Written by Pille Mitt

Hatha Yoga Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskara

What is Sun Salutation and why we practice it

Surya - the Sun, soul, source of all life
Namaskar - greening or salute

Sun Salutation originated in the Hatha Yoga tradition in the 9 century in India. Many variations are possible. Surya Namaskar is a series of postures (asanas in Sanskrit) linked together in a graceful flow. It can be a complete practice in and of itself or used to warm up and prepare the body before your yoga practice. In Ashtanga Yoga there are Sun Salutation A and B which are slightly different from Hatha yoga Sun Salutation. It is a beautiful greeting, but it was also meant to be a transformative experience to release the burden of our personal obsessions and just come back to the essence, The power of a Namaskar is in its refined simplicity; the combination of movements creates a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual syncopation. In ancient times people would practice Surya Namaskar at sunrise, facing the Sun in the East.

The Benefits of Sun Salutations:

  • Increases blood circulation
  • Boost energy
  • Unwind the mind – find your center
  • Find gratitude
  • Creates more strength, flexibility, and tone to the body
  • Opens and releases tension in the hamstrings, shoulders, and the chest
  • Offers great release of tension on the spine as well as helps lengthen the spine
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Ensures Heart Health
  • Great for the Lungs
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Becomes meditative through the motions - a prayer in motion
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Improves kidney function

Want to start with yoga? Free course for beginners here.

Article written by Pille Mitt
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