How to do Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). Without the sun, we can’t imagine life on earth. Surya Namaskar or ‘Sun Salutation’ is a very ancient technique of giving respect or expressing gratitude to the sun which is the source of all forms of life on the earth. Symbolically, the sun becomes our main source of energy as well. About the history of this technique, it has been said by the ancient rishis of India that the different parts of our body are governed by different devas (divine impulses or divine light).
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The solar plexus (situated behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body), generally known as the second brain of human body, is said to be connected to the sun. This is the main cause why the ancient rishis recommended the regular practice of Surya Namaskar, because the regular practice of this technique enhances the solar plexus of the body, which is important in increasing one’s creativity and intuitive abilities.
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How to do Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): The 12 Poses
Step 1 (Prayer pose)
First of all stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet. Then after expand your chest and relax your shoulders. As you take breathe in, lift your both arm up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.
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Step 2 (Raised Arms pose)
Breathing in, lift the your arms up and back, keep the biceps closer to the ears. In this pose, the objective is to stretch the full body up from the heels to down of the tips of the fingers. To get maximum benefits, you may pull the pelvis forward and ensure that you reaching up with your fingers rather than going backwards.
Step 3 (Hand to Foot pose)
Breathing out, bend in forward direction from your the waist, keep the spine erect position. As you exhale completely, keep your hands down to the floor, beside your feet.
Step 4 (Equestrian pose)
Take breath in, push your right leg in backward direction, as far back as possible. Bring your right knee to the floor and look up.
Step 5 (Stick pose)
As you breathing, take the left leg in backward direction and bring the whole body in a straight line position and keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.
Step 6 (Saluting with eight points of the body parts)
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Gently bring your knees towards downward to the floor and exhale. Take the hips backward slightly, slide forward, relax your chest and chin on the floor. Raising your posterior a little bit up .The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and also chin (eight parts from body) must touch the floor.
Step 7 (Cobra pose)
Slide in forward direction and raise the chest up into the cobra posture. It totally depend on you that you may keep your elbows bent position in this pose, the shoulders keep away from the ears. Look up. As you inhale, make a gentle try to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle try to push the navel down. Tuck the toes under. you must ensure you’re stretching just as much as you can; do not try to force.
Step 8 (Mountain pose)
Breathing out and lift the hips and the tail bone up position, the chest is in downward and make ‘inverted V’ type position. If possible, try to keeping the heels on the ground and make a gentle try to lift the tailbone up, going more deep into the stretch.
Step 9 (Equestrian pose)
During breathing in, bring the right foot in forward and it must be between the two hands, left knee keep down to the floor, press the hips downward and look up and place the right foot exactly in between the two hands and the right calf must perpendicular to the floor.
In this position, make a try to push the hips downward direction the floor, to deepen your stretch.
Step 10 (Hand to foot position)
During breathing out, bring your left foot in forward direction. Keep the palms gently on the floor. You may bend the knees, if it is necessary. Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch nose to your knees. Keep breathing.
Step 11 (Raised Arms position)
Take breath in, roll the spine in upward, hands go up and bend in backward direction a little bit, pushing the hips slightly in outward direction. Ensure that your biceps are beside the ears. The idea is to stretch up more in compare to stretching backwards.
As you exhale, first straighten your body, and then bring your arms down. Relax in this position; after that observe the sensations in your body.