Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Surya Namaskar - Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar - bowing to the inner sun: The Sun Salutations that initiate many yoga classes are rich in symbolism. Surya is chief solar deity who drives his chariot across the sky each day as the most visible form of God that one can see. It is also the ancient Sanskrit term for "sun", which in most ancient mythology is revered, as Richard Rosen (2003) says, "as both the physical and spiritual heart of the world." Namaskara is from the root namas, to bow (as in "namaste"). In the myths of the Vedas, the gods use the heat for many purposes, especially creation. Our "inner sun", the spiritual heart center, is seen as the source of light and truth along one's life path. In Surya Namaskara, we are bowing to the truth of who we are in our essence, releasing the head lower than the heart, connecting with our inner wisdom (Mark Stephens).

The Sun Salutation is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow while coordinating each movement with the breath. You will generate heat and and energy, build strength, and increase flexibility - It is considered the best exercise for the human body!

Different styles of yoga have their own Sun Salutation variation. The image is of the classical hatha variation. Try it out!!

P.S. Remember to inhale during backward bending postures and exhale during forward bending postures. Do it on the right side first and then on the left side. In between hold downward facing dog for 3-5 breaths. Enjoy :)


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