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  • Writer's picturemonica kapur


“SURYA NAMASKAR IS A SEQUENTIAL COMBINATION OF YOGIC POSTURES PERFORMED DYNAMICALLY IN SYNCHRONY WITH THE BREATH.” Surya namaskar or sun salutation is also known as ‘The ultimate asana’. It strengthens your back as well as your muscles, this asana can be a great workout for weight loss as it involves almost all the muscles. Sun salutation gives you glowing skin and lustrous locks as it improves blood circulation throughout the body. I think Surya namaskar is a wonderful practice and everyone should practice it because it is ‘The Ultimate Asana’. It involves the movement of all of our external and internal organs including joints and muscles. It increases the blood circulation and is known to give you beautiful skin and hair and it makes absorption of nutrients easier for our body. Surya namaskar means salutation to the Sun as It is considered the source of all life. Initially it was not part of Hatha Yoga practices but eventually it was promoted by many gurus as a health cure through sunlight. Surya namaskar comprises of 12 postures and traditionally, every step should be done with mantras which represent the 12 zodiac signs. Moreover sun salutation gives us the opportunity to express gratitude to the Sun- the ultimate source of energy.

Surya namaskar is a complete ‘Sadhana’ (spiritual practice) in itself for it includes asanas, pranayama and mantras.

Some facts about surya namaskar:- 1) Practicing sun salutations at different speeds can have different effects. If done at slow pace it can help strengthen and tone body muscles whereas a faster pace can be a great cardiac workout. Although in yoga, surya namaskar should not be done at a fast pace, as the essence of the whole practice is lost. 2)The ideal time of practicing it is sunrise to take the maximum benefits out of it. But you can practice at sunset also as it stimulates the digestive fire. However, it is advised to practice surya namaskar with an empty stomach. 3)Ideally it should be practiced in sets. This will ensure that both sides of the body are equally used. 4)Always use breath as an effective tool to bring the body, mind and breath in harmony.

Some Common Mistakes people tend to make while practicing Surya Namaskar:- 1) Sometimes people directly jump into the practice of these sun salutations without enough warm up, which can result into injury. Apart from warm up, cooling down is equally important. 2) People don’t synchronize their breath with the body moves which does not give you the desired results. 3) Confusion in seventh step. You must distinguish between cobra pose and upward facing dog pose. 4) Incorrect alignment especially in plank pose is one more mistake which can hurt your joints, sprain your muscles and intensify back pains. 5) I have observed people struggling with the 9th posture as well. When you are going from downward facing dog in to the lunge position. Usually people cannot bring their foot between their hands so they bend their knees incorrectly which can cause knee pain in future. 6) You should not practice Surya Namaskar if you are a heart patient, suffering from hypertension, back pain, arthritis, wrist injury and hernia until and unless you have consulted your doctor.

"Sun salutations can energize and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest winter day." ~ Carol Krucoff

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