Originally intended for religious worship, Surya namaskara involves physical movements that stretch the spine forwards and backwards. Literally done at sunrise, this yogasana is also performed with mantras during different body postures.
Surya Namaskara – Customs and Mantras
This Hindu sun salutation should be performed on an empty stomach on a mat instead of the floor. People who perform the Surya namaskara for the first time do three to six steps instead of the entire twelve steps per day. It is practiced facing the east or west, where the sun rises and sets, respectively. Different mantras are pronounced at the beginning, middle and end of Surya namaskara, including those for fourteen different postures. At the end of the practice, the words “by performing Sun Salutation day by day your age, conscious, strength, essence of humanity and glow would never fade away” are uttered in Hindi.
Surya Namaskar Steps – Simple Instructions
From the Yoga mountain pose, hands together and breathing out, the arms are raised overhead while breathing in. Exhaling again, the performer then bends forward to reach the toes. The succeeding Surya namaskar steps involve breathing in with the back bent and chin lifted, the right leg shifted back as the hands touch the ground. Breathing out, the performer moves to a push-up position, arms straightened out. During this Surya namaskar steps, the performer remains facing the ground, bringing the body closer to the floor before lunging the upper body forward and bending back. The last three moves are done standing up, touching the feet first and then bending to the opposite direction before finally coming back to a standing posture.
Surya Namaskar Benefits – Summary
Like other yoga exercises, the Sun Salutation promises to improve the physical, mental and spiritual aspects. It is said to be effective in alleviating stress, boosting concentration, stabilizing emotions and inducing peace of mind. Surya namaskar benefits the body by improving blood circulation, digestion and flexibility. The joints, and ligaments are strengthened and the nervous system’s functions are sharpened. The exercise is also believed to have a positive effect on the pituitary, thyroid and parathyroid glands in the endocrine system. Yoga experts recommend the exercise for people who have trouble sleeping as it refreshes and relaxes the mind without the need for drugs.