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SURYA NAMASKARA

ALSO REFERRED TO AS SUN SALUTATION

Surya Namaskara is a sequence of twelve physical postures. These alternating backward and forward bending postures flex and stretch the spinal column through their maximum range giving a profound stretch to the whole body. It's aimed to invigorate every important muscle in the body and all the vital organs.

When you breathe, your diaphragm contracts and you breathe air into the lower lobes of your lungs. In the lower lobes of your lungs you have 80% of the blood, which is primarily important for getting oxygen in and more importantly is getting toxins out. 

 If we look at it from a perspective of how stress plays a role and impacts your whole overall well-being and health - it has a huge influence on the way we breathe - more stress causes everyone to take more shallow, quick breaths through the mouth. This kind of breathing activates fight or flight receptors that predominate in the upper lobes of the lungs.

When we breathe through the nose it has the opposite effect, which allows the inhaled air to be processed through the turbinates of the nose, which turbine the air in order to drive the air deeply into the lower lobes of the lungs where there is a predominance of calming and repair nerve receptors.

The key to breathing is to use all 5 lobes of the lungs and to be able to access them. This is very important to both calm and repair the nervous system, and to remove toxic waste from the body.

Some say all you need to do is Surya Namaskar. 20 minutes of flowing through Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) has tremendous effects on your whole physiology and can really get you out of feeling lethargic, heavy, and unmotivated.

 

BENEFITS OF SURYA NAMASKARA

  • Reduces stress

  • Improves blood circulation

  • Strengtens muscles and joints

  • Releases stomach pressure

  • Reduces anxiety and restlessness: enhances our strength and vitality

  • Creates flexibility

  • Breaks down scar tissue in the related muscles, organs and tissues.

  • Assists weight control

  • Supports sleeping habits

  • Supports structural strength for the back and neck

  • Boost's proper function of lymph drainage

  • Promote's elasticity (between the diaphragm and the abdomen)


12 POSTURES OF SURYA NAMASKARA

  • Pose 1:      Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

  • Pose 2:      Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

  • Pose 3:      Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

  • Pose 4:      Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

  • Pose 5:      Dandasana (Stick pose)

  • Pose 6:      Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts)

  • Pose 7:      Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

  • Pose 8:      Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

  • Pose 9:      Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

  • Pose 10:    Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

  • Pose 11:    Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

  • Pose 12:    Tadasana


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expand your practice


If you want to expand and dive deeper into your Surya Namaskar practice you can do this by chanting mantras which will correspond to the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar. This is such a beautiful way to honournot only the sun, but the whole of creation and Mother Nature. By doing this you will feel a sense of deep gratitude, love and appreciation to the sun for giving us light, as the giver of knowledge and cosmic illumination. It becomes a love song with the Sun. 

 

Mantras refer to a combination of syllables, sounds, or phrases, which can be chanted or sung. By chanting mantras it will enhance the whole sequence of Surya Namaskar; it has subtle yet penetrating effects on both mind and body. There are 12 mantras which praise different qualities of the Sun and add a profound spiritual touch to the entire practice.

 

Try not to get too caught up on memorising what each pose means, this is not the purpose. Be in your simplest state of awareness, connected and surrendered to the divine, the divinity within yourself and the divinity in everything around you and remember to enjoy it.

 

You can either chant the sun salutation mantras verbally, or in your mind. Be conscious if you chant them verbally that the pronunciation needs to be correct.

 

HOW TO DO INCLUDING MANTRA:

One set of Surya Namaskar is comprised of two rounds of 12 poses - one with the left, one with the right. It's suggested that females start with the left side and males with the right side. Recite the first mantras that compliment each pose, flowing through to complete the set.

 

An ideal Surya Namaskar practice is made up of 13 sets. By the time you have reached your 12th set; your body could be shaking, legs fatigued or wildly invigorated. But importantly, you will have chanted 12 mantras with the 12 poses of the Sun Salutation. On your final, 13th set, recite the mantra for each pose constantly after the other within the same set. Take your time, there is no rush here.


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Pose 1:      Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Pose 2:      Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Pose 3:      Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

Pose 4:      Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Pose 5:      Dandasana (Stick pose)

Pose 6:      Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Parts)

Pose 7:      Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Pose 8:      Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Pose 9:      Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Pose 10:    Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

Pose 11:    Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Pose 12:    Tadasana

mantra

Om Mitraaya Namaha 

Om Ravaye Namaha

Om Suryaya Namaha

Om Bhaanave Namaha

Om Khagaya Namaha

Om Pooshne Namaha

Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha

Om Mareechaye Namaha 

Om Aadityaaya Namaha

Om Savitre Namaha

Om Arkaaya Namaha

Om Bhaskaraya Namaha

meaning

(One who is friendly to all)

(The shining one, the radiant one)

(The dispeller of darkness)

(One who illuminates or the bright one)

(One who is all pervading)

(Giver of nourishment and fulfilment)

(One who has a golden coloured brilliance) 

(Giver of light with infinite rays)

(The son of Aditi, the cosmic divine mother)

(One who is responsible for life)

(One who is worthy of praise and glory)

(Giver of wisdom and cosmic illumination)