Global Celebrations Unite as International Yoga Day 2023 Promotes Well-being and Harmony
On the occasion of International Yoga Day 2023, it is imperative to delve into the right way to perform Surya Namaskar, a significant yoga sequence. Surya Namaskar, also known as Sun Salutation, is a blend of yoga asanas that aim to harmonize the body, mind, and soul. This article will guide you through the correct technique for practicing Surya Namaskar and enlighten you about the numerous health benefits it offers.
Understanding Surya Namaskar
What is Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar is a dynamic series of twelve yoga postures performed in a sequence. Each asana seamlessly transitions into the next, resulting in a rhythmic flow of movement. The word "Surya" refers to the sun, while "Namaskar" means salutation or greeting. Surya Namaskar is an expression of gratitude towards the sun, which is considered a symbol of vitality and the source of all life.
The Correct Technique
To practice Surya Namaskar correctly, follow these step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Begin by standing at the front of your yoga mat with your feet together. Bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position. Keep your spine erect and relax your shoulders.
Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale deeply and stretch your arms upward, keeping them parallel to each other. Arch your back slightly and focus on lengthening your spine. Ensure that your biceps are close to your ears.
Step 3: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and bend forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight. Allow your hands to touch the floor beside your feet or rest them on your shins. If needed, slightly bend your knees to maintain the integrity of the pose.
Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhale deeply and step your right foot backward, placing it between your hands. Simultaneously, lift your chest and gaze forward. Your left knee should be placed on the floor, and your toes should be tucked in.
Step 5: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
As you exhale, push off with your back leg and lift your hips upward. Straighten your arms and legs, forming an inverted "V" shape with your body. Keep your heels grounded and relax your neck.
Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight-Limbed Pose)
Gently lower your knees to the floor, and exhale as you bring your chest, chin, and knees down. Only your hands, feet, and knees should be touching the ground. Keep your elbows close to your body.
Step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Inhale deeply and glide forward, lifting your chest and arching your back. Keep your hands aligned with your shoulders, and avoid straining your neck. Focus your gaze forward or slightly upward.
Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Exhale and lift your hips, returning to the Downward-Facing Dog Pose as described in Step 5.
Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhale and step your left foot backward, placing it between your hands. Follow the same instructions as described in Step 4.
Step 10: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and return to the Standing Forward Bend as described in Step 3.
Step 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale deeply and lift your arms upward, as explained in Step 2.
Step 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Exhale and return to the starting position of the Pranamasana, as described in Step 1.
Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar provides a wide range of health benefits. Here are some of the key advantages you can experience by incorporating this practice into your daily routine:
1. Enhances Flexibility
The series of asanas involved in Surya Namaskar gently stretch and flex the muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout your body. Regular practice gradually improves your overall flexibility, making your body more agile and supple.
2. Boosts Blood Circulation
The rhythmic flow of Surya Namaskar increases blood circulation, ensuring an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to all organs. Improved blood circulation aids in detoxification and promotes healthier organ function.
3. Strengthens Muscles and Joints
Surya Namaskar engages various muscle groups and joints, promoting strength and stability. With regular practice, you can strengthen your core, arms, legs, and back, enhancing overall body strength.
4. Calms the Mind and Reduces Stress
The synchronized breathing and flowing movements of Surya Namaskar create a meditative experience, calming the mind and relieving stress. It helps release tension, anxiety, and promotes mental clarity and relaxation.
5. Improves Digestion
The forward bends and twists in Surya Namaskar stimulate the digestive system, aiding in better digestion and preventing gastrointestinal issues. It helps improve metabolism and promotes a healthy digestive tract.
6. Enhances Respiratory Health
The deep breathing involved in Surya Namaskar increases lung capacity and strengthens the respiratory system. It promotes efficient oxygen exchange, improves respiratory function, and can be beneficial for individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
7. Balances Hormones
Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps balance hormonal levels in the body. It supports the endocrine system, which regulates various bodily functions, contributing to overall hormonal harmony.
Surya Namaskar is a transformative yoga practice that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. By performing Surya Namaskar correctly and consistently, you can unlock its numerous health benefits. Embrace this ancient practice and incorporate it into your daily routine to experience a harmonious union of body, mind, and soul. Celebrate International Yoga Day 2023 by honoring the sun and nurturing your overall well-being through Surya Namaskar.