Surya Namaskar

Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and the Colosseum are all wonderful man made wonders of the world- but how many times can you look at them? Now think about the innumerable times you simply stared in amazement at a sunrise and sunset. Nature’s beauty is magnificent and the sun is just a whole new ball game. The sun is this powerful source that lights up the world and it is infinitely more powerful than any light bulb a man can create. The sun is the source of life, light and the vision of the Divine and we should be grateful and worship it.

In yoga we do Surya Namaskar, also known as sun salutations, to give our Namaskar to Lord Surya, the God of good health. Namaskar means recognizing that the divine resides in all of us, and by Surya Namaskar you are acknowledging to the sun “the divine in me honors the divine in you”. Modern yoga has turned what was once a sequence of mantras to the Sun to asanas to give it both a spiritual and physical experience. The 12 asanas are a powerful movement of gratitude to Lord Surya. It is allowing us to use our body to attain awareness, wisdom and knowledge.

But yoga is not gymnastics; it is rather a deep movement of gratitude. We start the Sun Salutation with the hands joined in Namaste and touched to the heart to connect ourselves to the truth. In this moment, we take time to honor life and feel a deep sense of gratitude for it. We let our breath guide our practice as it allows us to be present. With every inhalation take in all the positive vibrations of the earth and with every exhalation release a small sound of Om to bless the earth. We reach our hands and sweep them down and bow forward to honor the sun, heavens and mother earth. As we lower down we surrender our ego and heart to mother earth. As we rise up again we reach for the heaven and as we end in namaste we acknowledge that our bodies are the connection between heaven and earth.

It consists of 12 positions done in succession that warm up the entire body, loosen and lubricate joints, provide flexibility, remove muscle tension, improve circulation and regulate your breathing. Do about 15-20 every morning facing the sun to warm up the body before you get into other asanas. Where better to do it on than your Eco-friendly Warrior Mat! Remember that traditionally 108 rounds were done every morning. Can you think of a better way to start the morning- you honor the divine and also get some great physical benefits?

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