Surya Namaskara signifies paying homage to (Lord) Sun deity. It is a very ancient Indian system of exercise. Facing east, in the early hours of morning, one standing with serene mind offers prayer to Lord Surya with Surya Namaskara. Along with physical drill, Surya Namaskara has religious importance also.
Surya Namaskara is a graceful combined sequence of twelve positions. Through this sequence of twelve positions, the whole body is well exercised. Surya Namaskara also improves eye lustre. As a matter of fact, these twelve positions are ten different asanas, as well as two positions : the initial position and the final position. As all these exercises are simple, every one can do them easily. These twelve positions make one complete Surya Namaskara and twenty-five such Surya Namaskaras make one round.
Surya Namaskara should be practised always in an open and clean place. Do not attempt Surya Namaskara when you begin to breathe hard. Practise Surya Namaskara on one leg changing the leg alternately.
Below you will find the twelve positions of Surya Namaskara fully explained and illustrated. Each position has been shown with the name of the asana. The advantages of each position have been fully explained.Thus, all care has been taken to enable an aspirant with proper understanding to practise it easily.
While practising Surya Namaskara, recite the following prayer. Then recite the different names of the Sun god at each position and offer him mental obeisance.
Technique : In the first position of Surya Namaskara, meditate on the Sun god and feel oneness with all the creatures of the world. Then keep the head, the neck and the whole body
erect. Keep the knees close together,
shoulders straight and the hands downwards at the sides of the body. Stand erect with the chest expanded. Direct the eyes to the tip of the nose. ‘ Daksha’ means to stand in attention. So the first position is called Dakshasana.
Advantages :(1) It cures skin diseases and the ailments of the waist. It strengthens the back and rejuvenates the legs.
(2) As the eyes are fixed on the tip of the nose, the mind is restrained.
(3) The countenance becomes bright and radiant.
(4) For students, it is a very easy method to obtain health and assert personality.
(5) Concentrated meditation increases self-confidence.