Loosening Exercises (Shithilikarana Vyayama)
Surya namaskara or Sun Salutation
Surya implies ” Sun” and Namaskara is ” Salutation”. Since time immemorial, sun has been worshiped daily. The Sun signifies spiritual consciousness. In Yoga, Surya or sun is being represented by Surya nadi or Pingla nadi, the invisible pranic energy channel that carries the vital energy or life force.
Suryanamaskara combines Yogasana and pranayama. It is known to be as a bridge between shithilikarana Vyayama (Loosening exercises)and Yogasanas. It brings about the general flexibility of the body preparing it for further Asanas and pranayama. This is usually done both at sunrise and sunset, facing the sun.
It can be practised at any time of the day but on empty stomach.
There are mainly two modes of performing Suryanamaskara. In one, there are twelve steps or counts and in the other only ten.