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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SURYA NAMASKAR

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is one of the finest combinations of body movements. Traditionally, comprising of 12-body positions, where 6 positions are repeated and 2 cycles complete one round, first with right and then left leg. It is excellent as a warm up when done prior to the Asana session and equally fruitful to activate the Psychic Centers and bring about hormonal balance when done by the end of Asana session.

All positions are complementary to each other to promote the alternate contraction and expansion of chest cavity and spinal cord to gain flexibility in spinal cord, activating the glands and internal organs.

The basic foundation of this Asana which gives it, its energy, its name “Sun” (the ultimate source of light, life and knowledge) lies in the fact that one should not change the position of hands and feet during one round. The reason to it is, our hands and feet act like 2 electrodes of the battery and when given position, the movements (triangle, Z, plank, cobra) charge the body from head to toe. Even the slightest change in the position of hands and feet breaks the flow of nerve current in the body thereby nullifying the energizing effect of the Asana.

TECHNIQUE

1. Take up the standing position for Surya Namaskar.


2. Do Daksha Asana (Namaskar Position): Join the feet together. Hands in Namaskar, elbows parallel to the floor. Back straight and posture alert. Chin parallel to floor and set yourself in a prayer mood.

3. Parvat Asana (Backward Bending): Take a deep breath in and stretch your arms forward and take then behind head. Stretch your elbows and lift your ribcage up. Feel the stretch from abdomen to ribcage, armpits, elbow and the wrist.

4. Pad Hast Asana (Forward Bending): Now bend down stretching your arm down to the feet, with knees locked bending from the lower back keeping the back straight throughout. Try to touch your head to knees and palm to the floor.

5. Ekpada Parasaran Asana (One Leg Back): Breathe in keeping your palm in alignment with the foot sole, take your right leg back, keeping the toes turned inside. Keep the right knee locked and head up. Left knee is folded in alignment with the foot soles. Do not extend knee beyond the foot soles.

6. Chaturanga Asana (Pushup or Plank Pose): Breathe out and take the left leg also back, taking the push up position. Look ahead of your hand in front of you on the floor. Now hold the breath.

7. Ardhakurma Asana (Z position): While breathing in go into Z position with knees and thighs together. Let the elbows not touch the floor and without moving your arms, push your hips backward on the heels.

8. Sa-ashtang Namaskar (Flat on Floor): While breathing out, come to Sa-ashtang namaskar. Elbows raised like grasshopper, touch the forehead to the floor.

9. Bhujang Asana (Cobra Position): Breathe in and go to Cobra position, let your navel touch the floor and push your chest cavity out, rolling the head back and pushing the chin up.

10. Adho Mukh Shwaan Asana (Triangle Pose): Breathe out and go to triangle position – pointing your hips up and pressing the palm, take your head inside. Keep the feet together and the knees locked.

11. Ardha Kurma Asana (Z pose): Breathe in and go to “Z” again.

12. Chaturanga Asana (Push up or Plank Pose): Breathe out and come to push up position and hold the breath for a while.

13. Ekpada Parasaran Asana (One leg forward): Breathe in and bring the left foot forward, in between two palms.

14. Pad Hast Asana (Forward Bending): Breathe out and take the forward bend position by bringing the right foot also forward.

15. Parvat Asana (Backward bending): Now breathe in and go to backward bending stretching your ribcage, elbows and look back.

16. Daksha Asana (Namaskar Position): Now breathe out and bring your hands back in namaskar.

This is half round and now repeat the same series with the left foot going back and right foot forward.

Now lie down on your back for relaxing your breath and heart beat. Leave your body totally lose and relaxed trying to calm down your breath.

In variation of this Asana, with breath co-ordination, staying in position or 10 seconds each, blowing out while performing movement, performing Kapalabathi throughout the round, staying in each posture for 3-5 deep long breaths.

Duration is from 10 minutes to 20 minutes or 2 to 12 rounds everyday.

Patients with high blood pressure should perform slowly and preferably blowing out during movement.

People with breathing problems should perform the Kapalabhatti with mouth open during the movements.

Try to give proper stretch in every position.

Do not change the leg and hand position during the Surya namaskar

Avoid in joint pains, spinal injury, menstruation, high blood pressure, lumbago, cervical, slip disc.

BENEFITS

Complete exercise to all the major muscles and joints of the body.

Tones all the muscles of the body and reduces flab thereby helping to control obesity and metabolism in the body.

Strengthens the spine & abdominal muscles to control nervous system and activity of the internal organs.

Massages the internal organs and activates the internal glands.

Brings co-ordination among various systems like respiratory, digestive, endocrine, excretory and reproductive.

Expands the rib cage and makes it shapely, increases the lung capacity making the breath smooth and easy.

It is an excellent warm up exercise which balances and regulates the hormones, if, done prior to Asana session.

Encourages lymph drainage, thereby increasing the immunity and resistance of the body.

Makes the spine flexible, ligaments elastic and supple.

Increases the blood circulation from head to toe thereby acting as an excellent cardiac workout to enhance the blood circulatory system and warming up the body.

Increases the blood circulation to the brain and spinal cord.

Increases concentration and focusing ability.

Decreases depression, anxiety and mental tension.

Decreases and regulates sleep disorders and insomnia.

Increases memory and keeps one alert.

Energizes the nerve channel thereby activating the Chakras and channelizing prana to flow in each cell of the body blessing the performer with youth and vitality.

Balances the Chakras and optimizes their functioning along with Panch pranas.

Helps in overall physical and mental fitness, hormonal balance, strong skeleton framework, preventing heart disease, asthma, obesity, increase the stamina and immunity of body, constipation, depression, sluggishness, anxiety, weak memory and concentration.

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