What is the ‘sun salutation’? Learning how to do Surya Namaskar
The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is a powerful sequence of 10-12 poses specifically designed to work out all parts of the body and stretch the spine. It is said that Surya Namaskar contains the entire practice of yoga within it. But what does that mean? If you examine the postures that make up the sun salutations, you get a wide range of movements: forward bend, back bend, being still, lengthening the spine, grounding the feet, strengthening the upper body, stretching the hamstrings, expanding the lungs and more. That is why Surya Namaskar is the ideal way to warm the body at the beginning of a yoga practice.
Even if you do not intend to practice yoga, the sun salutation is a great way to start the day, as it also works on the mind. By hearing the breath and holding the gaze (drishti), these movements allow us to centre ourselves and to quiet our wandering mind.
This exercise has many health benefits; regular practice helps with increased energy levels, increased radiance, strengthening of the immune system, improved digestion, eyesight, increased life span and improvement in overall health. Above all, we are invoking the grace of the Lord in the sun to illuminate our path.
1 Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
2 Hastauttanasana (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 Or Points)
7 Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
8 Parvatasana (Mountain pose)
9 Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
10 Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
11 Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)