Doesn't it seem like a good idea – to salute the sun that gives life to everything on our planet? Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a great way not only to show your gratitude to the source of warmth and energy, but also to stretch your body.
Although experts disagree about the origins of Sun Salutation (whether it was created over 2,500 years ago in the Vedic culture or was invented by the raja of Aundh in the early 20th century), there is absolutely no doubt about its benefits.
So let's take a closer look at this outstanding phenomenon of Indian tradition.
Surya Namaskar is an ideally balanced set of 11 or 12 asanas that stretches your muscles, massages your internal organs and gives you energy. However it's not just physical work: awareness - being concentrated on breath and movement and genuinely grateful to the sun - plays an essential part here, making Surya Namaskar a flowing meditation that can relieve stress and depression.
Also you should always watch your breath while doing Sun Salutations. The main rule is to inhale on backbends and exhale on forward bends and alternate inhales and exhales. Remember to breathe through your nose to ensure slow, deep breath and avoid hyperventilation.
The variety of Surya Namaskar's benefits depends on the tempo. Do it fast if you want some cardio to warm up your body, or slowly for muscle and body organ tonus.
Traditionally Sun Salutations are performed at sunrise and on an empty stomach. It's perfect for a quick workout when you're pressed for time as well as for a thorough stretch before a yoga session.
If you're just beginning your Sun Salutation practice, it's recommended to start with 1 round 3-4 times a week, gradually working your way up.
Now you're well equipped to have an inspiring Sun Salutation. Sincerely thank the sun and enjoy yourself!