What does Surya Namaskar mean?
Surya Namaskar is one of the most important yoga practices. It is the set of 12 yoga poses that can be performed while chanting 12 different mantras. Mantras add a profound spiritual element to the practice.
It is sometimes translated as “eternal salutations to the sun.” In Sanskrit, Surya means “sun” and namaskar means “salutations.” The practice of Surya Namaskar awakens body intelligence (not artificial intelligence) to create energy directly from the sun. In the Vedic tradition, the sun is symbolic of consciousness and, therefore, has been worshipped daily in the Indian culture.
It is also referred to as Sun Salutation in English.
Vedic Origin of Surya namaskar
Since ancient times, worshipping the sun has been practiced in India for prosperity and this has even been mentioned in the Vedas. Sun salutation was added as a daily routine for Hindus and named as Surya namaskar. Through different procedures, one surrenders to God.
ALSO READ: HOW TO DO SIRSASANA (HEADSTAND)
Top 10 Health Benefits
1. Healthy Lower Body: The first and last pose of Surya Namaskar, the pranamasana (prayer pose) works on the lower body. It effectively strengthens the legs, ankles, and feet. The pose firms the hips relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet. In pranamasana, the hands are folded in the Namaste position close to the heart. Scientifically, the folding of hands together connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
2. Magnifies the Blood Circulation: The active inhalation and exhalation process throughout the Sun salutation series keeps the blood oxygenated and lungs ventilated. The optimal flow of fresh blood in the body is a great way to detox the body making it free from toxic elements and carbon dioxide.
3. Natural Weight Loss: When the Surya Namaskar Series is practiced regularly and at a fast pace, it stretches the abdominal muscles assisting you in reducing weight around the stomach area. The asanas tone the abs and strengthen the musculoskeletal system.
4. Glowing Skin and Luscious Hair: The Sun Salutation incorporates diverse yoga asanas that enhance the supply of blood and oxygen to these regions helping you savor a youthful glow and long-healthy mane even during old age.
5. Calming Properties: The performance of yoga postures has a calming effect on the brain. However, the specific poses of Surya Namaskar like downward dog, cobra pose gently stimulate the nerves, reduce anxiety, and fortify the nervous system that promotes positivity.
6. Enhances Fitness and Flexibility: The Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive workout that benefits the entire body. The diverse 12 postures stretch, strengthen, and boost fitness levels of the body. The Ashtanga Namaskar works on the joints of wrists, the forward fold extends the limbs and makes the spine perfect, and so much more.
7. Activates the Heart Chakra: In the prayer pose, the hands are joined together in front of the heart center. According to Yogic traditions, this mudra activates the heart chakra and encourages the lotus heart to open up with awareness.
8. A Remedy for Blood Pressure and Heart Problems: Surya Namaskar is a natural remedy for blood pressure. The Surya Namaskar benefits the heart muscles and corrects irregular heartbeats. The practice also keeps blood sugar level in control thus keeping the heart problems at bay.
9. Happy Gut: Due to the alternate stretching and compression of the abdominal organs in the Sun Salutation Series, the digestive fire gets activated that helps get rid of constipation and other stomach problems. A happy and healthy gut is one of the most regarded health benefits of Surya Namaskar.
10. Helps Maintain High Spirits: With the practice of Surya Namaskar enhance the health of your body, mind, and soul. It is one of the best ways to keep the body free from diseases and to lead a life of youthfulness, vigor, and positivity.
Surya Namaskar Yoga comes with innumerable benefits. Incorporation of it into your daily life and practicing will definitely help you.
Suryanamaskar, though it gives energy to life, definitely has its own contraindications. People with the following medical conditions are advised to avoid Suryanamaskar:
- Pregnant women
- Women in their first six days of the menstrual cycle, as a precautionary measure
- People with cardiac catheterization disorders
- People suffering from blood pressure, arthritis, slips disc and hernia.
- Severe renal disorders
- People having undergone major surgery in the year just gone
- Severe cervical spine pain
All in all, Suryanamaskar is a very efficient set of yogic postures for a beginner. When performed rapidly, it has physical benefits and is good for the cardiovascular system but when performed slowly, it has mental and spiritual benefits as well.