Why do we practice the Sun Salutation?
April 24, 2017
The Salutation to the Sun, or its name in Sanskrit Surya Namaskar (Surya: sun, Namaskar: salutation), is an essential part of the practice of Hatha yoga or physical yoga. It is one of the first sequences of postures that you will learn in a yoga class, but why? in this post YogaYe explains why they are important and what are the benefits of including them in our practice.
Where does the Sun Salutation come from?In Hindu philosophy, the sun has always been worshiped as a symbol of immortality and health. But although many say that the Sun Salutation is as old as the Vedas, the truth is that no references to it have been found in the ancient yoga texts. The first references to the Sun Salutation are found in 1929 by the Hindu politician Bala Sahib. He developed this series of postures based on the vyaya, the practice of professional wrestlers, to develop muscle mass and flexibility. But he didn't gain popularity until 1937, when a British journalist, Louise Morgan, promoted him through her book The Ten Point Way to Health. The Greeting to the Sun reached its maximum diffusion after the 2nd World War.
What is?The Sun Salutation is a dynamic exercise of 12 postures, performed as a single continuous exercise in which the exercise is combined with breathing. Each asana or posture has its own physiological effects and is a compensation of the previous one at the level of the spine, movement and breathing. Several turns or repetitions are usually practiced before starting a yoga class. Although it constitutes by itself a complete training system. It can be practiced by everyone. There are variants and alternatives for pregnant women, the elderly, children or people with a physical ailment.
Benefits of sun salutations
- They relax and strengthen the spine and all the joints.
- They tone and stimulate the muscles and nerves of the body, stretching and revitalizing them.
- It increases the resistance capacity of the whole organism by toning the internal organs.
- By regulating breathing, the blood is oxygenated and the lungs are ventilated.
- They eliminate stress and anxiety.
- They increase self-esteem.
- And they fill you with energy to start the day.
Why is it important to practice them?
- To warm up at the beginning of practice.
- They allow the body to wake up gradually.
- To turn on the agni or internal fire.
- To focus and connect with our breath.
- To start creating space in our mind.