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Surya Namaskar

Appreciating and Integrating an Essential Life Essence

The sun is like the beating heart of our solar system and there’s nothing quite like the Sun’s warmth to brighten your day. If it were not for our sun, there could be no life on earth and although it is highly improbable, if our son stopped producing heat and light, life on earth would quickly evaporate.

But if we think of the sun as an entity, as an aspect of creation then it is sacrificing itself in order to provide us with light and heat. This is simply the way it is, but it is also the way of mothers who burn themselves out physically to ensure that their children get a good start life.

The sun sustains its on many levels, when it shines on us, we feel warmed and nourished. It also fuels photosynthesis and is responsible for helping to meet our nutritional requirements. But it also energises us by providing a component of our biological energy and in fact we actually have a process within us which is similar to photosynthesis in plants.

Surya Sahasranaam 1008 names by Rishi Ved Vyas

In many ancient cultures, the sun was worshipped as being the source of life because the ancients knew that we owed our existence to the sun. Today while most of us feel generally appreciative of the sun, it’s more often a very private appreciation that may give rise to comments of appreciation.

The sun is not a God in the way that Christians may understand God, but the sun gives life and therefore it is worthy of praise and adoration which is why in some cultures people actually pray or sing songs of praise to the sun.

In yoga, the solar system and indeed life is seen as a technologicals or a balance of technological systems that permeates our local universe. Because the sun is the source of life and that life flows outwards from the sun, the enlightened mystics came to understand how the energy of the sun permeated and supported we call as our solar system and our own personal lives.

As a consequence, they devised a wide range of prayers and mantras in honour of the sun and because the sun works to our own personal physiology, they devised a series of exercises we know as Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar.

A stone is not God, but a stone is another one of God’s energies. Heat and light are not fire, but without fire there cannot be heat or light. In that sense, heat and light are nondifferent from fire. This material world is like the heat and light of the supreme fire. Bhagavad-gītā (7.8), prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ: “I am the light of the sun and the moon.” people are saying, “Can you show me God?” while not realizing that they are seeing God daily at every moment. Because people are foolish in this age, they cannot understand that when we perceive the energy of the Lord, we can feel the presence of the Lord.

This series of physical exercises that we call Suryia Namaskar are designed to energetically create space in the body for energy to flow and to align the body in harmony with the sun’s energy. By harmonising with the sun we are in fact aligning our energy with one of the major driving forces in our creation that is also maintaining the creative processes in our lives.

Suryia Namaskar

Surya Namaskar – English

There are in fact many versions of this exercise series and one cannot single out any particular version as being better or worse than any other. It is simply a matter of selecting one that you can actually manage to accomplish physically and then do your best in its performance.

Depending on one’s level of fitness and ability, one can begin these exercises by standing for feet together or the feet slightly apart.
Standing thus, bring the palms of the hands together in front of the chest and generate a thought of appreciation for the sun.
To get an idea, you can play these videos or you can select one of the many versions available on YouTube.

For those people who are very fit, there are some more dynamic Surya Namaskar demonstrations under the heading of Astanga yoga or Ashtanga Vinyasana.

Surya Namaskar

For anyone living locally here in Christchurch who needs assistance with a Surya Namaskar routine, you can make a time to come and see me. Different routines can be created to deal with the problems associated with illness, injury or just plain lack of fitness.

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