Sun Salutation

by nitya

(Please, Practice always under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Here it is only an information).


(1). The sun salutation is an exercise that helps to warm up yourMitrayanamahbody parts and make your joints flexible. It is advisable to practice the sun salutation, for few rounds, before doing any yoga posture to avoid any pulled muscles or cramps while practicing the postures. It also helps increase flexibility and blood circulation.


The sun salutation (Surya Namaskaram) has twelve main steps. Or perhaps it is better to say twelve main limitations to the body. It is a continuous flow from one step to another. It is called an exercise because of its flow, but yoga postures are named for steady, fixed and comfortable body positions. It is a salutation to the sun. So it has twelve main mantras of sun.


In the first pose, stand straight with your body parts relaxed. Bring your palms onto your chest as a prayer pose, with an exhalation. You have to try to develop the feeling that you are prostrate to the sun.


(2). With an inhalation, stretch your arms in front of you and all theravayenamahaway up. Arch your back. Try to push your hips forward and keep your knee straight. You don't have to go anywhere beyond your limit. If you ever happen to stay in the pose, please try to breathe.

While you breathe, be sure your body is not shivering and you don't break your breath. Your breath should always be kept fluid. If your body is shivering, it simply means that you are straining your body parts and your lungs. Never go beyond your limit.


Here in this pose, stretching the front part of your body is important, so you are as a bow pulling its string. Your spine is not bending back but arching back. While you stay in this position, breathe and feel that your chest is open and your elbows stretched. Be aware of your body balance.


If you have lower back pain, or any kind of spinal problem, be extra
cautious in this pose. Take an easy approach at the beginning of your practice, at least for a few months.


(3). With an exhalation, stretch your body from the very lower backand come forward all the way.padaCome down to place your palms flat on the ground by the side of your body. Bring your body and head towards your legs. In the beginning, it is okay to bend your knees to place your palms on the ground. As you progress, try and slowly stretch your knees. Try to breathe in this pose, if you are holding it. In the beginning your breath will be short and quick. As you improve, increase the length of the breath. Avoid the tendency to fight or push yourself. Try to feel the stretching of the back of your legs and try to use your lower back. Stretch your arms down from the shoulders to place your palms on the ground.


(4). With an inhalation, stretch your right leg back. Placekhagayanamah
the knee of your right leg on the ground and point its toes. If you can, let both palms rest flat on the ground. Stretch your chin out, feel your chest open and force your hips towards ground. As you hold longer, breathe.


(5). Hold your breath while you take the other leg back.pushnenamah
Avoid pushing your hips. Don't drop them down or lift them up. At the beginning stages of your practice it is okay to keep your hips up a little. Otherwise, it will be heavy for your lower back. Once you build some strength in your lower back and abdominal muscles, keep your body straight and stretch your arms while keeping your elbows straight.
While you stay in this pose, of course, keep breathing.


(6). Exhale as you bring your knees, chest and forehead towardsthe ground.Try and keep your hips up. Also, try to keep your body weight on your arms, knees, chest and forehead which will be touching the ground. Keep your hips up. While you stay in the pose, breathe. In this pose eight-body parts will touch the ground: your forehead, palms, toes, knees and chest. With this pose, Surya Namaskarm is called Ashtanga Surya Namaskaram.


(7). With an inhalation, come up to the cobra pose. Lift yourhiranyagarbhayanamahforehead off the ground and arch your back. Open your chest and avoid the tendency to squeeze your shoulders. Keep your arms at the side of your body and point your toes. Keep your legs together. Let your body rest on the ground, up to the lower abdominal area. Breathe deeply while you stay in this pose.


(8).marichayenamah Exhale as you lower your body and lift your hips up. Stretchyour arms and shoulders. Stretch your upper back and lower back. Try to keep your knees straight and avoid holding your heels up. Breathe while you stay in this pose.



(9). Inhale and take your right leg forward, up to your limit. If youadityayanamah can, it should be between both palms. Place your left knee on the ground and point your left toes. Again, force your hips down and open your chest. Stretch your neck and chin out and look up. Press both palms towards ground. While you stay in the pose, breathe.



(10). With an exhalation, take both your legs forward to the head to knee pose.savitrenamah Try to adjust both your palms by the side of both legs and stretch your body from the very lower back. Bring your body and head towards your legs. While you stay in the pose, breathe.




(11). With an inhalation, come up and archarkayanamahyour back. Stretch your arms and body from the very lower back and force your hips forward without bending your knees. Try again to keep your elbows straight. Let your palms face up
and look up.




(12). Exhale and come to the prayer pose. Place your palms on yourbhaskarayanamahchest and stand up straight. Breath deeply in this pose.



The ancient teachers practiced the sun salutation every morning and evening, facing the sun. Its twelve mantras are: Om Mitraya Namah, Om Ravaye Namah, Om Suryaya Namah, Om Bhanave Namah, Om Khagaya
Namah, Om Pushne Namah, Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namah, Om Marichaye Namah, Om Adityaya Namah, Om Savitre namah, Om Arkaya Namah, Om Bhaskaraya Namah.
In a way, the sun salutation is a meditation. Its beginning poses and ending poses look alike, just like the sunrise and sunset. Also there is a pose in which we hold our breath just as at midday. It is a prostration to the sun, the sun who is shining always. The sun has no setting or rising, it nurtures the whole world and is the one who is witness to everything. It is our own self. So, this exercise, as a spiritual practice, leads one to establish the self. The sun salutation will tune one's body and mind towards the higher self.