The Perfect Yoga Workout
For thousands of years, Hindus have revered the sun, which they call Surya, as both the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself. One of the means of honoring the sun is through the asana sequence or Surya Namaskar better known as Sun Salutation.
The sequence of poses in Surya Namaskar may have developed from an early sunrise practice honoring Surya as the source of energy and light for the world.
In the 1920s, the Raja of Aundh introduced a fixed sun salute series into the schools of his kingdom and published a small book, urging every man, woman, and child to adopt this practice for the sake of their physical and spiritual health.
Today, most of us learn some version of this practice either with or without mantras accompanying the movement. While there is no definitively “right” way to do this practice, it generally involves a sequence of twelve poses.
The Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is the best and the most powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout. The Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskars are a good way to keep the body in shape and the mind calm and peaceful.
The asanas are done early morning on an empty stomach.
Each round of asanas consists of two sets, and each set is composed of 12 yoga poses. Yes, there are several versions on how to practice Sun Salutation, but it is best to stick to one particular version and practice it regularly for best results.
Besides good health, the Sun Salutation also provides an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on our planet. If we practice Surya Namaskar for 10 consecutive days, we will find that this is the best mantra to stay fit, happy, and peaceful.