Salute to the Sun ( Suryanamaskara)
Surya Namaskar is one of the best yoga postures. This posture is great form of exercise for the healthy living. Further it is useful in many other treatements.
During the practice of the sun salutation or as it’s known in its traditional form – Suryanamaskara – nearly every muscle, organ and tissue of the body is activated, stimulated and awakened. Energy flows, vitality is stimulated, heart rate is increased and the vital forces of life are distributed throughout the body. This is a great motivation for the practice of the sun salutation series in the morning, and a magnificent way to wake and honour the body both internally and externally.
During this practice, the body is opened and closed in a sequence of forward and backward bends which massage our internal organs, improving digestion and tone of the abdomen.
Salute to the Sun – the Practice
As we draw our arms to the sky we look up to acknowledge the intelligence beyond, the greater order, the truth, creation and love. We salute the source and acknowledge its passage through our body.
We draw down our arms, palms together, touching our heart Centre as we pass to touch the floor. Here we have drawn the power of creation from the above and beyond to the below and within. We humble ourselves to the source as we hold our hands to the earth acknowledging that: “nothing comes from me, only through me”. We jump back into the crocodile and here honour nature, the animal world and the essence of life stored within. We raise our body bending our back into an upward dog pose opening the chest and in so doing freeing the heart to the flow of love from the sun, the entry source of life forms, flow within and birth love in our hearts. We roll back into the downward dog again humbling ourselves to creation before jumping forward and completing the cycle with the same positions holding meaning.
“I bow to the source of all creation acknowledging that what is within me is a gift, a true gift of life and ultimately, love.”
Traditionally, a salute to the sun is done at dawn, the Brahman hour. This is the time before sunrise, a time we can take to reflect on the source of life. The sun gives life force and vitality to us all, it is the rest metaphor for unconditional love reflected in nature.
Our thoughts are reflected in our body, our thoughts reflect our consciousness which in turn is a reflection of our attitude. Attitude has the power to transform our lives, to change the very essence of our experience of life. During the sun salutation we have the opportunity to focus on an attitude of Gratitude, the opportunity to use the focus of the sun to transform these movements from mere exercise to a prayer.
When our heart is filled with gratitude for nature – in this specific case the sun – we open ourselves to a consciousness beyond and in these moments we bathe in universal love; in the fullness of life. Therefore in the practice of Surya Namaskar , as in all Yoga Asana, the thoughts we have are as vital an element as is breath as the physical movement.
This is an opportunity to stop; to appreciate what has been given to us in our lives; to open to the greater truth and to the magic and order of this universe, this world, this country, this city, this family and this life. Here in the act of movement and breath is the opportunity to unite body, mind and thought (spirit) in a celebration of life and in so doing absorb universal essence.
Power Within and Without
This salute to the sun is one of the most powerful of all Yoga movements. Practiced every morning it moves, stretches, strengthens and activates every muscle in the body; The salute to the sun is an amazing exercise and a Yoga session in itself and the benefits as listed below are so numerous and all encompassing that just reading through them is cause for excitement; excitement that these body restoring benefits are easily within our reach.
The Practical Benefits of Salute to the Sun
- May be practice by anyone and everyone, singly or in a group, and it can be practiced any time in the year, inside and outside.
- It takes about three to ten minutes a day.
- It acts on the whole body, the total organism.
- Does not cause fatigue or breathlessness.
- It costs nothing there is no need for burdensome equipment.
- All you need is a space measuring two square metres.
- It helps to promote sleep.
- The memory improves.
So this form of yoga called Surya namaskar must be followed by everybody.