There is a vast reserve of vital energy, which remains dormant within the human body and psyche. This energy needs to be awakened, revitalized and utilized to achieve self-realization.
The Sun known as Surya is the primal and eternal source of energy. Surya namaskar or obeisance to the sun is an important yoga exercise comprising of ten yogic asanas performed in a sequence of body movements. Performed preferably early in the morning Surya namaskar generates good health and creates equilibrium of mind through the proper utilization of cosmic energy. Those performing Surya namaskar undoubtedly experience the flow of vital energy on the physical and psychical planes.
Positions of Surya namaskar
First position: Stand facing the east (the sun). If that is not possible stand facing the north. Stand with the heels and toes close together, knees level and the back kept straight. Be relaxed. Exhale and bring the palms together at chest level in the praying position.
Second position: Inhale slowly. Stretch the arms upwards above the head and arch the body backwards easily.
Third position: Exhale slowly and keeping your head between the raised arms, bend forward from the waist till the palms touch the ground on either side of the legs. Your arms must be straight at the elbows. Bend only the palms outwards at the wrists. The forehead must touch the knees.
Fourth position: Inhale and stretch the right leg backwards as far as possible while squatting down on your left foot. Put the right knee on the ground and raise your chin upwards.
Fifth position: Stretch the left leg also backwards while retaining the breath. Now your entire body stretches back in a straight line, the body weight resting solely on your hands, palms down on the ground.
Sixth position: Exhale and drop the knees to the ground. Then lower the chest to the ground between the hands. Keep your hip up. Gently touch the ground with your forehead.
Seventh position: Inhale and lift your head and slide the body forward and upward by rearing the torso up like a cobra poised to strike. Keep the palms flat down on the ground with your elbows slightly bent. Now only your legs and hip remain on the ground.
Eighth position: Exhale; raise the hip while dropping the head between the arms. Keep the heels pressed to the ground. The entire body assumes an inverted ‘V ’ position.
Ninth Position: Inhale and bring the right foot forward between the hands. At the same time rear up your head. This position is the same as the fourth but with your left foot out.
Tenth position: Keeping your hands and right leg in the same position, exhale and bring forward your left foot also. Simultaneously lower your head towards the knees. Relax your neck and head. This is the same as the third position.
Eleventh position: Now inhale and slowly straighten up while keeping your arms stretched out beside the head until they are pointing upwards. Then arch your arms and head further back, the palms turned upward. You have come back to the second position.
Twelfth position: Exhale slowly, straighten up and let the hands down beside your body. Be relaxed. This brings you back to the starting position.