A Sun Salutation a day keeps the doctor away! This especially applies in Kapha season - late winter and spring - where the energy is pulling us down and the way to balance it is to MOVE. To be more precise, move it UP, towards the chest.
Sun salutation is a wonderful sequence of poses with ample benefits (read previous blog post where we go in detail, listing a staggering 34 benefits). They are an amazing way to connect to the Sun, to warm up, to get motivated. I love to practice them on Summer Solstice as well, to honour the sun.
There are actually quite a lot of variations within the sun salutations, today I would like to bring you the version when we practice with a Mantra for each movement. Why do we have 12 movements and 12 mantras in the sequence? To mark the sun's journey through the year - the 12 zodiac signs.
The 12 movements to salute the sun are:
Mountain pose with hands in prayer - Om Mitraye Nahamaha - Salutation to Him who is affectionate to all
Upward salute - Om Ravaye Namaha - Salutation to Him who is the cause of change
Standing forward bend - Om Suryaya Namaha - Salutations to Him who induces activity
Low lunge - Om Bhanave Namaha - Salutation to Him who diffuses light
Plank pose - Om Khagaye Namaha - Salutation to Him who moves in the sky
Eight limb pose - Om Pushne Namaha - Salutation to Him who nourishes all
Cobra pose - Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha - Salutation to Him who contains everything
Downward facing dog - Om Marichaye Namaha - Salutation to Him who possesses rays
Low lunge - Om Adityaya Namaha - Salutation to Him who is the son of Aditi
Standing forward bend - Om Savitre Namaha - Salutation to Him who produces everything
Upward salute - Om Arkaya Namaha - Salutation to Him who is fit to be worshiped
Mountain pose with hands in prayer - Om Bhaskaraya Namaha - Salutation to Him who is the cause of lustre.
If you would like to give practicing with the mantra a try, here is a YouTube version from Kai Franz for 3 cycles with music only (1 cycle is two rounds. First round stepping back with right leg in 4. low lunge and stepping forward with right leg in 9. low lunge. Second round is repeated wit the left leg).
If you would like to practice with the same mantra version, but with me as your guide, here is the practice video from the Yoga with Dora YouTube channel.
Enjoy your practice and please let me know your experiences