When we were kids, the first thing we did when we would wake up was stretching. It is but a natural reflex of the body which unfortunately gets lost as we grow up and let’s face as we get numb. Let me introduce you to your new wellness partner, the sun salutation!
The sun salutation, or Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a series of yoga positions that you can perform at the beginning of each yoga session to awaken and stretch the body and prepare it for the coming practice. It is a dynamic sequence of 12 postures that brings benefits to our three bodies, physical, mental and spiritual.
The science of yoga recommends that we complete 6 cycles of greetings every morning upon waking and promises us the following physical benefits from the sun salutation:
– It tones the musculature and shapes the body
– It strengthens the bust while increasing its elasticity
– It moves the entire body and thus relaxes the spine and joints
– It helps develop strength, flexibility, and contributes to physical and mental relaxation
In addition to the physical benefits, the sun salutation enhances on our physiology:
– It activates the circulation of prana, our vital energy, by the activation of our respiratory system
– It gently awakens our digestive system
– It stimulates our internal organs and glands, especially the endocrine ones, as it helps in activating our immune system
– It tones down our nervous system, soothes our anxieties and stabilizes the flow of menstruation for women
The sun salutation can also be exercised as a dynamic meditation, if one strives to remain well present during one’s practice and in total connection with one’s body and one’s feelings. The mastered breathing techniques, that are in harmony with the development of each movement, allow to install calm and well-being in the mind.
And because in yoga we always consider the human in its multidimensionality, the sun salutation can also have, if desired, a spiritual significance. In traditional India it is a morning ritual that brings honour to the sun for its energy-supplies to the earth. The God of the sun, Surya, is highly venerated. Whether one is believer or not, I find it nice to start the day by cherishing the sun which is the basis of all life on earth.
So I ask you, don’t you have 5 minutes in the morning to spare and give yourself a nice gift?
Salutations to all!