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Yoga for beginners | Surya Namaskar with Mantra

Kwench Yoga Challenge Surya Namaskar 10 min follow along Sun Salutation sequence for beginners including the Mantra accompanying every movement.

Surya Namaskar - Sun Worship 

It is impossible to imagine the world without SURYA or the Sun. All life depends on Sun’s energy and nothing can survive without it. It is truly the Soul of all things. The Sun’s power actuates the body, prana and even the mind, without one's knowing it.

The Surya Namaskar is devoted to the worship of the Sun. It is generally done at the beginning of any yoga practice and acts as a great body warming flow. Suryanamaskar is a combined process of Yoga Asanas, Pranayama & Dhyana. 

The Surya-Namaskar, devoted to the worship of the Sun,  is daily practiced by devotees during their morning prayers known as Sandhya-Vandana in Sanskrit. It is generally done at the beginning of any yoga Practice and acts as a great warm-up exercise.

Role in Harmonious Development

 'A Human Being can be successful and live a happy life, when there is Physical, Mental and Spiritual Harmony.

An unhealthy body distracts the mind making it unable to concentrate

A Healthy and Well-Built Body with an undeveloped mind is capable of much harm and little good to anyone.

A good body with a keen mind but with a dormant inner spirit will lack fortitude.

Surya Namaskar achieves this harmonious development of the body, mind and spirit.

Sun Salutation for everyone

Surya Namaskar is suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. It is a combined process of Yoga Asanas, Pranayama and Japa. It is a perfect and intensive set of 12 postures done in a small amount of time. It reduces abdominal fat, brings flexibility to the spine & limbs and increases breathing capacity. 

When the focus is on the alignment of the body, it is flow of 12 Asanas. When correct breathing is incorporated alongwith the Asanas, it becomes a practice of Pranayama ( voluntary breath modification). When correct Asana (Action) and Pranayama (Awareness) are offered in devotion it becomes Dhyana.

Today we will learn to perform Surya Namaskar in 3 ways.

First, we will focus on Body alignment.

In the second one, we will focus on Breath Awareness

And in the third one, we will focus on the meditative aspect accompanied by a Mantra

So let’s begin!





Instructions :

Part 1 - Body Alignment in Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutation

Remember   As we focus on the alignment   we will maintain normal breathing pattern. 


Pranamasana

The first posture in the sequence is the ‘Namaste’ known as Pranamasana in Sanskrit.

Stand upright on the front-end of your mat and ensure that your feet are placed close to each other.

Ensure that your weight is equally balanced on both the legs.

Engage your quads.

Engage your glutes slightly but donot squeeze.

Engage your core.

Make sure that your spine is erect with the neck held straight.

Now raise your hands and bring the palms together on top of your head.

Slowly bring them down in front of your chest forming the Namaste gesture.


Hasta Uttanasana
 

'The next posture is the Raised Arm pose known as ‘Hasta Uttanasana in Sanskrit.

Now raise your palms together and separate them above the head

Your head is between the hands and your biceps close to your ears.

Relax your shoulders.

Now let the hands and your head fall behind together while slightly bending the upper back.

Keep your core engaged.

'Donot bend too much and make the stretch too intense as it will compress your lower back

Donot let the head fall before the hands as it will compress the back of the neck.


Hasta Padasana / Padahastasana / Uttanasana

The next movement is the Standing Forward Bend known as Hasta Padasana or Uttanasana in Sanskrit.

We will perform this without rounding the back.

Now slowly start bending forward keeping the spine extended

Keep the core engaged so that the back is neutral.

Bend from the hip and not from the lower back

The Head and spine is one unit.

Slowly come down as much as you can.

Place the hands next to the feet such that the fingers are in line with the toes.

If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your legs. Listen to your body. 


Ashwa Sanchalanasana

The next movement is the High Lunge known as Ashwa Sanchalan Asana in Sanskrit.

Bend your knees slightly and stretch your right leg backward.

Raise your head and look up.

If your feel that your back is rounding while looking up, cup the fingers and lift the chest.

Your right knee should not travel ahead of the right toes.

Ensure that the right knee , ankle and the second toe is in one line.


Adho Mukha Dandasana / Phalakasana

'The next movement is the Plank Pose known as Adho Mukha Dandasana in Sanskrit.

Bring your left leg behind such that both heels are together.

Plank means a straight line

Drop the buttocks such that the ankles and knees are in a straight line with the back and the neck.

Shoulders and palms are in a straight line as well.

Spread your fingers wide.

Engage your core.


Ashtanga Namaskar

'The next movement is the Eight Limbed Salutation known as Ashtanga Namaskar is Sanskrit.

Bring down your knees and rest them on the floor.

Drop your chest in between the palms and rest it on the floor.

Place your chin on the floor.

Now eight limbs of your body are touching the floor.

Two feet, two knees, two palms, chest and the chin.


Bhujangasana
 

Next movement is the Cobra known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit.

Extend the legs and Flatten the toes. This will engage the pelvis.

Now lift yourself with the lower back and abdominal muscles, Not your hands.

Elbows are tucked in while the shoulders are loose giving a nice stretch to the chest.


Parvatasana

The next movement is the Mountain Pose known as Parvatasana in Sanskrit.

Tuck the toes in and use the hands to lift the chest first.

Now lift the buttocks and press the heels firmly to the ground.

You can bring your feet a little ahead before pressing the heels down.

If the heels donot reach the floor it is OK.

Form a position such that your back and legs resemble two sides of a triangle.

Do not bend your legs and back while in a triangle shape, they should be straight.


Ashwa Sanchalan Asana

Next we go back to the High Lunge Ashwa Sanchalan Asana.

Lift your right foot and bring it forward . Place it in between the palms.

If your feel that your back is rounding while looking up, cup the fingers and lift the chest.

Your right knee should not travel ahead of the right toes.

Ensure that the right knee, ankle and the second toe is in one line.


Hasta Padasana

Next we go into the forward bend Hasta Padasan

Bring your left foot ahead.

Bring your stomach into the thigh then your chest. – and then your forehead.

Keep your core activated.

'With your palms touching the floor, inhale and raise your chest up engaging your core.


Hasta Uttanasana

Now lift your arms up and go back into the Raised Arm pose ‘Hasta Uttanasana

Your head is between the hands and your biceps close to your ears.

Relaxing your shoulders, let the hands and your head fall behind together while slightly bending the upper back.

Keep your core engaged.

Straightening your back join the palms on top of your head and slowly bring them in front of your chest.

Namaste.


Part 2 - Breath Awareness in Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutatio
n

'To perform Asana correctly in Ashtanga Yoga, we must incorporate the use of Vinyasa and Tristhana.

Vinyasa means breathing and movement. For each movement there is one breath

One simple rule is that when the chest expands during back ward bends Inhale and when it contracts in forward bends Exhale.

As you breathe so shall you move.

Remember to use all the alignment that you have just learnt.


Pranamasana

Inhale raise your hands and bring the palms together on top of your head.

Exhale while Slowly bringing them down in front of your chest into Namaste. Pranamasana


Hasta Uttanasana

Inhale while Raising the hands,   keep your shoulder blades relaxed  and the  head in between the biceps .                                                                                                                                                                                                                Head and hands  go together as one unit into a backward bend.  keep the core engaged. 


Hasta Padasana

Exhale and slowly start bending forward keeping the spine extended

Keep the core engaged and bend from the hip.

Come down as much as you can and place the hands next to the feet
bend your legs if needed.


Ashwa Sanchalan Asana

Inhale 

Stretch your right leg backward.  Raise your head and look up. 


Adho Mukh Dandasana

Hold your breath

Bring your left leg behind and drop your buttocks to form a straight line.
keep your core engaged. 


Ashtanga Namaskar

Exhale

Drop your knees to the floor and the chest in between the palms.
your chin is touching the floor.


Bhujangasana Cobra

Inhale

Extend the legs and Flatten the toes.

Lift yourself with lower back and abdominal muscles.


Parvattasana – Mountain Pose

Exhale

Tuck the toes in and use the hands to lift the chest first.

Now lift the buttocks and press the heels firmly to the ground


Ashwa Sanchalan Asana


Inhale

Lift your right foot and place it in between the palms.

Cup the fingers and lift the chest.


Hasta Padasana

Exhale Bring your left foot ahead

Keep your core activated.


Hasta Uttanasana

Inhale

With your palms touching the floor raise your chest up keeping the core engaged.

Lift your arms up Your head is between the hands and your biceps close to your ears.

Relaxing your shoulders, let the hands and your head fall behind together while slightly bending the upper back.


Pranamasana / Namaskarasana


Keep your core engaged.

Exhale Slowly straightening your back join the palms on top of your head and bring them in front of your chest.

Namaste.


Part 3 - Mantra for Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutation

'The Sun, in India, is not regarded just as a burning ball of Atomic energy. Surya is the Creative Principle. It manifests as life-giving power sustaining strength everywhere. The deity of the celebrated Gayatri Mantra is the Sun. It is a powerful symbol of Spiritual Conciousness. The main purpose of Surya Namaskar is to offer our gratitude towards the Sun. This deepens our sense of connection to the Divine thus becoming a meditation. As we meditate on different qualities of the Sun with our entire being, we start acquiring its unique qualities. The 12 Asanas are an homage to the qualities of the Sun. These qualities are for in the 12 mantras, naming its many manifestations.

The translations are from Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga and Dr. K.S Charak, author of Surya, the Sun God.


ॐ Mitraya Namaha  / Om Mitraya Namaha 

Mitra is a friend,

The sun is regarded as the ultimate friend, selflessly giving light, heat, and energy to all without expecting any return.

I bow down to the One who is affectionate to all


ॐ Ravaye Namaha /
 Om Ravaye Namaha

Ravi is radiance,

The sun shines his blessings upon every being, and we turn ourselves upwards to take in its radiance.

I bow down to the One who is the cause for change


ॐ Suryaya Namaha / Om Suryaya Namaha

Surya is the one who induces activity,

Surya represents consciousness itself, bringing everything into manifestation.

I bow down to the One who induces activity.

ॐ Bhanave Namaha / Om Bhanave Namaha

Bhanu is the Dispeller of Darkness,

The rays of the sun bring light into our lives, illuminating our path and revealing what hides in shadows.

I bow down to the One who Illumines


ॐ Khagaya Namaha / Om Khagaya Namaha


Khaga is the all-pervading.

The movement of the sun across the sky is the basis for measurement of time.

We honor the concept of time through honoring the Khaga

I bow down to the One who moves through the Sky

ॐ Pushne Namaha / Om Pushne Namaha

Pushan is the mystic fire that gives

The sun is the source of our well-being and strength, for without its light no living thing could exist.

I bow down to the One who nourishes all. 


ॐ Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha / Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha

Hiranyagarbha is the golden cosmic Self

It is the Golden Egg which is the source of Creation itself.

I bow down to the Golden Cosmic Self.


ॐ Marichaye Namaha  / Om Marichaye Namaha

Marichi is the First Ray of light,

Marichi is the son of Brahma, emanating the first rays of light distinguishing the real from the false, seeking true meaning

I bow down to the Lord of the Dawn


ॐ Adityaya Namaha / Om Adityaya Namaha

Aditya is the aspect of Vishnu, Son of Aditi,

Aditi is one of the names of the cosmic mother, the creative power who gives birth to all life. 

I bow down to the Son of Aditi


ॐ Savitre Namaha / Om Savitre Namaha

Savitr is the Light of enlightenment,

The sun before sunrise is known as Savitr, stimulating and arousing us from sleep, awakening our consciousness.

I bow down to the source of Creativity.


ॐ Arkaya Namaha / Om Arkaya Namaha

Arkah is a ray of light

Arka means energy, and the sun is the radiant source of all energy and vitality.

I bow down to the radiant one


ॐ Bhaskaraya Namaha / Om Bhaskaraya Namaha


Bhaskar is the One who leads to enlightenment,

The sun represents the revealer of the great truths, illuminating our path to enlightenment.)

I bow down to the One who leads to Enlightenment.

It is not easy to chant mantras during ‘inhalation’ and sometimes during exhalation too . There are two options

First option is to chant the mantra in the mind without any sound

The second option is to do the pose and Vinyasa breathing with each step and then at the end of each pose, inhale and exhale normally and chant the mantra.

This has the added benefit of holding each pose for longer.

As you practice, you will start to associate the mantras with the postures and you won’t need to remember them.