Leena's Yoga Classes

"Yoga serves the individual,
and does so through inviting
transformation rather than
by giving information."
-T.K.V. Desikachar

Surya Namaskara--Sun Salutation
Classic Version with Sanskrit Chants


Hold both palms before your eyes, and chant the following mantra for the sun deity:

Hiranmayena Patrena Satyasapihitam Mukham
Tattvam Pushannapavrinu Satyadharmaya Drishtaye

Then, with each consecutive step of the surya namaskar, chant the corresponding mantra:

1. Om Hram Mitraya Namah
2. Om Hrim Ravaye Namah
3. Om Hrum Suryaye Namah
4. Om Hraim Bhanave Namah
5. Om Hraum Khagaya Namah
6. Om Hrah Pushane Namah
7. Om Hram Hiranyagarbhaya Namah
8. Om Hrim Marechaye Namah
9. Om Hrum Adityaya Namah
10. Om Hraim Savitre Namah
11. Om Hraum Arkaya Namah
12. Om Hrah Bhaskaraya Namah

Many people use Surya Namaskara as a warm-up before the asana practice. If there is a shortage of time, some people just do Surya Namaskar in lieu of the actual asana practice and still derive substantial benefit.

It is typically performed in the open air, facing the sun, at sunrise.

Surya Namaskar is not just a physical exercise. For each of the postures, there is a particular breathing pattern to be followed  inhalation for the backward bends and exhalation for the forward bends. Further the concentration has to be focussed on a particular chakra for each posture and a particular mantra- name of the sun has to be chanted for each pose, as per details below:

1. Pranamasan  - (Namaste Pose)
Normal Breath -
Om Mitraaya Namaha  (Salutations to the Friend of All)
Anahata Chakra

2. Hasta Uttanasana  (Arch your back)
Inhale-
Om Ravaye Namaha  (Salutations to the Shining One)
Vishuddhi Chakra

3. Pada Hastasana  (Toe touch)
Exhale
Om Suryaaya Namaha  (Salutations to he who induces activity )
Swadishtana Chakra

4. Ashwa-sanchalan-asan  (Horse pose--Lunge)
Inhale
Om Bhaanve Namaha  (Salutations to he who illumines)
Ajna Chakra

5. Parvatasana- (Downward facing dog pose or Mountain pose)
Exhale
Om khagaaya Namaha - Salutations to one who moves through the sky
Vishuddhi Chakra

6. Ashtanga Namaskar (Push-up pose)
Hold breath as you lower to Bhujangasana
Om Pooshney Namaha - Salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment 
Manipura Chakra

7. Bhujangasana  (Cobra pose)
Inhale
Om Hiranayagarbhaaya Namah - Salutations to the Golden Cosmic Self 
Swadishtana Chakra

8. Parvatasana
Exhale
Om Mareechibhyoh Namaha - Salutations to the Rays of the Sun
Vishuddhi Chakra

9. Ashwa-sanchalan-asan  (Horse pose--Lunge)
Inhale- 
Om Adityaaya Namaha - Salutations to Sun of Aditi (the Cosmic Mother) 
Ajna Chakra

10. Pada Hastana 
Exhale
Om Savitre Namaha - Salutations to the Stimulating power of the Sun
Swadishtana Chakra

11. Hasta Uttanasana
Inhale
Om Arkaaya Namaha - Salutations to he who is fit to be praised (arka= energy)
Vishuddhi Chakra

12. Pranamasana 
Exhale
Om Bhaaskaraaya Namah - Salutations to the one who leads to enlightenment 
Anahata Chakra

Surya Namaskar can be done slowly for spiritual benefits and quickly for physical benefits. If doing it quickly, you might find it easier to chant these "bija" or seed mantras for the first six poses

1. Om Hram
2. Om Hrim
3. Om Hroom
4. Om Hraim
5. Om Hraum
6. Om Hrah
And then repeat the six mantras again for the next six poses.

The full cycle of 12 poses leading with the left foot and 12 with the right foot, make one round. You can start with as many rounds as you can do, without getting out of breath. Try to work your way upto twelve rounds

Some persons chant one mantra per round, and then, at the end of twelve rounds, chant
Shree Chhaya Suvaryalaamba samet Shree Surya narayan Swaminey namah. Om namoh Narayanaay

There are at least three variations of Surya Namaskar. Here we will cover the basic version. Intermediate and advanced versions are also available.

 

 

 

The Sun Salutation series is the Bow-flex Home Gym of yoga. It is a complete practice that develops heat, strength, flexibility, balance and full range of motion for the joints--Leena