In Hindu mythology, the sun god is worshipped as a symbol of health and immortal life. In Sanskrit, Surya means sun & Namaskar means salutation. The Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutations originated as a series of prostrations to the sun. Traditionally, it is performed at dawn, facing the rising sun.
The Sun Salutation is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. Practiced daily it will bring great flexibility to your spine and joints and trim your waist. It limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Asanas (postures) as taught by Swami Vishnu-Devananda.
One round of Sun Salutation consists of two sequences, the first leading with the right foot in positions 4 and 9, the second leading with the left. Keep your hands in one place from positions 3 to 10 and try to co-ordinate your movements with your breathing. Start by practicing four rounds and gradually build up to twelve rounds.
To start your day fresh: watch and participate to 4 rounds of Surya Namaskara with my guidance:
Bring your hands in prayer position in front of your chest.
3. >>> Exhale.
Fold forward, from the hips, back and arms are straight.
Press your palms down, fingertips in line with toes – bend your knees if necessary, let the head hang.
4. <<< Inhale.
Bring the right (or left) leg back and place the knee and foot on the floor. Arch back and look up, lift the chin up.
5. Retain the breath.
Bring the other leg back and support your weight on hands and toes, your body is stiff as a plank, you look down to keep your neck in the prolongation of your spine.
6. >>> Exhale.
Lower your knees, then your chest, then your forehead on the mat, keeping your hips up and your toes curled under.
7. <<< Inhale.
Slide forward, lowering your hips, pointing your toes and arching back. Keep your legs together and shoulders down. Look up and back.
9. <<< Inhale.
Step forward and place the right (or left) foot between your hands.
Rest the other knee on the floor and look up.
10. >>> Exhale.
Bring the other leg forward and bend down from the waist, bring your palms flat on the floor next to your feet.
Your finger tips are in line with your toes.
11. <<< Inhale.
Stretch your arms forward, then up and back over your head and bend back slowly from the waist, arms next to your ears.
12. >>> Exhale.
Bring your arms down by your sides.
Repeat with the other leg in positions 4 & 9. You always begin the Sun Salutations with the right leg and end the Sun Salutations with the left leg to finish a round.