The most Important ways to make the best out of Surya Namaskar
We are sure that all of you, or at least most of you would have heard of Surya Namaskar. The Surya Namaskar is a sequence of yoga postures that serves as an excellent workout for the entire body. The Surya Namaskars is considered to be the best exercise not only for the human body but the mind too.
Surya Namaskar is a Sanskrit word which means paying obeisance (Namaskar) to Sun (Surya). It is automatically implied that to do this exercise or salute the sun, one has to get up at sunrise and do this exercise and pay respects to the rising sun. The importance of the Surya Namaskars is that it should be done in the morning on an empty stomach. However, when that is not possible any other time would do.
Did you know that the Surya Namaskar is an amalgam of some important Yogasanas and the Pranayama? When you perform the Surya Namaskar you get the benefit of all the three asanas. But, why does it have to be performed before the sun? The sun is the source of life for every living thing on the earth. You will find that the sun is omnipresent - it is present in everything that you eat or do. You should learn to digest the sun, internalize it, and make it a part of your body - and then, only then will you be able to benefit from this process.
The Surya Namaskars consists of 10-24 fixed cyclic postures(postulated by various yogic schools), which when performed repeatedly brings about a sense of well being immediately. Apart from a number of advantages, it relieves stiffness, revitalizes the body, and refreshes the mind.But, it should be remembered that people with heart problems, arthritis, or back problems need to consult their physician before starting this exercise. It is most important to perform the Surya Namaskarshould be done properly according to the suggested breathing pattern.
How to do the Surya Namaskars
Step 1: Stand facing the sun with your palms folded and both the thumbs touching the chest. Breathe in while raising your hands and breathe out as you bring your hands to the chest level.
Step 2: While inhaling raise your hands up and with your feet planted firmly on the ground, bend backwards and stretch arms fully.
Step 3: While exhaling gradually bend forwards and touch the ground while your head touches your knees
Step 4: As you inhale put your hands palms down on the ground, pull your left leg backward, raise your head and look up at the sun.
Step 5: While exhaling bring your right leg close to the left leg, and keeping hands and legs straight bend the body at the hip like an arch with the palms touching the ground.
Step 6: Stretch yourself fully on the ground like in a Sashtanga Namaskar pose with your hands stretched out and folded together. Slowly turn your head to the left and then to the right. This should be done as you inhale and then exhale.
Step 7: Continuing from the previous position, as you inhale slowly raise your head as much as possible.
Step 8: As you exhale keeping both your feet together bend your body at the hip like an arch as in step 5.
Step 9: As you inhale repeat the position in step 4 - but in this case bring your right leg backward.
Step 10: Repeat the position in step 3 as you exhale.
Step 11: While inhaling raise your hands up and with your feet planted firmly on the ground, bend backwards and stretch arms fully.
Step 12: Come back to position as in step 1
Advantages of Surya Namaskars
Take a look at the advantages of doing Surya Namaskars:
- It acts on the entire body.
- It tones up all the organs and systems in the body.
- It thoroughly ventilates your lungs and oxygenates the blood.
- It detoxifies the blood and gets rid of carbon dioxide.
- It tones up your nervous system.
- It provides excellent exercise to the spinal column.
- You can be assured of sound sleep.
- Surya Namaskars improves your memory.
- Surya Namaskars improves your immune system.
- It stretches and tones your muscles and maintains youthfulness.
- It reduces depression, anxiety, and stress.
Tips for doing Surya Namaskars
Here are a few tips for doing Surya Namaskars correctly and effectively.
- Do a few warm-up exercises before doing Surya Namaskars.
- Do it facing the sun - East or West, depending on the time you are doing it.
- Relax and keep a smile on your face.
- The Surya Namaskars should be done in a graceful flow and not with jerks.
- Breathe naturally - your inhalation and exhalation should be done gently and effortlessly without force.
While Surya Namaskars can be done by anyone, but it is restricted to the following persons:
- Pregnant women
- Patients suffering from hernia and high blood pressure
- People suffering from heart and back problems
- Women should avoid Surya Namaskars during menses
Those of you who are not doing Surya Namaskars should take it up on a regular basis. When you start doing it you will definitely feel the difference and the effect of Surya Namaskars. You will feel the improvement in your health - you will feel lively and the vitality flowing through you.
Now wouldn't you like that?