The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) asanas generate large amounts of prana in the body, allowing us to develop a store of vital energy. All of the major organs are massaged and cleansed.
Circulation increases and impurities are removed. The spine is stretched and toned, and the stomach and abdominal muscles receive a wonderful workout.
Through regulation of the breath the mind enters a meditative state and we can experience profound peace.
The sun salutation sequence of yoga postures is the ideal way to bring flexibility, power and balance back to your body. As you can see from the yoga video above, this is a flowing sequence of asanas.
Surya namaskar is often used towards the beginning of a yoga session as a means to generate heat and flexibility in the body. In this way we are better able to explore the asanas and to protect ourselves from risk of injury.
There are a few variations, but they mostly share the same core yoga poses.
If you are practicing Surya Namaskar towards the beginning of your practice then do between 3 and 6 rounds. It can also be done in its own right. In fact I once met a guy in India who did it 108 times every morning. This was his practice, and he was in peak physical health and very strong.
People with back conditions should be careful, particularly on the forward bend. If you need to, bend your knees. Don’t introduce any force or strain into your practice.
On a personal note I am really happy to be able to include this video of Surinder Singh. I had the pleasure of attending some of his classes in 1999 whilst in Rishikesh, India. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met, with a soft, loving presence. A truly great yoga teacher.