As the home improvement project closest to my heart has finally come to fruition- the installation of our solar panels- I have been reflecting on the symbolism as well as the physical benefits of the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is likely one of the most familiar of all asana sequences. In many cultures light has long symbolized the illumination of the self or consciousness. Add to that the fact that here on Earth our primary source of light is our closest star, the sun, and you can start to fathom the origins of the Sun Salutation in the practice of yoga.
Although there is some disagreement over when the Sun Salutation became part of the practice of yoga, over 20 (and most likely more!) variations of this sequence are recognized and practiced regularly. The practice of Surya Namaskar goes well beyond the strengthening and lengthening of our bodies. Each time we move through this sequence of postures we are essentially recognizing, with humility, the light within ourselves. Do you have a favorite variation of this powerful sequence? Share it with me this Friday at Towson Yoga Works at my community hot yoga class from 2-3pm!