The Sanskrit name ‘Surya’ here refers to the sun & ‘Namaskara’ means salutations. Surya Namaskara has been handed down from the enlightened sages of the vedic age. The practice of Surya Namaskara as a whole gives a great number of benefits. It strengthens the back, helps balance the metabolism. It stimulates & balances all the systems of the body, including the reproductive, circulatory, and respiratory & digestive systems and increasing mental clarity by bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to the brain. It should not be practiced by people suffering from high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, or by those who have had a stroke, as it may over stimulate or damage a weak heart or blood vessel system.
The ideal time to practice Surya Namaskara is at sunrise or sunset, practice in the open air, facing the rising sun. Practice at any time provided the stomach is empty. Stand with feet together & close the eyes gently and become aware of the whole physical body as one homogeneous unit. Starting from the top of the head, take the awareness systematically through all the parts, releasing any tension. Intensity, once more, the awareness of the whole physical body & feel in harmony with it. Finally, take the awareness to the heart or eyebrow centre and visualize a brilliant, red rising sun infusing the whole body & mind with its vitalizing & healing rays.
The following are the different poses of Surya Namaskara:
1) Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
2) Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
3) Padahastasana (Foot Pose)
4) Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
5) Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
6) Ashhtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts Or Points)
7) Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8) Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
9) Ashwa Sanchalasana (Equestrian Pose)
10) Padahastasana (Foot Pose)
11) Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
12) Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)