The Purpose Behind Surya Namaskar Yoga

Surya Namaskar Yoga Basics

Surya Namaskar Yoga, Salute To The Sun Salutation asana, is an ancient practice in yoga incorporating a dynamic flow series of some 12 postures. The asana series was originally presented as yoga in the late 20th century, although similar postures had been in use prior to that, such as among soldiers. The origin of this is said to be from the Sanskrit word “Surya” which literally means sun. It is a physical workout, but its meditative aspect has been around for thousands of years. One of the most profound aspects of this type of yoga is the effect it has on the mind and consciousness.

Importance of Surya Namaskar Poses

These yoga poses help relax both the body and the mind. They are intended to promote overall health as well as psychological wholeness by helping to develop strength, flexibility, and stamina. The sands stretch and strengthen the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves while also invigorating them. This helps to improve circulation, digestion, and the elimination of waste products from the body. It helps the body to be more efficient at absorbing nutrients, especially vitamins A, C, and E.

This is why the Surya namaskar asana is often included in Ayurvedic programs. The yoga instructor will teach students how to stand in proper posture, hold the body in certain positions, and bend and twist in others. The instructor will also help students with the various asanas through explanation, demonstration, and guidance.

In particular, there are 12 basic steps in each pose in this form of yoga. Each has its own purpose. For instance, the first step, called the standing forward bend, aids the first step by putting the hips in a stretched position. Next, in the second pose, the left foot should be placed flat on the floor, the right foot should be raised high off the floor, the upper body should be erect, and the head should be supported by the upper body. Next, in the third pose, the right foot should be raised high off the ground, the left one flat on the floor, the arms should be relaxed, the torso should be straight, and the head should be rested on the raised limb. The eyes should be closed.

Variations Involved

There are two variations of this popular exercise. One is called the Yantra yoga postures and the other, called the Kapalabhati yoga postures. Yantra yoga means “union” and Kapalabhati means “step.” The primary objective of the steps is to build strength and flexibility in the muscles of the body.

There is also what is known as dynamic stretching. This type of yoga is meant to increase muscular activity through small adjustments in postures and breathing techniques. For example, the first of the 12 poses includes a standing forward bend. As this post is being held for several seconds, it is called an ashtanga (eight-limb series).

Provides Relaxing Effect To The Body

A very important aspect of practicing these yoga poses is relaxation. It is crucial to allow all aspects of the body to become quiet, which includes the mind. This is accomplished by using the breath to move the air from the lungs into the body and keeping the muscles relaxed. The focus is to move the air up the solar plexus and out through the top of the head. Then, with the help of the Sun Salutation (another of the yoga poses), the mind can then be allowed to wander freely.

The Takeaway

Many individuals view yoga as merely physical exercise. However, it is much more than that. The purpose of the sun salutation is to make a connection between the body, the mind, and the spirit. This connection is integral to achieving enlightenment. Through regular practice of Surya namaskar, it becomes easier for the mind to enter into this realm of enlightened bliss.


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