Surya Namaskar is called the King of Yoga by the great yogis and is becoming increasingly popular across the world. Surya Namaskar is Sun Salutation. Surya is Sun, and Namaskar is the salutation. It is a unique gesture as a sign of respect to the Sun.
Religious Importance of Surya Namaskar
The Sun is worshipped as a God in Hindu Dharma and is called Surya Deva. The Sun is a source of energy for all living beings and is a vital part of nature. No one can survive on earth without the Sun – the light and heat it radiates.
Scientific Importance of Surya Namaskar
The Sun acts as a natural source of energy. The rays of the Sun in the morning are more beneficial to human beings than at any other time. Early in the morning, when we perform Surya Namaskar, the ultra-violet rays of the Sun do not harm us. The early morning and evening rays of the Sun do not damage us. Surya Namaskar is refreshing and rejuvenates us. The entire exercise gives us a boost of energy to sustain us through the day.
Performing the Surya Namaskar gives excellent benefits for the body and mind. The solar plexus is located behind the navel, and people refer to it as the second brain. The technique of Surya Namaskar enhances the solar plexus and helps increase our ability for creativity and other skills. It strengthens our intuition.
Meaning and Significance of the Surya Namaskar
The Surya Namaskar is a 12-step process.
1) Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
The Pranamasana is the first step in the position of the Surya Namaskar, with hands in a gesture of salutation and spine erect, feet close to each other.
The meaning of this asana is one who is friendly to all.
Significance of the Pranamasana
The Pranamasana helps maintain the balance of the body and relaxes the nervous system.
2) Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
This asana is the second position, and one raises the hands above one’s head and bend backward as much as one can.
The meaning of this asana is it indicates the shining, radiant one.
Significance of the Hasta Uttanasana
The Hasta Uttanasana stretches and tones the muscles of the abdomen. It helps the chest expand and intake oxygen. The lungs are operational entirely.
3) Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
This asana practices the forward bend by bending forward from the waist and keeping the spine erect. It helps flex one’s leg muscles for touching a hand to foot.
The meaning of this asana is that it activates energy and dispels darkness.
Significance of the Hasta Padasana
This asana makes the waist and spine flexible and supple. It helps stretch the hamstrings and loosens the hips, shoulders, and arms.
4) AshwaSanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
This asana is the fourth step and is called the runner’s pose. One inhales and place the left leg in a backward direction by bending the right knee. Eyes should face forward direction.
The meaning of this asana is the one who creates brightness or illuminates.
Significance of the AshwaSanchalanasana
This asana strengthens the leg muscles and keeps the neck and spine flexible. People practice this asana for indigestion, sciatica, and constipation.
5)Dandasana (Stick Pose)
This asana lifts the tailbone and hips as one exhales a breath, and the body resembles an inverted V shape.
The meaning of this asana is about the all-pervading one, who moves across the sky.
Significance of Dandasana
This asana strengthens the back and the arm and improves the posture. It helps calm the mind and stretches the shoulder, spine, and chest.
6) Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight-Part Pose)
The sixth step of the Surya Namaskar, where the hands, knees, feet, chest, and chin touch the ground. It involves all eight parts of the body.
The meaning of this asana is that the Sun is the provider of nourishment and fulfillment.
Significance of Ashtanga Namaskar
This asana strengthens the back muscles and makes the spine and back more flexible. It reduces tension and anxiety.
7) Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Om Hiranya GarbhayaNamaha
The asana is the seventh step in the Surya Namaskar and moves the body in the forward direction. One must lift the chest with bent elbows and look up to the roof.
The meaning of this asana is the reference to the Sun., who has a golden brilliance.
Significance of the Bhujangasana
This asana increases flexibility and stretches the shoulders, back, and chest. It helps elevate the mood and strengthen the heart.
8) Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Relax the spine and keep the feet together. Place the hands under the shoulders in a straight line. Tuck in toes and lift knees off the mat. Push up your rear and straighten legs. Try to reach your heels on the mat and try to touch your crown on to the mat.
The meaning of this asana is the Sun gives light with infinite rays, which benefit the earth and all living beings.
Significance of Parvatasana
This asana helps strengthen the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and legs. It keeps the spine, calves, and hamstrings flexible. The asana tones up nerves in the spinal cord and keeps the nervous system balanced. It improves blood circulation to the brain.
9) AshwaSanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
People practice this asana in the 4th and 9th position of Surya Namaskar. The variation in the 9th position is to raise arms above the head in a Namaste gesture and intensifies the thigh stretch. They try this asana after practicing the first variation for a week or so
The meaning of this asana is that it refers to the son of Aditi, the cosmic mother.
Significance of the Asana
The asana helps tone the muscles of the abdomen and keeps the leg muscles flexible.
10) Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend your knees if required. Try to deepen this stretch. If possible, try to touch your nose to your knees.
The meaning of this asana refers to the Sun God, the one who is responsible for life.
Significance of the Hasta Padasana
This asana stretches the hamstrings and opens the shoulders, arms, and hips.
11)Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Breathing in, roll the spine up. Raise your hands upwards and bend backward a little, pushing the hips slightly outwards.
The meaning of this asana refers to the Sun, one who is praiseworthy.
Significance of Hasta Uttanasana
This asana stretches and tones the muscles of the abdomen and helps the chest expand to intake oxygen. This asana keeps the lungs fully operational.
12)Tadasana (Standing or Palm Tree Pose)
Exhale and straighten the body position, bringing down the arms. Stay relaxed in this position and try to observe the sensations within your body.
The meaning of this asana is the reference to the Sun God, who gives wisdom and cosmic illumination.
Significance of Tadasana
This asana improves posture and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles. It relieves sciatica.