Ashtanga Namaskara – Eight Limbed Salutation
Ashtanga Namaskara or the Eight-Limbed salutation is part of the Sun Salutation series of asanas. It appears as the 6th pose in the Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskara. In this pose, the body touches the ground in eight locations – the two feet (toes), the two knees, the two palms, the chest and the head. In Sanskrit, “ashta” means eight and “anga” means part. Hence the name Ashtanga Namaskara. This pose is also used by devotees for paying obeisance to deities in Indian temples.
How to do Ashtanga Namaskara (The Eight-Limbed Salutation)?
- Lower the body so that the body is parallel to the ground.
- Let the following parts touch the floor – The two feet, the two knees, the two palms, the chest and the chin.
- The hip and abdomen is slightly raised up.
- While performing this pose the breath is held outside and the breathing is stopped for few seconds.
When done as part of the Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation exercises) a mantra can be chanted while performing this asana. Ashtanga Namaskara is done as the 6th pose. The mantra to be chanted is – “Om Pushne Namaha”. It means salutations to the one who gives strength.
Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara (The Eight-Limbed Salutation)
- It strengthens the muscles of the hands and legs.
- It strengthens the chest.