Almost anyone who has ever done Yoga, might already know how to perform Surya Namaskar asana. But not everyone might know how it really works and how deep is the wisdom behind it… Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) literally means to bow down to the sun. Surya Namaskar is one of the best yogic practices to energize the body and start your day with an intention of gratitude towards the source of life on earth – which is the Sun. Apart from your body, Surya Namaskar also has a rejuvenating effect on a persons mind and soul. It is a complete exercise for your mind, body and soul! How? read on…
Surya Namaskar is a Complete Wellness Program for your Mind, Body and Soul
Annamaya Kosha (Body)
This is our physical body which includes our muscles, bones, ligaments etc. This is the kosha / layer we are all mostly concerned about. We want to lose weight, increase flexibility, tone up our muscles, gain strength etc. Practicing Surya Namaskar regularly can keep your physical body or Annanamay Kosha in a very good shape.
Surya namaskar practice engages the core, stretches the hamstrings, and loosens the shoulders. Regular practice improves blood circulation throughout the entire body, massages the internal organs, and promotes overall health. When practiced at a fast pace, it provides an excellent cardiovascular workout and aids weight loss. When practiced at a slower pace, the routine is calming and grounding.
Surya namaskar is generally done at the beginning of any further yoga asana practices/poses. It acts as a good warm up exercise to perform more advanced asanas.
Pranamaya Kosha (Breath)
Like the Chinese term Chi energy (life force energy) the yogis describe the life force energy as a Prana. Prana is the foundation and essence of all life, the energy and vitality that permeates the entire Universe. Prana flows in everything that exists.
Prana moves around the body via channels, or nadis (Some 72,000 nadis are present in the human body according to ancient texts).
Prana (life force) comes into our body via food and water, but it also comes into our body via breath.
The deep breathing while performing surya namaskar increases prana into our system and makes us feel more alive and it invigorates and powers Pranamaya kosha.
Manomaya Kosha (Mind)
Mana means mind. It is the level of processing thoughts and emotions. Most of us get stuck into this kosha. Negative aspects of these kosha includes worry, anxiety, feeling lonely, lack of love for self and others.
Main purpose of surya namaskar is to feel gratitude for the sun, a life-giving force for our planet. When we feel thankful for the things we already have, it has a very positive impact on our emotions. When we practice gratitude we attract more of the positive things and experiences in our life to be thankful for.
Deep and calming breathing practices in sun salutations and other yogic practices help us to remove any negative emotional blockages from our mind and body.
This is why one always feels great after a Yoga class.
Vijnanamaya Kosha (Intellect)
It’s here that we develop awareness, insight and consciousness. Emotions left unchecked by awareness are destructive. The awareness of vijanamaya kosha allows us to see the choice we have in all things in life.
With regular practice of sun salutations you will find yourself connecting to a deeper level of intuition, greater internal wisdom and a sense of higher knowledge.
When sun salutations are done with the proper breathing pattern and mantra chanting, it increases your awareness of body, mind and soul.
(Mantra chanting includes 12 sanskrit names of the sun. Each mantra is chanted at the beginning of each cycle of the Surya Namaskar. Each mantra is meaningful and effective vibrationally)
Anandamaya kosha (Bliss) sheaths.
Anandamaya kosha is the most interior of the koshas, it surrounds the Atman / soul / spirit (the eternal center of consciousness).
Ananda means bliss. Ananda is a whole different order of reality from that of the mind. It is peace, joy, and love, beyond the mind, independent of any reason or stimulus to cause a happy mental reaction. It is simply being, resting in bliss called ananda.
This is the ultimate aim of everyone’s life to always remain in bliss. With a consistent practice of Surya Namaskars and other yoga asanas one can release the blockages from all the above layers of the koshas and can reach up to this last layer which is Anandamay Kosha.
Kick start your day with Surya Namaskar to create a positive foundation for the rest of your day, synchronize your body with the rhythms of nature and rejuvenate your body inside out!