Sun Salutations – The Meaning of Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar or salute to the sun (sun salutations) is a warm up routine used in yoga that is based on a sequence of gracefully linked Asana. Asana refers to not only the place in which you sit but also the posture in which you sit.
The origin of sun salutations have been the center of a disagreement, whilst Traditionalists were of the belief that the sun salutation sequence is over 2,500 years old and that it originated during the Vedic times as a ritual prostration to the dawn, replete with mantras, offering of flowers and rice, and libations of water. Skeptics believed that sun salutations were invented in the early 20th century by the raja of Aundh. Even though there are different beliefs on the where and how sun salutations originated, there have been many variations that have been developed over the years. The basic sun salutations involves eight basic postures which are:
- Tadasana which is also known as the Mountain Pose. This pose has proven benefits like improving your posture, strengthening your thighs, knees and ankles. The Mountain pose can also reduce flat feet, it can help firm up your abdomen and buttocks.
- Urdhva Hastasana can improve your belly’s digestion. It also helps stretch the shoulders and armpits and can relieve mild anxiety.
- Uttanasana this pose has several physical and mental benefits such as stimulating the liver and kidneys; stretching your hamstrings, calves and hips. It also assists in improving your digestion; helps reduce fatigue and anxiety; relieves any insomnia and headaches; can be calming for your brain and can also reduce stress levels and depression.
- Anjaneyasana(Low Lunge), can help release any tension in your hips; it can also help with strengthening your knees and your hamstrings, quads and groin and it further assists with building your mental focus.
- Plank Pose, is not only strengthens your arms, wrists, legs and also strengthens your shoulders, chest and the front ankles.
- Chaturanga Dandasana Pose can help you tone your abdomen and can strengthen your arms and wrists.
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana Pose can play a pivotal role in improving your posture and strengthening one’s spine, arms and wrists. The pose can also help relieve mild depression, fatigue and sciatica.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana Pose can have therapeutic benefits for high blood pressure, flat feet, sinusitis, asthma and sciatica. It can also improve your digestive system, relieve symptoms of menopause, re-energize the body and strengthen your shoulders, calves, arches and hands.
The daily and regular practicing of sun salutations can have incredible benefits for you. Sun salutations can give assist with giving you an excellent cardiovascular workout which helps you lose weight. Other benefits of continuously practicing sun salutations are:
- Glowing skin;
- They assist in strengthening your muscles and joints;
- Improves the functionality digestive system;
- Regulates menstrual cycle;
- Improves insomnia coping mechanisms;
- Improves with anxiety levels;
- Assists in decreasing blood sugar levels; and
- Assists in detoxifying one’s body by getting rid of toxins within one’s body.