LONGWAVE YOGA BLOG
June: Salute Your Inner Sun
With the sunny days of June ahead, we are excited to bask in the brightness and warmth of the sun. So much, in fact, that we are dedicating the studio theme this month to Surya or the sun. According to many of the oldest surviving hymns of the yogic texts, Surya is considered “the rising sun” and the dispeller of darkness. Over the course of thousands of years, the word and meaning of Surya has slightly varied. But what has stood the test of time and culture is Surya’s ability to transform.
In Hindu mythology, Surya is revered as the creator of the universe and the source of life. Each morning, Surya sweeps across the sky in a chariot drawn by seven horses. As he makes his way across the horizon, he graces the world with the rising sun, transforming darkness into light. According to many religious and spiritual traditions, the world began with the coming of light. Therefore, each time Surya gifts the world the rays of dawn, we all have the opportunity to be reborn.
This isn’t to suggest that Surya instigates rebirth into a new life form. Rather, with the coming of the sun, we rise into a new day with the choice to transform into our highest Self. In fact, the sun is the element of transformation. It is the source that warms the soil for seed germination. It is the light that feeds the seed to become a plant. It is the sustenance that encourages the plant to provide fruit. And it is the energy that metabolizes that fruit once eaten. Surya encourages us to transform so that, like the seed that develops into fruit, we can continually evolve in to the highest version of ourselves.
The asana practice harnesses the energy of the sun—literally and metaphorically—through Surya Namaskars or sun salutations. The root of the word namaskar, namas, means “to bow” or “to adore.” In part this is to honor the sun that provides us with life and transformation. And, in the most literal sense, sun salutes warm the body in preparation for the yoga practice, allowing the body to be supple and open to the possibilities that arrive on the yoga mat.
But more than physical transformation, when we move through the rhythmic pattern of sun salutations, we witness the dawning of our inner, infinite potential. And like the rising sun of each day, with each sun salute, we start again with more clarity and more transformed than the sun salute before. Pattabhi Jois taught his students that any illness could be cured from Surya Namaskars. Though the validity of this is unfounded, it underscores that with the inspiration from Surya and the ability to connect to our inner fire, we can transform our own lives and the world. We are the masters of our own destiny, for the light of the sun reflects infinitely within our hearts.
Harness the potential of the sun within in these upcoming events:
Welcome the Summer Solstice in SOULstice Cleansing Celebration with Mary and Eddy, June 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm.