Surya Namaskar is an age-old practice. It is one of the yogic practices, which can bring about wholesome changes in your body in a few steps. You will be amazed to know that it is a comprehensive practice, that brings about changes in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. You can perform Surya Namaskar early in the morning, or when the sun is setting. Additionally, you have to supplement it with a few breathing patterns and chanting.
The Surya Namaskar acts as an energizer. You can practice it at the very beginning of the asana, that you intend to perform. Leaving all the variations aside, you can perform Surya Namaskar in 12 basic steps. Let us find out more about Surya Namaskar here.
Basic Steps of the Surya Namaskar
Pranamasana:The first asana or pose that you will be practicing, while performing Surya Namaskar is Pranamasana. You have to stand in an erect posture, with hands by your side. Face the sun. Slowly, bring both your hands towards the chest, and fold the palms in a namaskar. You have to keep both your feet together. You have to breathe normally while performing this.
Hasta Uttanasana:Hasta Uttanasana is the second posture that you need to practice. Slowly breathe in and raise both hands upwards in the ‘namaskar’ mudra. Bend backward while doing this. Your back should resemble an arch while doing this practice.
Pada Hastasana:The next step in this series is the Pada Hastasana. Exhale and keeping your knees unfolded, bend your body forward and toes your toes. You can also bend enough so that you can place your palms on the floor. While doing so, you have to make sure that the head touches the knees.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana:Ashwa Sanchalanasana is the next step in the series, that starts with inhalation. You have to glide into the pose mentioned here, by slowly stretching your left leg back, while supporting your body with folded right leg. Ensure that your toes point towards the floor, and the heels face upwards. Your palms remain on the floor, and your head is directed upwards.
Parvatasana :Parvatasana precedes the Ashwa Sanchalanasana pose. You have to exhale all the air and stretch your right leg backward. Lift your body and raise the hips, with the support of both your palms and feet. Look towards your belly button.
Ashtanga Namaskar:Inhale again and lower the hips, and do Ashtanga namaskar. Your face, chest, knees, and toes should touch the ground. However, your hip should be lifted slightly.
Bhujangasana:After you are done with this pose, you have to emulate the Cobra. It is better known as Bhujangasana. Exhale and stretch the shoulder cavity by bending backward, with the support of your palms. You can bend the arms at the elbows or keep them straight. Your face should point towards the sky.
- You have to repeat Parvatasana again.
- Perform Ashwa Sanchalanasana with the other leg.
- Perform Pada Hastasana.
- Do Hasta Uttanasana.
- Finally, you have to close the practice with Pranamasana. Start breathing normally.
You can practice the Surya Namaskar at least thrice. It will also act as a warm-up exercise for you.
Mantras in Surya Namaskar
You can recite twelve mantras along with each posture. The mantras glorify the various qualities of Surya Dev. The spiritual aspect kicks into being, when you practice both the poses and the mantras together. You can chant the mantras loudly or in your mind. It is your prerogative.
The mantras are given below:
“Om Mitraaya Namaha
Om Ravaye Namaha
Om Suryaaya Namaha
Om Bhaanave Namaha
Om Khagaya Namaha
Om Pooshne Namaha
Om Hiranyagarbhaaya Namaha
Om Mareechaye Namaha
Om Adityaaya Namaha
Om Savitre Namaha
Om Aarkaaya Namaha
Om Bhaskaraaya Namaha”
- Strengthens the muscles of the body. It is a good way to give your body a full-stretch workout. Moreover, it also strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and joints.
- It improves the complexion. Practicing Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation within the body. It can bring a glow to the face. Thus, your face will look more radiant than ever.
- Your digestive functioning improves. The asanas help to direct blood towards the digestive organs. The poses also help in massaging the organs and releasing gas.
- Aids in weight loss. If you practice Surya Namaskar at a fast pace, it can aid in weight loss. It is an excellent cardiovascular workout that can stretch your abdominal cavity and also increase metabolism. This helps in weight loss especially around the waist.
- Improves sleep patterns. If you regularly practice this asana, it can help in the regulation of sleep cycles. It relaxes the body and makes the mind tension-free. Thus, you do not need artificial aids to sleep better.
- Regulates the Menstrual cycle. All the women can hugely get benefitted from the Surya Namaskar. You will also get relief from cramps.
- Helps in Detoxification. You can enjoy the benefits of complete detoxification of the body and mind.
How Does it Bring About Transformation?
You should always remember, to start Surya Namaskar with your right leg first. The reason is that the sun channel or Nadi runs along the right side of the body. This is one of the most powerful techniques that can give you mindfulness. Moreover, you can form a deeper connection between the body, breathing patterns, and your consciousness. Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive exercise which does not need any gym equipment. Moreover, you can practice it anywhere. Apart From physical benefits listed above, it can take your spirituality to another level altogether.
It is a wonderful transformational gift from your ancestors. It mainly inculcates a routine within you. Thus, it can bring greater stability to your life. Moreover, you will burn more calories than your typical gym workout. Just 10 minutes of Surya Namaskar burns 139 calories. It is called the ‘Ultimate Asana’ for a reason. Furthermore, you should ensure to eat Sattvic food, to get the maximum benefits from the series of asanas. The Rajasic diet can also work, but never go for the Tamasic diet.
So, start practicing 5 cycles of Surya Namaskar every day and count your benefits.
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