Is Surya Namaskara communal?
Three things we all should know about Suryanamaskaras
Q1) Is sun only a god of Hindus?
- A) 5,000 years ago, people “worshipped’ the sun- “Ra”, the sun-god, who was considered the first king of Egypt. In Mesopotamia, the sun-god shamash was a major deity and was equated with justice. In Greece there were two sun deities, Apollo and Helios. The influence of the sun also appears in other religions -Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Roman religion, Buddism, the Druids of England, and Aztecs of Mexico, the incase of Peru, and many Native American tribes. So Sun is not considered as a god only by hindus.
Q2) Is surya Namaskara only about Sun?
- A) If done in the early morning facing the sun, one gets vitamin D. Only to that extent Surya Namaskara is related to the sun. Surya Namaskara has nothing to do with sun. One can do it in the night also. It is the best part of YOGA.
Q3) If its not related to sun, then why is it named SURYA NAMASKARA?
- A) There is something called CHANDRA NAMASKARA also in YOGA. That doesn’t mean that we will wait for the moon to be seen, practice chandra namaskara in the presence of moon and then sleep. Most of the Yogasanas are named after the things in nature. Many are named after animals. These were named so because people can remember and recall them easily. Mind you that these names came up even before the birth of Islam,Christianity and Hinduism. Surya Namaskara is named so because it starts with pranama mudra. Since it involves multiple asanas, it could be named after any natural object. And if done in the early morning facing the sun, there are many benefits to the skin and body. If you don’t want to salute the sun- you can simply skip that step or needn’t pray the sun or you can pray the god you wish. Most of those who practice surya namaskara don’t even face the east during the practice. Many others don’t even remember the SUN while doing that. Many do it indoors. So there is no point of saluting the sun. All they care is about their health. So, when the whole world is practicing SURYA NAMASKARA in the name of SUN SALUTATION, lets not make it a matter of controversy in its birth place. Yoga is a science and let people benefit from science.
Surya Namaskara is the best part of YOGA. It can be done in very less time and gives the greatest benefit.”Surya Namaskar stretches the muscles, makes the joints limber and strong, bones stronger and ligaments more flexible, and improves balance and posture”