Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a complete set of exercises which can be practised in the early morning hours facing the sun. In the ancient days Surya Namaskar was perfomed daily by the Yogis and sadhus at the dawn. It is the combination of asanas, breathing and concentration. It has twelve variations which involve the entire muscular structure. Surya namaskar acts efficiently on the entire organism.
Position 1 (Namaskarasana):
Stand erect with feet together. Place the palms together in front of the chest, breath slowly and normally and relax the whole body. It prepares the practitioner physically and mentally for the exercises which follow.
Position 2 (Parvathasana):
Stand erect and keep your feet apart. Close your mouth and raise both the arms above head and upper trunk, stretch your arms slightly backward. Inhale while raising the arms and exhale while bringing the arms to the original position.
Position 3 (Hasta padasana):
In the erected pose, keep your feet together, close your mouth and take a deep breath. while exhaling bend forward and make an attempt to touch the feet with your palms.
Position 4 (Ekpadaprasaranasana):
Take a sit on the ground and rest your hands on the ground. Then slowly by supporting the balance with your hands extend the right leg fully backward. Raise your hands and head towards your back. In this position the left knee will be placed centrally between the two arms. On completion of this movement exhale slowly and rhythmically.
Position 5 (Bhoodharasana):
In the stand position bend your body from the waist and the weight of the body should be supported bythe palms and the toes. The heaad should be inside the arms and downwards.
Position 6 (Ashtanga Pranipatasana):
Stand erect and lower your torso and exhale your breath. Your knees, chest and the face should rest on the floor. the abdomen should not touch the floor. Take a deep breath and count for five and then slowly and rhythmically exhale it.
Position 7 (Bhujangasana):
Lie down by positioning your face towards the ground. Slowly bend the torso and the neck backwards. Inhale while raising thr head and retain breath for couple of seconds and exhale breath while coming to the original position.Repeat it 10 times and then relax for a couple of minutes.
Position 8 (Bhoodhrasana):
Stand erect and take a deeep breath and lie down on your face towards the ground. Raise your torso and exhale. Now bend the body at the pelvic joints so that the buttocks are raised higher than the other parts of the body and retain breath for a couple of seconds while raising the torso. exhale While coming to the original position.
Position 9 (Ekpadaprasaranasana):
Sit on your feet and take a deep breath and bring the right leg gradually orward till the right foot rests near the right palm. Keep the left knee touching the floor and the neck bent backwards (In a manner analogous to position 4). Retain breath for a couple of seconds while forwarding the right leg forward and exhale breath while coming to the original position. Repeat it for 10 times and relax for a couple of seconds.
Position 10 (Hastapadasana):
Stand erect with your feet together and bring the left leg forward till the left foot touch the right foot. Straighten the legs at the knees and make an effort to touch the toes with your hands. Inhale while moving the head down and exhale while coming to the original position.Repeat it for 10 times and relax for a couple of minutes.
Position 11 (Parvatasana):
Stand erect with your feet apart. Inhale deeply and raise the arms and bend the torso and the neck backwards. Retain breath for couple of seconds in this posture and then slowly exhale while coming to the original position. Repeat it for 10 times and relax for a coupkle of seconds.
Position 12 (Dakshasana):
Stand erect with your feeet together. Keep breathing. Bring the arms down and touch the thighs. Keep the body in a relaxed position and practise deep breathing. In hale and retain it for couple of seconds and exhale slowly and rhythmically. Inhalation, retention and exhalation should be done for 10 times and then relax for a couple of times.
Benefits of Surya Namakar Or Sun salutation:
Th overall benefits of all the 12 variations are highly beneficial to all the systems of the body. Endocrinal circulatory, respiratory and digestive system. Surya Namaskar ventilates and tones up the lungs and glands, oxygenetes the blood, cures asthma, diabetes, kidney ailment, Bronchitis and normalises menstrual cycle. It removes hypertension, palpitation, tones up yhe nervous system by stretching and bending the spinal column. It also improves the memory and stimulates the thyroid gland. Surya Namaskar also tones up and strengthens the muscle structure of the whole body. It removes the excessive fats from the hips and the abdomen. It also normalises the functioning of uterus and ovaries and corrects menstrual irregularity. It restores vim, vigour, vitality and increases height.