Without the Sun, there will be no life on Earth.
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a very ancient technique of paying respect or expressing gratitude to the Sun that is the source of all forms of life on the planet.
Now just knowing how to do Surya Namaskar is not enough. It is also important to understand the science behind this very ancient technique because a deeper understanding will bring forth the right outlook and approach towards this very sacred and powerful yogic technique.
The Science behind Surya Namaskar
It has been said (by the ancient Rishis of India) that the different parts of the body are governed by different Devas (divine impulses or divine light).
The solar plexus (located behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body) is said to be connected with the Sun.
This is the main reason why the ancient Rishis recommended the practice of Surya Namaskar because the regular practice of this technique enhances the solar plexus, which increases one’s creativity and intuitive abilities.
All our emotions get stored in the solar plexus, and it is also the point from where one’s gut feelings arise. The size of the solar plexus is said to like the size of a small gooseberry. However, for those who do yoga and meditation, it becomes much bigger – almost three to four times bigger than the normal size. The more expanded your solar plexus, the greater is your mental stability and your intuition.
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The body (through the physical movement), the mind (though the solar plexus) and the spirit (through the chants) get a boost from the practice of Surya Namaskar.
Why start the day with Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 postures, preferably to be done at the time of sunrise. The regular practice of Surya Namaskar improves circulation of blood throughout the body, maintains health, and helps one remain disease-free.
There are numerous benefits of sun salutation for the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, legs. From head to toe, every part of the body is greatly benefitted by Surya Namaskar, which is why it is highly recommended by all yoga experts.
Postures act as a good link between warm-ups and asanas and can be done any time on an empty stomach. However, the morning is considered to be the best time for Surya Namaskar as it revitalizes the body and refreshes the mind, making us ready to take on all tasks of the day.
If done in the afternoon, it energizes the body instantly and if done at dusk, it helps you unwind. When done at a fast pace, Surya Namaskar is an excellent cardiovascular workout and a good way to lose weight.
3 Paces (speeds) of Surya Namaskar and its Benefits (Sun Salutation)
- Slow pace helps to make body flexible
- Medium pace helps to tone the muscles
- Fast pace is an excellent cardiovascular workout and also helps in weight loss
Why Should Children Do Surya Namaskar?
Sun salutation calms the mind and helps improves concentration. Today, children face a cut-throat competition and should adopt Surya Namaskar in their daily schedule as it boosts endurance power and reduces the feeling of anxiety and restlessness, especially during exams.
Regular practice of Surya Namaskar gives strength and vitality to the body. It is the best workout for muscles and improves flexibility in the spine and in limbs for our future athletes. Children as young as 5-year- olds can start doing sun salutation daily.
Why Should Women Do Surya Namaskar?
It is said that Surya Namaskar can do what months of dieting cannot. Hence, it’s a blessing for health-conscious women as it not only helps lose extra calories, but it offers an easy and inexpensive way to be in proper shape by stretching the abdominal muscles naturally.
Some of the Sun Salutation poses help lose extra fat on belly by stimulating sluggish glands like the thyroid gland (which has a big effect on our weight) to increase hormonal secretions.
Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar can regulate irregular menstrual cycles among women and also ensure an easy childbirth.
Last but not the least; it helps in bringing back the glow on your face, preventing the onset of wrinkles and making it ageless and radiant.
Develop Your Sixth Sense with Sun Salutations
With a regular practice of Surya Namaskar and meditation, the solar plexus increases from the size of an almond to the size of a palm. This expansion of solar plexus, also known as the second brain, develops our intuitive ability and makes us more clear and focused.
The contraction of the solar plexus, on the other hand, leads to depression and other negative tendencies.
The manifold benefits of Surya Namaskar help keep the body healthy and the mind calm. Thus, a regular practice of sun salutation is highly recommended by all yoga experts.
These Surya Namaskar tips can also help improve your practice and give better results.
*This article was originally published at www.artofliving.org