Even if you’re brand new to yoga, you’ve probably heard about Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskars. Why do yogis honor the sun with physical postures and often accompanying mantras? This sequence of physical postures or asanas is a way of expressing gratitude to the sun for the energy and life it bestows upon us. It emphasizes our connection to the Universe and our profound need for the warmth and light the sun provides.
The Gayatri Mantra, a beautiful ancient Vedic prayer often chanted before or after practice, calls the sun, “the one who illuminates our minds.” Honoring the sun has profound power and infuses the body with solar energy. Our inner vitality is composed of fire and we need to nourish ourselves in order to brighten our Shakti to it’s fullest potential.
The practice of sun salutations transforms darkness and stagnation to fire and light.
We want to burn as bright as we can and Surya Namaskar is a great place to begin. Although there are several versions of Surya Namaskar, the foundation and intention is the same. Surya Namaskar is a set of postures linked with breath and is repeated several times, usually at the beginning of asana practice to warm and stimulate the body, mind, and spirit.
Physically, Sun Salutations have many benefits including strengthening and lengthening the muscles, energizing most of the major organs, and circulating prana throughout the body. Our third chakra, the Manipura or Navel Chakra’s color is yellow like the sun and is the seat of our inner fire. Stimulating the Manipura energy helps us stoke our confidence and cultivate a positive ego. This process in turn, aids us in maintaining a healthy mindset and minimizes insecurities, and depression.
Moving in this rhythmic way helps us to quiet our minds, warm our bodies, and helps keep our spines healthy. The intention behind these movements, to honor the sun and give thanks for its blessings, transcends the practice of Surya Namaskar to more of a complete expression of gratitude, as opposed to just physical movements.
This week we bring you two 5-minute classes that break down key technique and alignment for healthy patterns in sun salutations, and three solar yoga practices where you implement these refining techniques into your own practice. Take a moment and honor the sun!
NEW CLASSES :
Surya Devotion Flow with Mark Morford
Quick Powerful Yoga Reset with Keith Allen
Cycle of Completion: Honoring Endings with Claire Petretti Marti
Alignment Guru: Forward Fold & Halfway Lift with Kristen Boyle FREE CLASS
Alignment Guru: Chaturanga Vinyasa Variation with Kristen Boyle FREE CLASS
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