Surya means "Sun" and Namaskara means "Salutation". It is basically saluting the sun using various postures. Surya Namaskara is a series of 12 physical postures. These postures stretch various muscles and the spinal column resulting in flexibility of the whole body.
This is usually done facing the sun both at sunrise and sunset.
Surya Namaskar or ‘Sun Salutation’ is a sequence of 12 yoga poses. Besides being a great cardiovascular workout, Surya Namaskar is also known to have an immensely positive impact on the body and mind. It is a popular sequence of yoga asanas done with breath awareness.
The concept of ‘Sun Salutation’ comes from the ancient practice of revering the sun which is considered the source of every creation on the planet and also symbolizes spiritual consciousness.
Surya Namaskar is best done early morning, empty stomach. Besides promoting good health, Surya Namaskar is also give an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet.
Starting position or Sthiti: Tadasana
The 12 steps of Surya Namaskar are:
There are 12 steps or counts. Each stage of Süryanamaskár is accompanied by regulation of breath. Each round of Süryanamaskára is begun after the utterance of ‘Omkár’ or with the appropriate ‘Beeja Mantra’, accompanied with the corresponding name of Sun God.
The different names of the sun according to their meanings, instill in you those qualities like friendship, devotion, energy, health, strength, lustre and vigor, helping you to identify with the supreme and meditate on these qualities during the practice.
Benefits of Suryanamaskar are: