“He is the lord of stars, planets and all constellations. He is the origin of everything in the universe and is the cause of the lustre of even the brilliant ones. Salutations to Thee who is the One being manifest in the twelve forms of the Sun.”
Since the dawn of time man has been curiously fascinated and at awe by the power of Sun. This is why sun has been worshipped by many cultures all over the world. Even thousands of years ago man knew the value and importance of sun light on our daily life and planned things accordingly. World renowned yoga expert and teacher BKS Iyengar said this about Surya Namaskar “The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” And that is the exact function of the sun because it has the power to conduct the symphony of life.
History of Surya Namaskar
There are many stories behind the origin of Surya Namaskar but the most accepted form has been the story of Hunuman seeking knowledge from the sun god or Surya. Since the sun god never stops for anyone Hanuman had to move constantly so he positioned himself with his face to Surya's, which meant he was travelling backward so always facing his teacher. This is where the origins of this ancient spiritual exercise take shape. The backward-moving trajectory of surya namaskar the movements required for an individual to do because you do tend to wind up at the back of your and then have to return to the front to continue the series. Also after the education of Hanuman was over in a remarkable period of just one week as a “Guru Dakshina” he would offer namaskars to Sun God on a daily basis.
There are a set of 12 fixed, cyclic postures in Surya namaskar which has the power to rejuvenate the human body. Practicing regular Surya namaskar have helped individuals detoxify their body and mind because the ancient people more than 5000 years ago knew the strength and benefit from Yoga, and soon realized that the morning rays have therapeutic properties. This is method which helps us get our body in sync solar cycle and to the lunar cycle. The 12 postures of Surya Namaskar should be done at the time of sunrise because the morning rays are very therapeutic and it revitalizes the body refreshes the mind and prepares us for all tasks of the day. The entire postures act as warm-ups before one starts with various Asanas and it should be done only on an empty stomach because that will help you in a good way to lose weight.
Long before Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that the earth revolved around the Sun, we in India knew its divine source of energy. All over the world great civilizations have worshipped the sun one way or the other and all have deep spiritual and physical meaning. The Greeks called the Sun god Helius, the Romans called sun Titan and Hyperoin and for the Egyptians it was Ra. Surya Namaskar is not just a physical activity it is medical science because sun’s rays has nutrients like vitamin D which gives us the power for calcium absorption in the intestine and make our bones strong to prevent rachitism in both children and adults and osteoporosis in elders. Surya Namaskar can act as a preventive measure against cancer of colon, breast, leukemia and lymphomas. Also regular yoga helps strengthen our heart muscles, improve stamina, metabolism and motion.
Surya Namaskar can help fight Stress
These are strange times for all of us where we are constantly plagued by stress at the work place which leads to various physical and emotional problems. But sadly the level of stress in recent times has increased exponentially among children which can cause serious developmental issues. Childhood is the time for having fun and learning new things and the rise of stress related issues can have lasting impact because their body, mind and spirit are in its infancy. Surya Namaskar can help children boost their endurance, increase concentration and help them face life challenges. When the mind is at ease the body is also at ease hence a child can be more active because they are our future.
Surya Namaskar is a very simple way to prepare your body and allow it do things which you did not comprehend or thought it was not possible. Through the practice of Surya Namaskar, one can attain physical stability and mastery over the system i.e Indriyas or control of your senses. When a person starts to do yoga it is unlike any other form of physical exercise because you will feel a change within your body in just few days because what is inside is more important. Many practitioners such has leading yoga studio like Barbican Yoga Café have said regular Surya namaskar have given them the power of patience and self control and the lack of both are a malady for our body, mind and spirit.