Words by Puja Shah
I know this sounds weird, but…
Imagine being able to draw positive energy, personal power and even pure intelligence from the scorching core of the sun itself.
How? Through an ancient wellness ritual that even the most skeptical scientists agree has an astounding effect on the mind, body and soul.
Best of all, you only need a few minutes in the morning, an open mind, and maybe a dash of sunscreen, to pull it off.
This 2,500-year-old exercise is known as the Surya Namaskar, or the ‘Sun Salutation’. And once you know how it works, it might just become – apart from brushing your teeth – your most indispensable morning ritual.
A solar system of planetary Gods, inside you?
According to ancient Vedic texts, different organs of the body are governed by different planetary Gods.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar once said “The solar plexus, [the navel], is connected with the sun, that’s why it’s called solar plexus. When the first rays of the sun fall on the solar plexus, it’s very good for your body. Doing Surya Namaskar yoga asana in the early morning is very good…Lord Krishna was called Padmanabha, meaning whose navel is the size of a lotus flower. If you become Padmanabha, you become absolutely creative.”
Look down at your navel. It’s probably the size of, or slightly bigger than, an almond. With the disciplined practice of yoga and the sun salutation, the solar plexus can become as large as the size of the palm, allowing it to balance the body functions better.
When the solar plexus expands, the intuitive mind works better, bringing clarity and focus. Just like when it contracts, depression rises. The solar plexus is considered the second brain of the body, and it’s what is really referenced when we talk about ‘gut feelings’.
The gut feeling is also correlated with your supernatural sixth sense. And sure enough, some people known to have a strong sixth sense, have been shown to feel or predict future outcomes in ways others cannot.
Imagine practicing an incredibly simple 10-minute yoga exercise every morning, that would allow you to expand this intuitive sense tenfold.
That, in a nutshell, is the Surya Namaskar. Celebrities like Sting, Jennifer Aniston and Madonna practice it religiously every morning.
But how it works is perhaps even more astonishing than what it does.
The sun, a gateway to a higher reality?
The origins of this ritual lie in the Rig Veda: an ancient Indian text that regards it as the perfect binder of mind, body and soul.
Now, you’ve probably heard about yoga’s remarkable effects in reducing anxiety, improving digestion, detoxifying and purifying the quality of breath and oxygen, strengthening the spine, promoting a healthy heart and regulating hormones.
But the Surya Namaskar takes this one step further. Because apart from opening your hips and heart… it can even open the door to a higher reality.
The sun is the light to all of life in nature and the ruler of our cosmos in the solar system. Today, we often look up at the sun and it reminds us of how good we feel, how much our health improves with it and how it provides us with alternative energy.
The ancients, however, saw more than that. The Vedas state that the sun is the source of life, consciousness and intelligence within us at our spiritual core. Aside from the numerous forms of the sun god, (i.e. Adityas, Surya), the vedas actually mathematically prove the existence of our divine connection to the sun.
“We meditate upon the supreme light of the divine transforming sun, Savitri, to stimulate our intelligence.”
-Rig veda III 62.10, of the Gayatri Mantra
But hold on a second:
Why were ancient civilizations so obsessed with the sun?
The answers are astonishing.
First, let’s take a closer look at the Rig Veda. In this ancient Indian text are powerful mantras including the revered Gayatri Mantra, which is readable within one full day at 5 seconds per syllable, adding to 432,000 syllables.
Guess what else amounts to 432,000? The number of miles that make up the radius of the sun. Coincidence? Perhaps not when you consider that he Hindus aren’t the only religion that found this correlation between the sun and inner truth.
Historically, the Egyptians, Persians, Aztecs, Mayans, Incans, Greeks and Romans all had strong faith and connection to the Sun, as well.
The Mayans, most famous for the Mayan calendar, are regarded as the most sophisticated time keepers of human history. Their 1,300-year-old translated tablet caused a stir a few years ago with the 2012 doomsday phenomena, only to reveal that the translation was the start of a new era, not the end of it all.
Yet, the detail of their scriptures is what was alarming and how accurate their predictions were. Their calendar was based on their careful observation and intimate relationship with the sun itself, giving them this supernatural ability to predict the future.
Even the Egyptians worshiped the sun god, (Ra being the most popular), symbolizing the sun with immortality. It died each night and rose again each dawn. It can be seen even as a personification of divine light.
The worship of this divine light then, seems to be not only a deep, mystical practice, but perhaps one that illuminates the power of your inner voice, the seeds of your intuition, lighting the path to the source of a higher being.
Ready to activate your own divine solar powers?
Here is a short guided flow that you can follow to start enjoying the benefits of the Surya Namaskar right away (and no, you don’t need any yoga experience to do it!), just be sure to inhale and exhale deeply through the nostrils at each movement, (called the Ujjayi breath).
Also pay special attention to the mantras playing in the background that correspond with each of the 12 poses. These specific mantras make the Surya Namaskar even more powerful than it already is…but hey, that’s a topic for another blog post
So go ahead, try it out. You may not notice anything in one cycle, but with a consistent practice, you will find your spirit awakening at a far deeper level than you ever knew it could shine.
If you enjoyed the Sun Salutation, you should know this is just one of the many ways to ‘bend’ reality, tap into powers beyond your conscious existence… and connect with your infinite self.
Oh, and leave a comment too: what’s your most powerful morning ritual?