Practice Surya Namaskara on Makara Sankranthi Day

Practice Surya Namaskara on Makara Sankranthi Day

Here is an auspicious day to learn Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation. On January 15th of this year Indians are celebrating Makara Sankranthi. The festival of Makar Sankranti marks the day when the sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makar (the Capricorn) from the Tropic of Cancer. Many people grab this opportunity and start their yoga practice by saluting Sun God. Sun means nature and many religion believe that Sun is the representative of the God. Practicing Surya namaskara every day (12, 15 or 24 times) has lots of benefit for the body and mind. Before proceeding with postures, traditionally yogis used to chant or say the 12 name of the Sun God. Each pose of Surya namaskara has one such prayer. Here are some descriptions of Sun Salutation poses and benefits of 12 poses. One can perform Surya Namaskara by  facing the Sun from sun rise to sun set of the day.

Samasthiti (Stillness): In preparation for Sun salutation, the first pose is Samasthiti pose.

Description: Stand upright with feet together, toes, ankles and heels must be touching. Lift and spread your toes off the floor, engaging the arch of the foot. Body weight should be spread evenly over the fee. Tighten the kneecaps and lift the knees up. Shin bones in line with thighbones. Press back the front of both thighs. Spine need to be straight and lift the chest. Keep both arms straight down on both sides of body in line with hips. Roll the shoulders back and tuck the shoulder blades in. Keep neck and head straight. Focus in front of you and look straight ahead.

Benefits: Body will slowly starts regaining strength and starts becoming alert, muscles will be focused. The whole body will be focused to go through the flow with mind.

1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

 

2. Urdhava Hastasana (Raised Arm pose)  – Click to read more

Urdhava Hastasana

 

3. Uttasana or Padahastastana (Hand to foot pose) – Click to read more

Uttasana or Padahastastana (Hand to foot pose)

 

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose) – Click to read more

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

 

5. Adho Mukha svanasana ( Downward Dog pose): Some texts calls this as Mountain pose 

Adho Mukha svanasana ( Downward Dog pose)

 

6. Ashtanga (danda) Namaskara (Salutation with eight limbs):

Ashtanga (danda) Namaskara (Salutation with eight limbs)

 

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): Click to read more

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

 

8. Adho Mukha svanasana ( Downward Dog pose): Click to read more

Adho Mukha svanasana ( Downward Dog pose)

 

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): Click to read more

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

10. Uttasana or Padahastastana (Hand to foot pose)

Uttasana or Padahastastana (Hand to foot pose)

 

11. Urdhava Hastasana: Click to read more

Urdhava Hastasana (Raised Arm pose)

 

12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): Click to read more

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

 

Samasthiti: One will start the Sun salutation with samasthiti and end with samasthiti

Description: Stand upright with feet together, toes, ankles and heels must be touching. Lift and spread your toes off the floor, engaging the arch of the foot.  Body weight should be spread evenly over the feet. Tighten the kneecaps and lift the knees up. Shin bones in line with thigh bones. Press back the front of both thighs. Spine need to be straight and lift the chest. Keep both arms straight down on both sides of body in line with hips. Roll the shoulders back and tuck the shoulder blades in. Keep neck and head straight. Focus in front of you and look straight ahead.

By the end of the Surya Namaskaram the dull brain becomes active and mind and body both gets refreshed.  After these yoga postures one will have more clear mind, more visibility, more focused and a spiritual happiness go through the body.

Image: International Airport Delhi – Surya Namaskara statues

References: Yoga in Action-Preliminary course  by Geeta S. Iyengar (2000)

  1. http://festivals.iloveindia.com/
  2. http://www.thehealthsite.com/
  3. http://isha.sadhguru.org/
  4. http://theholisticcare.com/

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