The Suryanamaskara or offering prostrations to the Sun, is practised in the early morning or evening, facing the Sun. The Sun is supposed to be the deity for health and long life. The genius of the Indian Sage has, in the Suryanamaskara Exercise, evolved a unique method of effecting perfect synthesis of culture of body, mind and spirit. With his intuitive insight into the nature of the mass mind, the Indian Sage has cleverly woven into every man's daily routine this unparalleled system of all-round self-culture.
A harmonious development of the body and mind alone can enable man to fulfil his ambitions and live a fruitful and happy life here in this world. A sickly body acts as a dead-weight preventing the mind from soaring into the higher realms. An excellent, well-built body, strong and healthy, if it serves only to house an undeveloped or diseased mind, is capable of much harm and little good to anyone. A good body, and a keen mind, with the inner spirit entirely dormant is like a lovely mansion without foundation liable to topple over at any moment. A perfectly harmonious development of the body, mind and spirit makes one perfect. Suryanamaskara achieves this harmonious development.
Suryanamaskara is combined process of Yoga Asanas and Pranayama (Yogic postures and regulated breathing). Before students take up the practice of more complicated and difficult Yogic postures and exercises in Pranayama, the spine and body muscles should acquire some flexibility. This exercise of Suryanamaskara reduces abdominal fat, brings flexibility to the spine and limbs, and also increases the breathing capacity.
PRAYER TO THE SUN
"Om Suryam Sundaralokanathamamritam Vedantasaram Sivam,
Jnanam Brahmamayam Suresamamalam Lokaikachittam Svayam;
Indradityanaradhipam Suragurum Trailokyachudamanim,
Brahmavishnusivasvarupahridayam Vande Sada Bhaskaram."
Meaning: I always adore Surya, the sun, the beautiful Lord of the world, the immortal, the quintessence of the Vedanta, the auspicious, the absolute knowledge, of the form of Brahman, the Lord of the gods, ever-pure, the one true consciousness of the world itself, the Lord of Indra, the gods and men, the preceptor of the gods, the crest-jewel of the three worlds, the very heart of the forms of Brahama, Vishnu and Siva, the giver of light.