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Surya Namaskar Mantra and Meaning
Surya Namaskar and Mantras
Surya namaskar is a form of sun worship and can trace its origin back to the Vedas. The literal meaning of Surya Namaskar is ‘Salutation to the Sun’. This ancient system of yoga exercise consists of 12 different postures or asanas and corresponding Sun Mantras that are chanted before each posture. Surya Namaskara mantras can be chanted audibly or mentally while performing the Sun Salutation. Surya namaskar is traditionally performed on empty stomach at sunrise which is considered the most spiritually favorable time and facing the rising Sun. This is a full body work out that can help increase flexibility and burn fat. It is advisable to perform a set of 12 Surya Namaskars daily.
Given below are the details of the12 positions of Surya Namaskar along with the corresponding mantras to be chanted.
12 Positions of Surya Namaskar
The first position is Pranamasana (Prayer Pose) and the Mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hraam Mitraaya Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is my everlasting friend. This posture stimulates the respiratory system, exercises shoulder, back and neck muscles.
The second position is Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose) and the mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hroum Khagaaya Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is source of life for all that moves in the sky. This position promotes digestion, exercises arms and shoulder muscles, tones the spine and promotes flexibility of the back and hips.
The third position is Hasta Padhasana (Hand to Foot Pose) and the mantra is ‘Om Hrum Suryaaya Namah’ which means Salutation to Him who propels everyone into activity & is source of light. This position promotes blood circulation, tones abdominal tracts, stretches the back and leg muscles, stimulates spinal nerves and lymphatic system.
The fourth position is Aekpaadprasarnaasana (Equestrian pose) and the mantra for this is ‘Om Hraim Bhaanave Namah’ meaning Salutations to Him who is in the eternal source of warmth.This posture exercises the spine, strengthens hand and wrist muscles.
The 5th position is Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing Dog pose) and the mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hrim Ravaye Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is shining and is the eternal source of vitality. This posture Stimulates blood circulation, strengthens the heart, strengthens wrist and arm muscles, relieves neck and shoulder tension.
The sixth position is Ashtanga Namaskaara (Eight Points salutation) and the mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hraha Pooshnena Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who nourishes all & gives strength. This position Strengthens leg and arm muscles, increases flexibility in neck and shoulders, stretches arms, shoulder, neck and back muscles, exercises back muscles, releases tension in neck and shoulder.
The seventh position is Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and the mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hraam Hiranya-Garbhaya Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is the eternal source of energy emanating from its golden core. This posture Stimulates circulation to abdominal organs, tones digestive tract, stretches upper and lower body, promotes flexibility in the back, stimulates nerves in Lower the buttocks and hips.
The 8th Position is Adho Mukha Svanasana and the mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hrim Marichaye Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is the Lord of Dawn and source of vibrations. The benefits are the same as position 5.
The position 9 is Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose) and the mantra to be chanted is Om Hrum Aadityaya Namah which means Salutations to Him who is the son of Aditi. The benefits are the same as position 4.
The position 10 is Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose) and the benefits are the same as position 3. The mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hraim Savitre Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who produces everything.
Position 11 is Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose) and the benefits of this asana are the same as posture 2. The mantra for this position is ‘Om Hroum Arkaya Namah’ which means Salutations to Him who is fit to be worshiped as the very essence of vitality.
Position 12 is Pranamasana and the benefits are the same as position 1. The mantra to be chanted is ‘Om Hraha Bhaskaraaya Namah’ means
Salutations to Him who is the cause of luster & brings inner strength, confidence and inner awakening.
At the end of these 12 positions a thirteenth mantra is recited 'Om Shri Savitur Suryanarayanaya Namah'. Shavasana is practiced at the end of practice for rest.
Surya Namaskar provides full exercise for the body and these 12 positions takes around one minute to complete. By making this a routine one can stay healthy and activate the 7 chakras in the human body. It is advisable to learn this technique from an instructor. Also Persons suffering from slip disk, arthritis, heart attack etc including pregnant women are suggested to consult a Doctor before they start the practice of Surya Namaskar.