The Sun Salutation and its Origins

Scris de 
Leo Radutz
 in data de 
text de 
2 minute
Scris de 
Leo Radutz
 in data de 
 - text de 
2 minute


One of the extremely valuable exercises that we learn from the beginning in Abheda Yoga is the Sun Salutation.


Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) comes from a sequence of sacred words.
The Vedic tradition that preceded classical yoga by several thousand years, honors the Sun as a symbol of the Divisibility. According to Ganesh Mohan, renowned scholar and teacher in the Vedic tradition and yoga of Chennai, India, at sunrise, mantras were recited to celebrate the sun. These mantras are found in the Rig Veda.

The entire practice included 132 passages in Sanskrit, which took more than an hour to be recited. After each passage, the practitioner realized a complete prostration, with his face facing the sunrise, with an attitude of devotion to the object of his worship, abandoning himself completely before God, represented here by the Sun.

The connection between divinity and the Sun

it is found throughout the Vedic tradition as well as in yoga. However, the origins
of the Sun Salutation
in modern hatha yoga are mysterious. "There is no reference to asanas as the form of salutation of the Sun," says Ganesh Mohan.

So, where does this sequence of asanas come from?

The oldest yoga text, in which reference is made to
the Sun Salutation
, is Makranda Yoga, a text written in 1934 by T. Krishnamacharya, who is considered by many to be the one who founded modern hatha yoga.

It is not clear whether Krishnamacharya learned the sequence from his teacher Ramamohan Brahmachari or if he invented it himself. Mohan writes in his book, " The Life and Teachings of Krishnamacharya" that the most important thing for him was the attitude with which Surya Namaskar is executed. Regardless of whether Krishnamacharya taught the Vedic mantras or the sequence of asanas, his intention was the same: to offer his greeting to the Divinity, represented by the Sun, as the source of light that removes the darkness of a blurred mind, being at the same time the source of vitality that made any disease disappear from the physical body.

Krishnamacharya taught the Sun Salute to her students, which included Pattabi Jois (founder of ashtanga yoga system), B.K.S. Iyengar (founder of the Iyengar Yoga system) and Indra Devi who was recognized as the first woman to teach yoga in the Western world.

All of these students later became internationally renowned yoga teachers, including the Sun Salute in their students' practice. Thus Surya Namaskar has become an integral part of modern practice in hatha yoga.



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