Surya Namaskara Sun Salutation
We are focusing on Surya Namaskara, sun salutation; according to the book Surya Namaskara by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar India).
Our fast-paced lives make it difficult for us all to make time for ourselves and for yoga. So, with that in mind, Saraswati wrote this book and concluded:
“Surya Namsakara is almost a complete Sadhana, (a dedicated and complete yoga practice )in itself, containing asana, pranayama and mediation techniques within the main structure of the practice.” The main message is the importance of getting down to a daily practice, a daily routine. It is said that this practice, if done every day, can “eradicate disease… but you must practice the technique in order to find out the truth for yourself!”
Surya Namaskara is more than just physical exercise. It also uses pranayama, mudra and chakra awareness to form a complete spiritual practice. Here is our video which explains the physical postures and then sets them to the beautiful sounds of the mantras: Surya Namaskar by Kai Franz Aquarius Music de.
The 12 postures form half of the sun salutation. So effectively this salutation is made up of 24 postures. The first set of 12 postures is done with the right foot leading. When you move into equestrian pose you start by stepping the right foot back into the lunge and when you return to equestrian pose from mountain pose you step the right foot forwards. The second of 12 postures set is done with the left foot leading; stepping back and then forwards into equestrian pose with the left foot stepping.
The 12 postures are said to represent the 12 phases of the sun. In the West they are the signs of the zodiac. The complete 24 postures reflect the 24 hours of the day.
When practised rhythmically and steadily they generate energy, prana, and activate the psychic energy. Try it for yourself.
The 12 Mantras of Surya Namaskara
- Om mitraya namaha
Salutations to the friend of all, the sun.
- Om ravaye namaha
Salutations to the shining one, offering a blessing to all life.
- Om suryaya namaha
Salutations to he who induces activity, the sun/ Surya.
- Om bhanave namaha
Salutations to he who illuminates. The sun represents here a teacher who removes darkness.
- Om khagaya namaha
Salutations to he who moves quickly in the sky. The sun moves quickly, and time moves too.
- Om pushne namaha
Salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment. The sun is the source of all strength and life.
- Om hiranya garbhaya namaha
Salutations to the golden cosmic self. The creator of all.
- Om marichaya namaha
Salutation to the lord of the dawn. Our new beginnings.
- Om adityaya namaha
Salutations to the son of Aditi the cosmic mother; the mother of all gods.
- Om savitre namaha
Salutations to the stimulating power of the sun, after sunrise.
- Om arkaya namaha
Salutations to he who is fit to be praised. Respecting the source of all life in our solar system.
- Om bhaskaraya namaha
Salutations to he who leads to enlightenment. The sun lights up our journey to enlightenment.
A mantra is a sound that can be spoken, whispered, or repeated silently in the mind. Mental repetition is said to be the superior method. Allow the mantras and the sounds to guide you. The mantras are preformed in Sanskrit. Their vibrations enter the ears, mind and brain.
The mantras do not require you to know their meaning. Although they are translated above. Each sound has a corresponding energy and vibration. See how you feel with each sound.
Source: Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Surya Namsakara A Technique of Solar Visualisation. Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar, India.