Ayurvedic Treatment

SURYA-NAMASKARA

INTRODUCTION

The sanskrit name surya hare refers to sun namaskara means salutions.

Surya namaskara has been handed down from the enlightened stage of the Vedic age. The sun symbolises spiritual consciousness and, in ancient times, was worshipped on a daily basis. In yoga the sun is represented by pingla or surya nadi, the pranic channel which carries the vital, life-giving force.

This dynamic group of asanas is not regarded as being a traditional part of hatha yoga practices as it was added to the original asana group at a later time. However, it is an effective way of loosening up, stretching, massaging and toning all the joints, muscles and internal organs of the body. its versatility and application make it one of the most useful methods of introducing a healthy, vigorous and active life while, at the same time, preparing for spiritual awakening and the resulting expansion of awareness.

Surya namaskara is a complete sadhana, spiritual practice, in itself for it includes asana, Pranayama, mantra and meditation techniques. It is an excellent group of asanas with which to start morning practice. Surya namaskara has a direct vitalising effect on the solar energy of the body which flows through pingala nadi. Regular practice of surya namaskara regulates pingala nadi, whether it is under active or over active. Regulation of pingala nadi leads to a balanced energy system at both mental and physical levels.

Surya namaskara is composed of three elements: form, energy and rhythum. The twelve asana are the physical matrix around which the practice is woven. These asanas generated prana, the subtle energy which activates the psychic body. Their performance, in a steady, rhythmic sequence, reflects the rhythmus of the universe; the twenty-four hours of the day, the twelve zodiac phases of the year and the biorhythms of the body. The application of this form and rhythmus to the body/mind complex generates the transforming force which produces a fuller and more dynamic life.

Time of practice

The ideal time to practise surya namaskara is at sunrise, the most peaceful time of the day. Whenever possible, practise in the open air, facing the rising sun. Sunset is also a good time to practise as it stimulates the digestive fire. Surya namaskara, however, may be practised at any time provided the stomach is empty.

Preparation

  • Before commencing the practiced, stand with the feed together or slightly apart, and the arms hanging loosely by the side of the body. Close the eyes gently and become aware of the whole physical body as one homogeneous unit. In this position the body may sway from side to side or backward to forward. Try to minimize this oscillation and balance the body weight equally on the both feet.
  • bring the awareness inside the body and mentally begin to relax it. Starting from the top of the head, take the awareness systematically through all the parts, releasing any tension. Intensify, once more, the awareness of the whole physical body and feel in harmony with it.
  • Take the awareness to the soles of the feet in contact with the floor. Feel that the whole body is being pulled downwards by gravity and that any tensions are being pulled down, through the body and into the ground. At the same time, experience the vital force surging up from the earth and flooding the whole being.
  • Finally, take the awareness to the eyebrow centre and visualize a brilliant, red rising sun infusing the whole body and mind with its vitalizing and healing rays. Imagine you are facing the early morning sunrise, about to practise surya namaskara with smooth synchronized movements, flowing into one another like a dance.

PRANAMASANA>

Position 1:(Prayer pose)

  • Keep the eyes closed.
  • Remain standing upright with the feet together.
  • Slowly bend the elbows and place the palms together in front of the chest in namaskara mudra, mentally offring homage to the sun, the source of all life.
  • Relax the whole body.

Breathing

Breath normally.

Awareness

  • Physical: On the chest area.
  • Spiritual: On anahata chakra.

Mantra

Om Mitraya Namaha, Salutation to the friend of all.

Benefits

This pose establishes a state of concentration and calmness in preparation for the practice to be performed.

HASTA UTTHANASANA

Position 2:(Raised arms pose)

  • Raise and strech both arms above the head.
  • Keep the arms separrated, shoulder width apart.
  • Bend the head, arms and upper trunk backward.

Breathing

Inhale while raising the arms.

Awareness

  • Physical: On the stretch of the abdomen and expansion of the lungs.
  • Spiritual: On vishuddhi chakra.

Mantra

Om Rauaye Namaha, salutation to the shining one.

Benefits

This pose stretches all the abdominal organs and improves digestion. It exercises the arm and shoulder muscles.

PADANASTASANA

Position 3:(Hand to foot pose)

  • Bend Forward until the fingers or palms of the hands touch the floor on either side of the feet.
  • Try to touch the knees with the forehead.
  • Do not strain.
  • Keep the knees straight.

Breathing

Exhale while bending forward.

Try to contract the abdomen in the final position to expel the maximum amount of air from the lungs.

Awareness

  • Physical:On the pelvic region.
  • Spiritual:On swadhisthana chakra.

Mantra

Om Suryaya Namaha, satutations to he who induces activity.

Benefits

This pose is useful in eliminating or preventing stomach or abdominal ailments. It reduces excess weight in the abdominal region, improves digestion and helps to remove constipation.

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