floor. Raise your body a little. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body) should be touching the floor.
Step 7 Cobra pose- Bhujangasana
In this step, you have to raise your chest up to form a cobra position. You should keep your elbows bent in this pose and the shoulders should look away from the ears. Look up. While you inhale, make an effort to push your chest a little forward. As you exhale thereafter, make an effort to push your navel down. Make sure that you are stretching as much as you can and not forcing your way through.
Step 8 Mountain pose - Parvatasana
In this step, as you breathe out lift your hips and the tail bone upwards. Your chest goes down to form an inverted ‘V’. If it gets possible for you, keep the heels on the ground and make an effort to lift the tailbone up.
Step 9 Equestrian pose- Ashwa Sanchalanasana
To attain the Equestrian pose, while you are breathing in, take your right foot forward in between two of your hands. Your left knee should be down on the floor pressing your hips down and look up. Then you place your right foot in between your hands and the right calf is kept perpendicular to the floor. In this position, you make an effort to push the hips down on the floor.
Step 10 Hand to foot pose- Hasta Padasana
In Hasta Padasana while you exhale, take your left foot forward. While keeping the palms on the floor, bend your knees. Straighten your knees and try touching your nose to the knees and keep breathing.
Step 11 Raised Arms pose- Hastauttanasana
In this step, as you exhale roll your spine up and bend in a backward direction a little while pushing your hips outward. This is where you need to make sure that your biceps are beside your ears. The whole purpose of this position is to stretch up more.
Step 12 Standing Mountain pose- Tadasana
This is the final step and in this step. In this step, as you exhale you first need to straighten your body and then your arms down. This is a relaxed position.
Surya Namaskar is a practice that is quite comfortable for everyone. Surya Namaskar is practiced not only on yoga but also in dance, callisthenics etc. It is known to have a lot of health benefits and ensures great well being for both young and old. t well-being.