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Surya-Sun Namaskara-Salute

In ancient times the Sun was worshipped as a daily ritual because it is a powerful symbol of spiritual consciousness.

Suryanamaskara is a well known vital technique within the yogic practices. Its versatility and application make it one of the most useful methods to induce a healthy, vigorous and active life and at the same time prepare for spiritual awakening and the resultant expansion of awareness.

Suryanamaskara is an integral part of the yogic approach and can be easily integrated into our daily lives for it requires only 5 to 15 minutes of practice to obtain remarkably fast and beneficial results.

Suryanamaskara is a series of twelve physical postures. These postures generate prana, subtle energy which activates the psychic body. These postures stretch, massages, tones and stimulate all the muscles, vital organs and physical parts of alternatively flexing the body backwards and forwards. These alternative backward and forward bending asana flex and stretch the spinal column and limbs through their maximum range.

Breathing Practice:

Synchronizing the breath with the movements is important. The basic breathing principle followed is

Inhalation during backward bending due to expansion of the chest and abdomen.

Exhalation during forward bending due to compression of the chest and abdomen.

Ideal Time:
At Sunrise , the most peaceful time of the day when the atmosphere is full of the Sun’s ultraviolet rays which is so important for the body. Make a habit of rising early answering the call of nature, taking a bath. When ever possible practice in the open air, wearing light and loose cloths to allow the skin to breathe and to absorb the Sun’s energy.

Ideal Position:
Suryanamaskara is ideally practiced facing to the Sunrise . If it is not possible in the early morning then the practice can be done at any convenient time, provided the stomach is empty. No food should be taken for at least three to four hours before. In the evening, before the dinner is also a good time to practice, as it stimulates the digestive fire.

Effects of Suryanamaskara

Respiratory System:
  1. In Suryanamaskara a deep rhythmic breathing process is synchronized with each movement, which completely empties the lungs of all traces of stale gases and refills them with fresh, clean, oxygenated air.
  2. All the pockets of the lungs are expanded, stimulated and cleansed. The oxygen content of the blood is increased, which improves overall vitality oxygenation of the cells, tissues of the body and brain.
  3. Sluggishness and lethargy are rapidly overcome.
  4.  Also good for the prevention of diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma, which develop in the little used, stagnant regions of the lungs.
Circulatory System:
  1. Improves flow of blood, speeds up the elimination of waste matter and introduces fresh oxygen and nutrients to all the cells of the body.
  2. General circulation is improved.
  3. Cardiac muscles are strengthened.
  4. Microcirculation to the heart is increased and reducing the chance of heart attack.
  5. Sluggish circulation, cold hands and feet, blood vessel diseases and general fatigue can also be eliminated
  6. The circulation of lymph which is the prime importance in fluid balance and in combating infections is toned, which body gains an increased resistance to infections and a better ability to heal.
Digestive system:
  1. The alternative stretching and compressing movements of Suryanamaskara tone the whole digestive system by thoroughly massing all the abdominal organs.
  2. this not only enhances elimination but also increases the digestive fire, promoting a healthy appetite, complete and rapid assimilation of food.
Nervous System:

  1. In the twelve movements of Suryanamaskara the spinal column is systematically stretched and compressed to the maximum extent, stimulating circulation in the whole spinal cord and all nerve plexuses.
  2. Tones nerve flows by stimulating integral organs.
  3. Stretches nerves, works on the spin and enhances prana, which activates brain centers.
  4. The whole nervous system is activated and seems to wake up.

The skin is the largest body organ and apart from holding the body together serves to regulate body temperature, as well as excreting waste matter through perspiration. when there is an excess of poisonous matter in the blood, it comes out through the skin in the form of boils, rashes and pimples.

  1. As Suryanamaskara produces perspiration, speeds up circulation and enhances the elimination of wastes through the digestive and urinary systems, it cleanses and endows the practitioner with a clean, glowing complexion, which is an important sign of health.
  2. Many skin diseases caused by subcutaneous toxins deposits such as pimples and eczema, can be removed.
  3. Bad odors from the body can be eliminated.
  4. Overall circulation of blood to skin is improved.
  5. When practiced in the early morning, facing to Sunrise , ultraviolet rays having greatest intensity and are thought to be very beneficial for health as well as being responsible for vitamin D production.
Endocrine System:
  1. The endocrine glands are the most vital and mysterious of all systems.
  2. They play an overall role in the co-ordination and integration of all physiological processes.
  3. The main function of the endocrine glands is the production and secretion of hormones, chemical substances released into the blood stream and carried throughout the body to act upon particular organs.
Pituitary Glands:
  1. The pituitary gland is known as the body’s master gland.
  2. It has many hormonal secretions which control the body’s growth and development.
  3. By increasing the flow of blood to the head and through its effects on the nervous system, Suryanamaskara stimulates the hypothalamus, which regulates the pituitary action
  4. The practice of Suryanamaskara has a direct and beneficial effect on this vital center and the whole body.
Pineal Gland:
  1. The pineal gland is a tiny gland in the brain.
  2. Yogic Science states that it has a vital function as a connecting link between the different levels of awareness.
  3. Suryanamaskara plays an important role in the maintenance of this gland.
  1. The pancreas is located behind the stomach at the level of the solar plexus.
  2. This produces the insulin, which controls the body’s ability to store and utilize sugar.
  3. Suryanamaskara compress and stretches the abdominal organs which press onto the pancreas especially during backward bending in bhujangasana.

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