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Awakening the Sun Within: Exploring the Meaning and Benefits of Surya Namaskar Mantra

Updated: May 27, 2023


The Sun Salutation and Its Significance

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Surya Namaskar, also known as the Sun Salutation, is a complete sadhana, a spiritual practice in itself for it includes asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation techniques. This yoga practice consists of 12 asanas or postures. Surya Namashkar has a direct vitalizing effect on the solar energy of the body which flows through Pingala Nadi. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar regulates Pingala Nadi, whether it is underactive or overactive. Regulation of Pingala Nadi leads to a balanced energy system at both mental and physical levels. Its performance, in a steady rhythmic sequence, reflects the rhythms of the universe, twenty- four hours of the day, the twelve zodiac phases of the year and the biorhythms of the body.

The sun symbolises spiritual consciousness and in ancient times was worshipped on a daily basis. In yoga, the sun is represented by Pingala or Surya Nadi, the pranic channel that carries the vital life force.

Surya Namaskar is performed facing the sun during sunrise as a way to express gratitude for its life-giving energy. Surya Namaskar is an effective way of loosening up, stretching, massaging and toning all the joints, muscles and internal organs of the body.



Why we Chant Mantras and the meaning behind

Each mantra has a specific sound and vibrations to it which helps us to align ourselves with the universe's vibration or the sound of the creation. Mantras are not supposed to have any meanings. Unfortunately, the mantras which are normally known, have given meanings so that people can be involved.

Sound is so much more important than a word, which is a meaning. If you touch the sound, you're touching creation. If you touch a word, you're just going into the psychological structure of human beings.

Sound has an influence on everything. If you have mastery over sound, you have mastery over creation itself in a certain way, because creation is just a complex amalgamation of sounds. It's the blueprint of creation, but meanings are human things. You know the same words mean different things in different languages. So, the mantras are not to be spoken. It is to be chanted. Chanting means it's a… chant is of the sound, not of the meaning. A chant is simply a sound, a reverberation. So, if you, the… if you do not know the meaning, it's the best way to chant if you ask me.


Surya Namaskar Mantra (In Sanskrit, Hindi and English)

  1. ॐ मित्राय नमः ( मित्र को प्रणाम ) Om Maitreya namaha (The friend of all)

  2. ॐ रवये नमः ( प्रकाशवान को प्रणाम ) Om Ravaye namaha (The Shining One, Praised by all)

  3. ॐ सूर्याय नमः ( क्रियाओं के प्रेरक को प्रणाम ) Om Suryaya namaha (The eternal guide of all)

  4. ॐ भानवे नमः ( प्रदीप्त होने वाले को प्रणाम ) Om Bhanave namaha (The bestower of brightness and beauty)

  5. ॐ खगाय नमः ( आकाशगामी को प्रणाम ) Om Khagaya namaha (Who moves through the Sky, Stimulator of the senses)

  6. ॐ पूष्णे नमः ( पोषक को प्रणाम ) Om Pushne namaha (One who nourishes and fulfills)

  7. ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः ( स्वर्णिम् विश्वात्मा को प्रणाम ) Om Hiranyagarbhaya namaha (The creator)

  8. ॐ मरीचये नमः ( सूर्य रश्मियों को प्रणाम ) Om Marichaye namaha (Light Giver and Destroyer of disease)

  9. ॐ आदित्याय नमः ( अदिति-सुत को प्रणाम) Om Adityaya namaha (Son of Divine Mother-Aditi, The inspirer)

  10. ॐ सवित्रे नमः ( सूर्य की उद्दीपन शक्ति को प्रणाम ) Om Savitre namaha (One who gives life, The purifier)

  11. ॐ अर्काय नमः ( प्रशंसनीय को प्रणाम ) Om Arkaya namaha (The radiant one)

  12. ॐ भास्कराय नमः ( आत्मज्ञान-प्रेरक को प्रणाम ) Om Bhaskaraya namaha (One who gives wisdom, The illuminator)

Surya Namaskar Mantra with Poses and the Meaning

The Surya Namaskar Mantra consists of 12 lines, each of which has a deep and significant meaning. The mantra is chanted at the beginning of each round of the Surya Namaskar practice, with each line corresponding to a specific pose in the sequence.


Position 1 - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Starting the first out of 12 poses of Surya Namaskar. Stand on the edge of your yoga mat, keeping your feet together in order to balance your weight equally on the two feet. Expand your chest and relax your shoulders. Inhale while lifting both arms up. Exhale while bringing your palm together right in front of your chest in the namaste or prayer position. This is the first Namaskar or homage you offer to the sun.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 2 - Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)

While being in the previous position, breathe in while gently lifting your arms in the backward direction. Make sure your biceps are close to the ears. The only hard work you need to do here is stretching the whole body, in order to loosen up the firm knots making the body perfectly flexible.

While stretching, make sure you are reaching up with your fingers rather than bending backwards. You can also push your pelvis forward to deepen your stretch.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 3 - Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)

Exhale, and bend forward from the waist while keeping the spine erect. While bending forward, bring both hands down to the floor placing them beside the feet.

For beginners: You can bend your knees to bring palms on the floor then gently effort to straighten them until you achieve perfection.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 4 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

While maintaining the previous pose, gently breathe in and stretch out your right leg back as far as possible. Place the right knee on the mat and raise your face to look up. Make sure that your left leg is firmly placed in the same position as it was earlier.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 5 - Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

To perform this step of Surya Namaskar, exhale and lift the hips upward bringing the body in the pose of inverted ‘V’.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 6 - Ashtanga Namaskar (eight-limbed pose) This is the ninth out of 12 yoga poses of Surya Namaskar. To perform the Ashwasanchalana pose, inhale while stepping out your right foot forward and placing it right between the two hands and right calf perpendicular to the floor. Place the left knee on the floor. Raise your face and look up while pressing the hips down.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 7 - Bhujangasana – (cobra pose) Now slide forward and come into the cobra posture by raising your chest upward while you exhale. Keep the elbows bent and shoulders away from the ears. This posture gives a forward stretch to the body.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 8 - Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

Again, to perform this step of Surya Namaskar, exhale and lift the hips upward bringing the body in the pose of inverted ‘V’.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 9 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose) While maintaining the previous pose, gently breathe in and stretch out your left leg back as far as possible. Place the right knee on the mat and raise your face to look up. Make sure that your left leg is firmly placed in the same position as it was earlier.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 10 - Padahastasana (Standing forward bend) Exhale and bring the left foot forward, placing the palms on the floor, you may try to touch your nose to the knees while performing this asana of Surya namaskar. Beginners can bend their knees if find it necessary.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 11 - Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose) Breathe in while gently lifting your arms in the backward direction. Make sure your biceps are close to the ears. The only hard work you need to do here is stretching the whole body, in order to loosen up the firm knots making the body perfectly flexible.

While stretching, make sure you are reaching up with your fingers rather than bending backwards. You can also push your pelvis forward to deepen your stretch.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 12 - Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Exhale while bringing your palm together right in front of your chest in the namaste or prayer position.

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Position 13 to 24 -

The 12 positions of Surya Namaskar are practised twice to complete one round. Positions 1-12 constitute half a round. In the second half, the positions are repeated with two small changes related to Ashwasanchalanasana (Equestrian pose):

  1. In position 16, instead of stretching the right foot backwards, stretch the left foot back.

  2. In position 21, bend the right leg and bring the right foot between the hands.


Savasana or Corpse Pose (Relaxation Asana)

Surya Namaskar Mantra

Relaxation asanas, such as Savasana or Corpse Pose, hold great importance in yoga practice and can't be overemphasized. They should be performed before or after the asana and at any time when the body becomes tired. They provide physical restoration by allowing the body to relax and recover from the exertion of other yoga postures. These asanas induce deep relaxation, calming the nervous system and promoting tranquillity. They also integrate the benefits of the yoga practice, reduce stress, cultivate mindfulness, and balance energy. By consciously relaxing and surrendering to the present moment, practitioners can experience profound rejuvenation and learn to carry the practice of relaxation into their daily lives.

Spiritual Benefits of Chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra

Chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra during your practice has numerous spiritual benefits that help you connect with divine energy, enhance concentration and focus, and promote inner peace and calmness. Firstly, when you chant the mantra, you are invoking the sun's divine energy into your body. This helps to awaken your inner consciousness and connect with a higher power.

Your mind becomes more aware of its surroundings, allowing you to tap into a deeper state of consciousness that helps you feel more in tune with nature. Secondly, chanting the mantra helps enhance concentration and focus.

When practising Surya Namaskar, it can be easy to get lost in thoughts or distractions. However, chanting the mantra helps keep your mind focused on your practice by redirecting your thoughts back to your breath and movement.

This leads to better coordination between breath and movement during each asana in the sequence. Chanting the mantra promotes inner peace and calmness.

The repetitive nature of chanting brings about a meditative state that calms both mind and body. Regular practitioners of Surya Namaskar with mantra-chanting report feelings of inner peace that linger throughout their day.


Physical Benefits of Chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra

In addition to spiritual benefits, chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra also has physical benefits such as improving flexibility and strength while boosting metabolism and digestion. When performing Surya Namaskar while chanting mantras correctly, breathing becomes more controlled which increases oxygenation during exercise leading to better flexibility over time.

Regular practice can also lead to increased strength since this yoga sequence engages specific muscle groups within arms legs torso etc., creating an overall total body workout routine that is effective at burning calories even after one session! Furthermore, chanting the mantra during Surya Namaskar also helps to boost metabolism and aid in digestion.

This is because the sequence of asanas involved in Surya Namaskar helps to stimulate the digestive system and promote healthy bowel movements. When combined with mantra-chanting, the practice becomes even more effective at improving digestive health.

Overall, chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra during your practice can provide both spiritual and physical benefits that help you feel more connected to your body, mind, and spirit. It's an excellent way to start or end your day with a powerful yoga sequence that has been practised for centuries by yogis all over the world.


Variations of Surya Namaskar Mantras Across Different Regions

Surya Namaskar, the practice of saluting the sun, is a ubiquitous part of yoga practice around the world. However, the accompanying mantra varies from region to region.

In India alone, there are numerous variations of the mantra depending on which area you're in. Some variations may have additional lines or use different words to convey similar meanings.

Similarly, in Nepal and other countries that practice yoga, there are also varied versions of Surya Namaskar Mantras that reflect local traditions and beliefs. While some versions might be more familiar to yogis who practice primarily in India or Southeast Asia, others might be completely new and exciting for those interested in exploring different cultural practices.


Importance of proper breathing techniques while chanting

Breathing plays an important role in both yoga practice and chanting mantras. By incorporating proper breathing techniques while chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra, you can enhance your physical and spiritual practice. One technique that can be used is called Ujjayi Pranayama, also known as ocean breath.

This involves creating a slight constriction at the back of your throat while inhaling and exhaling through your nose. This technique not only helps to regulate breathing but also creates a soothing sound that can deepen meditation.

Another technique that can be used while chanting mantras is called Brahmari Pranayama, or humming bee breath. This involves inhaling deeply and then exhaling while making a humming sound with your lips closed.

This technique can help to calm the mind and reduce stress levels. Overall, by incorporating proper breathing techniques while chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra, you can enhance your practice and connect with the divine energy of Surya.


Conclusion

Connecting with the Divine Energy and Enhancing Concentration and Focus

Chanting the Surya Namaskar mantra during practice not only helps in connecting with the divine energy but also enhances concentration and focus. The mantra has a powerful impact on the mind, which helps in increasing self-awareness and promoting inner peace and calmness. By chanting this mantra, one can experience a sense of surrender to a higher power while developing an understanding of the true essence of life.


Improving Flexibility and Boosting Metabolism

The physical benefits of chanting the Surya Namaskar Mantra during practice are also significant. The practice helps in improving flexibility, strength, and posture. It aids in boosting metabolism, which leads to an increase in energy levels throughout the day.

By incorporating proper breathing techniques while chanting this mantra, one can improve lung capacity and promote healthy digestion. Surya Namaskar Mantra is an essential part of the Surya Namaskar practice that has been practised for centuries in Hinduism.

Chanting this mantra during practice not only helps in connecting with divine energy but also brings numerous physical benefits such as improved flexibility, strength, posture, metabolism, and breathing capacity as well as mental benefits like enhanced concentration and focus. So if you are looking to improve your physical health along with spiritual growth then give Surya Namaskar Practice a try today!



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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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