Surya Namaskar is the sun salutation (surya is sun and namaskar or namaste is salutation). The surya namaskar or sun salutation consists of a series of twelve asanas followed by breathing as a movement flowing with them (vinyasa). Traditionally it was practiced 12 times, one for each zodiacal sign, facing east each morning during sunrise, although there are also series of up to 21 repetitions. This series helps us at all levels, reduces the accumulated doshas in the spine and stimulates vyana vayu (the subdosha Vata). Since ancient times, this series has been considered very powerful, providing multiple benefits from each of the postures of which it is composed. The mountain posture or tadasana, asana that begins the suryanamaskar, gives us a feeling of balance and honesty. It makes us aware of the axis that runs through our body, the central channel. The energy flows freely by maintaining the correct posture. By raising our arms towards the sky, the tension in our neck and shoulders is released, we open the blocked points in the internal channels: one at the base of the neck and the other near the spine, behind the heart. We work here with the heart chakra. It is very important to keep the attention on the area of the back behind the heart and to keep the lower back almost straight and the upper back arched. Frontal flexion or uttanasa, the asana that follows, helps to remove fat from the waist. It is important to flex from the hips, not from the lower back. This asana also helps to release blockages in the internal channels, improves digestion, and also helps to have a strong mind that naturally, for example, preferring healthy food, small amount. It helps to feel light. One of the asanas that follow, arching the back back, again focuses attention on the heart area. The Adho Mukha posture (inverted V) acts as a counter-post to the backward inflection. It stretches vertebrae in the back, preventing lower back pain. The upward stretch with one leg extended and the other bent at the knee, invigorates the legs and releases blockages of the groin area, promoting sexual and digestive energy. The practice of Yoga is very powerful, but only if we do not have a scattered, wandering, aimless mind when performing it. In this way, the internal energy becomes entangled with our thoughts. That is why it is very important to observe our breathing, or to stick the mind in a point like the heart. Whenever the mind gets bored or scattered we must always refocus. We can ask ourselves several questions: What is my breathing like during this practice? Slow, relaxed, do I breathe in when I have to? -Is my face relaxed? -Am I doing the asanas right? In the beginning we always focus on doing the asanas well, and we dedicate the greatest effort in placing the hands, the feet,… Once we master the asanas a little we start to focus on the breathing, each movement is linked to an expiration, retention or inspiration. We have to learn this dance. And with time we can focus attention inward, keep the mind calm and focused on the heart chakra, to open it and remove blockages. So joy will flow through us and we will feel happier. Benefits of the practice of Suryanamaskar:
- Being a complete exercise, it gives us strength and health.
- It improves the functioning of the stomach, intestines, pancreas, heart and lungs.
- It makes the spine and waist more flexible.
- It regulates blood circulation throughout the body, thus cleansing the blood of impurities and destroying skin diseases.
- The musculature of the hands, legs, back and thighs become strong and toned.
- It increases mental strength, sharpens the mind and gives vitality.
- It is useful in case of diabetes.
- Its movements improve digestion, help us reduce weight and promote youth and vitality.
- It balances internal glands and hormone secretion.