Surya Namaskar is a popular and complete asana which can be practised in the early morning hours facing the sun. In the ancient days this asana with so many variations was performed daily singly or in a group by some yogis at dawn. Surya Namaskar is a combination of asanas, concentration and breathing. It has mainly 12 variations which involve the entire muscular and nervous systems. Surya Namaskar is not confined to any particular limb of the body. It acts effectively on the entire organism. It activates glands of the endocrinal system and makes pancreas, adrenal thyroid, pitiuary glands function normally. The different variations of Surya namaskar can give vigour to the facial tissues and nervous system.
If there is not much time to practice Asanas, Pranayama and meditation, Surya Namaskar alone can ensure the benefits of all types of Yogic practices.
Surya Namaskar combines the benefits of physical exercise, Asanas and Pranayama. It is a multi-stage Asana. Being a combination of 12 Asanas, one can gain the benefits of all Asanas involved in it.
In this Asana there are 12 spinal positions. The vertebral column is bent forward and backward alternately with deep breathing. There is contraction on the abdomen and diaphragm when the body is bent forward. When the body bends backward the chest expands and deep breathing occurs automatically. In this way, flexibility increases and breathing is corrected.
This Asana is done preferably in the morning while facing the rising sun. If you are unable to watch the rising sun for one reason or the other, practice Surya Namaskar facing the East. Start doing it thrice only and gradually increase the number.
Position One- Pranama Asana (Prayer Posture)
Stand erect with feet together facing towards east. Place the palms together in front of the chest, Breathe normally and concentrate on the rising sun.
Position two- Hasta Uttan Asana (Raised Arms Posture)
Raise both the arms above your head. Keep the arms separated and bend the head and the upper trunk slightly backward. Inhale while raising the arms , Hold the breathe in.
Position three- Pada Hasta Asana (Head to Foot Posture)
On a folded blanket stand, erect and bend forward. Touch the floor with your fingers or hands in front of the feet and exhale. Try to touch the knee with the forehead without jerk or strain. Keep the legs straight and contract the abdomen in the final position to expel as much air as you can.Stay in this posture as long as you feel comfortable.
Position Four- Ashwasanchalana Asana (Equestrian Posture)
The palms should be rested on the ground alongside feet. Then stretch the right leg backwards and sit on the left bended leg. placed between the two arms looking towards the sky.The weight of the body should now be supported on the two hands, the left foot, the right knee and the right toes. Hold your breath.
Position five- Parvat Asana (Mountain Posture)
Exhale as you straighten the left leg to place the left foot beside the right one.Raise the buttocks and keep the head up, with the heels touching the floor.The body should form two sides of a triangle with the legs and arms unbent.
Position six- Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Salute with Total Surrender Posture)
Lower the body to the floor so that the toes of the feet, the knees, the chest, the hands and the chin touch the floor.The hips and the abdomen should be raised.Do not breathe.
Position seven- Bhujanga Asana (Cobra Posture)
While inhaling, raise the body from the waist up by straightening the arms.Bend as far back as possible. The spine should be bent to the maximum.
Position eight- Parvat Asana
This is a repetition of position five.Exhale and lift the body.Keep the feet and heels flat on the floor.
Position nine- Ashwasanchalana Asana
This posture corresponds to position four with the legs in alternate position.Inhale and bring the right foot in line with the hands. The left foot and knee should touch the floor.Look slightly up.
Position ten- Pada Hasta Asana
This asana is repetition of position no. 3 with slight change, stand with body erect and exhale and raise the arms above the head and keep the arms separated. Bend the head and arms in between the legs slightly.
Position eleven- Hasta Uttan Asana:
This is a repetition of position two.
Position twelve- Final Posture
This is the final position of the Surya Namaskar and is more or less the same as position no. 1. Stretch upper portion of your body and arms backwards and Exhade breath slowly. Release the whole body.
Synchronisation of Breath
Mentioned clearly at every step of doing this Asana.
Top 10Benefits Of Surya Namaskar
1 – Ensures remarkable lightness of body, buoyancy of mind and general feeling of youthfulness.
2- Surya NamasKar Improves Blood Circulation of the Body – Due to the active process of inhalation and exhalation, the lungs are constantly ventilated and the blood remains oxygenated. It’s a great way of detoxing your body and helping it get rid of excess carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. Exercises the legs and arms mildly, thereby increasing blood.
3 – Surya NamasKar Cures kidney trouble by strengthening the back.
4 – Surya Namaskar Helps in Weight loss – When done at a fast pace, it is a great cardiovascular workout that stretches the abdominal muscles while simultaneously helping you reduce excess weight around your stomach. The asanas also result in toning your arms, abs and giving great flexibility to your spine. Moreover, It helps to strengthen your entire skeletal system including your ligaments. Activates sluggish glands.
5 – Surya Namaskar gives strength the neck, arms, back, shoulders, thighs, knees, waist, calves, and ankles.
6 – Surya Namaskar promotes a Regular Menstrual Cycle – If you’re facing the problem of an irregular menstrual cycle, these asanas will help you suppress this irregularity and if practiced daily, it ensures an easy childbirth. And also help in increases chest size and decreases abdominal girth.
7 – Surya Namaskar boots blood supply to the entire spinal area and thereby strengthens the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys and bowels.
8 – Surya Namaskar beneficial for glow Skin and all Hair problem – By incorporating it in your routine it will keep you youthful and healthy even in old age. It improves your blood circulation that aids in bringing back the glow on your face; preventing the onset of wrinkles, making your skin look ageless and radiant. It also prevents hair loss and the ageing of hair. Retards obesity.
9 – Surya Namaskar improves and develops the bust in women and gets rid of menstrual disorders; renders childbearing less painful and improves the quantity and quality of milk in nursing mothers.
10 – Surya Namaskar helps to improve memory and the nervous system. Moreover, its stabilizes the activity of the endocrine and thyroid glands, thereby reducing anxiety and inducing the sensation of complete calmness and tranquility.
Suitability For Surya Namaskar
Suitable for all, particularly women, who can derive considerable benefit from this Asana.
Precautions In Surya Namaskar
This Asana is to be performed at the time of the rising sun to derive maximum benefits. After performing this Asana it is necessary to relax by doing Shava Asana. (Picture 13)