Yoga with Melissa 214, Yoga for Radiance, Sun Salutations (1 hr), Hanuman Series

by Melissa West on January 31, 2014

Post image for Yoga with Melissa 214, Yoga for Radiance, Sun Salutations (1 hr), Hanuman Series

Bow to Your Inner Light


Dr-Melissa-West-in-Episode-214-of-Namaste-YogaOn ascertaining Surya to be an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested to Surya to accept him as a student. Surya refused and explained claiming that he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn well. Undeterred, Hanuman enlarged his form, with one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges, and facing Surya again pleaded. Pleased by his persistence, Surya agreed. Hanuman then learned all of the latter’s knowledge.

Hanuman’s phenomenal concentration took him only 60 hours to master the scriptures. Surya considered the manner in which Hanuman accomplished his studies as his tuition fees, but when Hanuman requested him to accept something more than that, the sun god asked Hanuman to assist his son Sugriva, by being his minister and compatriot.

Hanuman is a symbol of complete and selfless devotion to his beloved Rama. Rama was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the pinnacle of human perfection. It is said that Hanuman composed the yogasana/yoga postures surya namaskar/sun salutations as a mixture of all the main yogic postures combined with devotion. Namas means to bow or to adore. It was in honor of his celestial Guru, Surya, the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself.

Here on earth our primary source of light is the sun and light is a symbol of consciousness and self-illumination. The outer sun is a symbol of our inner sun or spiritual heart. The ancient yogis describe the heart as the only place in the subtle body that knows the truth; the practice of sun salutations is said to unleash the truth of your deeper self within your heart. When you practice sun salutations it can be a form of reverence and devotion to your own inner light. By showing devotion to the external sun, the creative life force of the universe, you are honouring the light that radiates both inside and outside of your body.

“As we sweep our arms up and bow forward, we honor the earth, the heavens, and all of life in between that is nourished by the breath cycle, as we lower our bodies, we connect with the earth. As we rise up from the earth, we stretch through the atmosphere once more, reaching for the sky. As we bring our hands together in Namaste, we gather the space of the heavens back into our heart and breath, acknowledging that our body forms the center point between heaven and earth.” Christopher Key Chapple professor of Indic and comparative theology at Loyola Marymount University.

Sun Salutations are an opportunity to express our gratitude to the sun. “All of life on Earth depends on the sun, contemplating the vitality you receive from the elements allows you to go to a deeper level of participation with the movements of the sequence.” Shiva Rea

Yoga Asanas/Postures: Reclined Side Bend/Supta Ardha Chandrasana, Reclined Twist Series/Jathara Parivartanasana, Cat/Marjaryasana, Downward-Facing Dog Pose/Adho Mukha Śvānāsana, Sun Salutations/Surya Namaskar, Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half lord of the fishes pose, Mudra of Inner Self

Props Needed: Bolster, Cushion or Yoga Blanket, Yoga Strap

Yoga with Melissa 214 Photos of Yoga Poses

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