Happy Summer Solstice on the western front! Summer is a time for joy and fulfillment, the saplings to which sprouted in the spring, are now in full bloom – prospering from the light of the sun. Yoga has a deep history, and Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) is the vinyasa flow, sequence, a pattern, that is between each pose of a traditional vinyasa style yoga class.
The Sun Salute is a symbolic movement of gratitude to the sun and earth beneath our feet. The gratitude is ignite by the intention we place before our class, I encourage an intention of some sort to be set, to guide the mind into our subtle bodies, where true change occurs. The movement is traditionally done as a warm-up, creating heat within our body, muscles and core, preparing for a deeper practice. The gazing to the sky is honoring the sun, the forward bend is the bow of gratitude and service. Service to the sun, the earth, and in turn, others whom you come in contact with, or those you do not know; however way you see it, this movement connects us closer to ourselves and the universe, to which is part of us all.
The light of the sun is outside us, and within. May the sun salutations be a salute to your internal sun, the fire energy to which builds inside, firing up our intuition and drive to prosper. From without, so within. This internal connection may be called, your sacred space.
Information about Surya Namaskar found within the mentioned article from @ekhartyoga :
Surya = Sun Nama = to adore, to bow to
“Surya is the Soul of both Moving and Unmoving things” – the Rig Veda
As we bow with gratitude, humbling the ego, and rise, shining our hearts forward, it opens up the space where love is accepted and released into the world; we become humbled by the existence of us, and the universe; self-love in time is then created and/or enhanced.
All beings upon the earth rely on the sun, therefore, it connects to all of life; compassion is then developed through the practice of gratitude. The inhale for the initial standing posture (mountain pose), as we lift our arms toward the sky, taking in the energy, and as we bow forward we exhale, releasing it back into the earth, which in turn, comes back to us with each inhale – a give and take – a compassionate release and acceptance of divine light, equality to in mankind and the entire animal kingdom.
“Traditionally performed in the direction of the rising sun, classical Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 exercises honoring the 12 aspects of the sun from dawn to dusk…”
The benefits of the Sun Salutation
“Each asana (posture) is initiated by either an in-breath or an out-breath… Inhales inspire upward movements and exhales inspire downward movements; this is the natural way that Prana (life force energy) moves the body.
“On a physiological level Classical Sun Salutations, with so many forward bends and backbends (remember the initial intention of bowing in reverence and adoration) stretch the front and back of the body efficiently and effectively.
“On a psychological level Classical Sun Salutations (when done exactly the same for 6-12 or more repetitions) quiet the chatter of the mind by lulling it with repetitive movements infused with breath.
On a spiritual level Classical Sun Salutations infuse the practitioner with so much love, adoration and gratitude. Especially the ones with Anjaneyasana, a pose of devotion named after the little boy Anjaneeya (later Hanuman)… This gratitude, which may begin as simply for the sun itself, always transforms into gratitude for so much more.”
The whole Yoga practice, with the vinyasa flow (Sun salute) is related to the worship of the sun, the light from within and without, our inner flame. It is a soul dance, rhythmic and a pattern that so learned, turns into a moving meditation. Each practice in this tradition, is to your internal light, and the light of the external sun.
The 108 Sun salutations is a perfect way to invite the summer season into your life as well. Enjoy, namaste, peace & ❤