Yoga practitioners all over the world move through some form of Sun Salutation every day … There are numerous variations of it which are a fundamental part of modern vinyasa and power yoga practices . In my previous post about yoga&weightloss I mentioned how useful they can be if loosing fat is your goal.
Lets get to know them a bit more.
There’s some disagreement over the origins of Sun Salutation. Some claim that the sequence is at least 2,500 years old and originated during Vedic times as a ritual prostration to the dawn, replete with mantras, offerings of flowers and rice, and libations of water. Some link it with Ramayana, one of the great Indian epics.
Skeptics of those old datings believe Sun Salutation was invented by the raja of Aundh (a former state in India) the early 20th century, then brought to the West in the 1920s or 1930s.
The most important physical benefits are pretty obvious :
– creating heat & warming up the body
– speeding up the metabolism & detoxifying
– strengthening & stretching
– moving the spine in various planes.
But we rarely think any more of the deeper / spiritual meaning of it.
The yogic and Ayurvedic tradition teaches that each of us replicates the world at large, embodying “rivers, seas, mountains, fields…stars and planets…the sun and moon” (Shiva Samhita, II.1-3). The outer sun, is in reality a token of our own “inner sun “spiritual heart. It is the seat of consciousness and higher wisdom (jnana) and, in some traditions, the domicile of the self (jivatman).
Next time you practice consider those and contemplate on your ” inner sun” and move mindfully …
CLASSICAL SUN SALUTATION
Here’s a video of classical variation of Suraya Namaskara perfect for beginners . It can be performed slowly holding each pose for several breaths, or you can flow with each breath as demonstrated in the video.
Tadasana- Mountain Pose.
Inhale reaching arms long overhead, gazing upward without straining the neck.
Exhale coming into Uttanasana-forward fold.bring chest &stomach towards the thighs with a long straight back. Bend knees as much as you need to for the spine to stay long.
Inhale placing both hands on the mat and step right foot back into a lunge. Center right knee over the ankle and heel.
Exhale into Adho Mukha Svanasana-reaching the hips up & back, keeping spine long ( legs straight , heels down or knees bent , heels up – depending on what works for your body right now).
Inhale start moving forward.
Exhale lowering your knees, chest and then chin to the mat. Tailbone will be raised a bit off the mat.
Inhale bringing chest up and forward and pressing into hands for Bhujangasana-Cobra. Shoulders away from the ears .
Exhale into down dog. Move into this pose by tucking the toes, pushing up on the knees, straightening the legs .
Inhale bringing right leg forward into a lunge.
Exhale stepping left foot forward into Uttanasana-forward fold.
Inhale engaging the abs as you rise up with a long spine and sweep the arms up to come to standing.
Exhale to forward fold and repeat with the left leg.
Watch this space for other variations of Surya Namasakar.