Mantra for Sun Salutation Series

The Yogi of Yogis, T. Krishnamacharya, includes the following long mantra among his teachings. It was actually written in 1934, along with the popular Sun Salutation series, as part of “gymnastics” (or warm ups)  for Indian wrestlers.

It’s also a great way to stay warm on a cold Canadian afternoon!


Uttanasana – back bend

adho mukha

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha

The asanas of the Sun Salutation series are:

The Mountain
Standing Forward Bend
Forward Lunge
Downward-facing Dog
~ Cobra pose ~
Downward-facing Dog
Forward Lunge… on the opposite side
Standing Forward Bend
The Mountain

The series is called Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, and loosely translated means “sun” and “bow”. Reverence for the sun as divine is the feeling behind the mantra, and the request… Please remove the darkness from my clouded mind.

As we move through round after round of Sun Salutations, we utter the words of worship as a meditation on breath and body. Both become like rivers, with rhythms of their own and revelations on the shore.

Surya Namaskar

Let us arise
Stretch our minds, our spirits and our physical beings

As we sweep our arms up and forward
We honour the earth, the heavens and all of life that is nourished by the breath cycle

As we lower our bodies, we connect with the earth
We stretch thought 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 bodies form
The centre point between heaven and earth


Krishnamacharya (T.K.) is credited with bringing the Hatha limb of yoga back into the forefront of practice. His flow yoga sequences are still used, and are often referred to as viniyoga. Sun Salutations are a well known example of viniyoga.

T.K. was such a potent force as a teacher that  he inspired his son to abandon his engineering career to follow his father.  T.K.V Desikachar went on to become a well loved teacher in his own right.

Both are authors. Desikachar’s 1995 The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, has become a staple for many yoga students, and T.K. achieved great scholarship in various darshanas of orthodox Hindu philosophy.


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