Hatha Yoga – Connecting to the Sun
Sadhguru looks at a central detail that is relevant for all three sun-related practices – Surya Kriya, Surya Namaskar, and Surya Shakti.
Questioner: In Surya Kriya, what is the significance of pressing the knuckles of the thumbs into the Anahata?
Sadhguru: Whether it is Surya Kriya, Surya Namaskar, or Surya Shakti, you must generate a certain emotion towards the sun. That is because what your emotion is focused on, you can easily keep your mind on too. This is how devotion works. If you emotionally connect to something, it is easy to keep your mind and attention on it, and naturally, your energy moves in that direction too.
The sun is constantly making connection with you. This whole solar system is powered by the sun. Only because of that, life is possible on the planet. Our very body structure is based on this. Hatha Yoga is about sun and moon, which are important factors. It is a combination of these two impacts upon the planet that has produced the human body.
The sun is the source of life energy. The prana aspect of you is a physical form of energy. In the process of creation, the first physical form of energy that manifests in the human system is referred to as prana. There is another dimension to the human system which is non-physical in nature and non-pranic. Prana is still physical. All the pranic energy in this solar system is essentially generated by the sun. Without the sun, there is no prana. Without the sun, there is no warmth. Without warmth, there is no life. The very way we check whether you are alive or dead is by seeing whether you are warm or cold.
Raising the Samat Prana
We want to activate the sun element within you. If something is dried in the sun, it can burn. In a way, the object or substance absorbs the rays of the sun and then becomes capable of producing energy. If there was no absorption of the sun’s energy, nothing could burn, nothing could give warmth or light. For the body to heal itself, we have to generate warmth. In this context, samat prana is an important aspect of creating health in the system.
The process of living is constantly taking a toll on every cell in the body. They say the average age of the cells in an adult human body is 7 to 10 years. Every day, old cells are dying and new cells are being created. The number of cells that die in any given day can be drastically brought down if your samat prana is high. Similarly, the number of new cells that are being created in a day can be drastically increased if your samat prana is high. The amount of samat prana you have essentially depends on the amount of the sun’s energy within you. One way is to try to generate it within you. Another way is to make use of the sun outside to activate this process within you.
Stimulating the Internal Sun
Surya Kriya is to activate the internal sun, but you stimulate it by using the external sun. If you want to establish a connection with the external sun, or with anything for that matter, you need attention, emotion, and energy moving in that direction. Otherwise, you cannot make a connection to anything – whether it is a human being, a plant, an animal, or a substance. When your attention, emotion, and energy are not connected to anything around you, you are like a separate existence by yourself. And that’s how most people live.
One aspect is to which is an important part of the human system. It is the meeting point between the lower three chakras and the upper three chakras. Its symbol is two equilateral triangles. An upward-facing triangle and a downward-facing triangle meet to form a complex pattern. On one level, creation begins from there – not the physical dimension, but another dimension of you that distinguishes you as a human being.
This is why it is called “Anahata,” which means “unstruck” – an unstruck sound. Generally, it takes two things to strike a sound. But at the Anahata, there is an unstruck sound. To activate that, you have to bend your thumbs in such a way that the knuckles are pointed and you press them into the Anahata. That way, you create a certain emotion towards the sun.
Likewise, when you feel a pleasant emotion, you naturally place your hands on the Anahata, because that is where it begins. You want to activate your emotional dimension because without focusing your emotions on something, your mind cannot stick to anything. What you focus your emotions on, that is where your mind will be. Otherwise, it is difficult to keep your mind set on one thing.
Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.
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A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower May 2015. Download as PDF on a “name your price, no minimum” basis or subscribe to the print version.