Sun Salutation

Definition - What does Sun Salutation mean?

Sun Salutation is one of the most important yoga practices. It is the set of 12 yoga poses which can be performed while chanting 12 different mantras. Mantras add a profound spiritual element to the practice.

The practice of Sun Salutation awakens the body intelligence to create energy directly from the sun. In the Vedic tradition, the sun is symbolic of consciousness and, therefore, has been worshiped daily in the Indian culture.

Sun Salutation may also be referred to as Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit.

Yogapedia explains Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation is designed to access the ethereal energy that exists all around us. Every morning at dawn, the air is filled with prana shakti, or life energy. When performed facing east during the first rays of the morning sun, breathing correctly and chanting the mantras, one experiences a phenomenal effect on the mind, body and spirit.

Sun Salutation A consists of the following poses:

  1. Mountain Pose (Samasthiti or Tadasana)
  2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
  4. Half Standing Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)
  5. Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
  6. Upward-facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
  7. Downward-facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  8. Transition – feet to hands
  9. Half Standing Forward Fold
  10. Standing Forward Fold
  11. Upward Salute
  12. Mountain Pose

Sun Salutation B consists of the following poses:

  1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  2. Standing Forward Fold
  3. Half Standing Forward Fold
  4. Plank Pose
  5. Upward-facing Dog Pose
  6. Downward-facing Dog Pose
  7. Right foot forward (Warrior One Pose or Virabhadrasana A)
  8. Plank Pose
  9. Upward-facing Dog Pose
  10. Downward-facing Dog Pose
  11. Left foot forward (Warrior One Pose or Virabhadrasana A)
  12. Plank Pose
  13. Upward-facing Dog Pose
  14. Downward-facing Dog Pose
  15. Transition – feet to hands
  16. Half Standing Forward Fold
  17. Chair Pose
  18. Upward Salute
  19. Mountain Pose

This morning practice is designed to work on all body parts, every organ, every system and every chakra. It is also believed to be the most efficient way to connect with our core inner strength.

The body is equipped with the innate intelligence to produce energy from the sun directly. The mind, through the solar plexus; the body, through physical movement; and the spirit, through the chanting of the mantras, all get a boost from the practice of Sun Salutation. Therefore, it is a complete workout for mind, body and soul.

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