The Surya-Namaskar or offering prostrations to the Sun is meant to be practiced in the early morning or evening while facing the Sun. The Sun is supposed to be the deity for health and long life. Exercise has evolved a unique method which includes perfect synthesis of culture of body, mind and spirit. With this intuitive insight into the nature of mass mind, the Indian Sage has cleverly woven into every man’s daily routine. This is an unparalleled system of all-round self-culture.
HARMONIOUS DEVELOPED OF BODY & MIND
A peaceful development of full body and mind alone enables each and every person to fulfill his/her ambitions and live a fruit full life. An ailing body acts as a dead-weight preventing the mind from soaring into the higher realms. A healthy body and a sharp mind with the inner spirit entirely latent is like a lovely castle without foundation liable to topple over at any moment. As a whole, a perfectly harmonious development of the body, mind and spirit makes an individual perfect. And Surya-Namaskar helps you achieve this development.
COMBINED PROCESS OF YOGA ASANA’s & PRANAYAM
Surya-Namaskar is the combined process of Yoga Asanas and Pranayama (Yogic postures and regulated breathing). One should acquire some flexibility before going to practice advanced and complicated yogic postures. This exercise of Suryanamaskar reduces abdominal fat, brings flexibility to the spine and limbs and also increases the breathing capacity.
There are twelve spinal positions each stretching various ligaments and giving different movements to the vertebral column. First, bent the vertebral column in forward and backward alternately with deep inhalation and exhalation of breath and in some cases a little of retention of breath is required. Whenever the body is bent forward, the contraction of the abdomen and diaphragm throws out the breath. When the body bends backward the chest expands and deep inhalation occurs automatically. By doing so, the body becomes flexible and the entire portion of lungs begins to function which results into correct breathing. Moreover, it gives mild exercises to leg and arm muscles and ensures good blood circulation. At the same time, the sun’s life-giving rays play on the man’s body, take away the toxins along with perspiration invigorating circulation and imparting life to the human organism-the life which only the sun can provide. For a person with stiff limbs and spine, Surya-Namaskar exercise is nothing less than a boon to bring back lost flexibility.
POSITION NO. 1
Face the sun, fold your hands, keep your palms together touching the middle of the chest with both thumbs, keep legs together and stand erect.
POSITION NO. 2
Inhale slowly and raise the arms overhead. Bend backward.
POSITION NO. 3
Exhale slowly and bend forward till the palms are kept flat in line with the feet. Touch the knees with your head keeping the legs straight without bending. In the beginning, there may be slight bend at the knees but after some days of practice, the legs could be kept straight.
POSITION NO. 4
After slow and deep inhalation, move right leg from the body in a long backward step. Keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground without moving, raise the head, and look forward. The left knee should be between the hands.
POSITION NO. 5
By Retaining your breath take and keep your left foot with the right foot, by making your body a straight line. The whole weight of your body should rest on your both hands and toes.
POSITION NO. 6
Exhale, slowly lower the body and let eight limbs of the body-two toes, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead-alone touch the floor. The abdominal region is to be kept slightly raised.
POSITION NO. 7
Inhale and bend the spine backward and raise the head upward as much as possible.
POSITION NO. 8
Exhale and lower your head and raise the body, your toes and hands should rest on the floor.
POSITION NO. 9
Slowly Inhale and bring your left foot along the level of the hands and look forward. The right foot and knee should touch the ground. It is Same as in Position No. 4.
POSITION NO. 10
Exhale, bring the right leg forward and come back to Position No. 3.
POSITION NO. 11
While Inhaling raise the hands overhead and bend backward same as in Position No. 2.
POSITION NO. 12
Now bring your hands together same as in Position No. 1. Exhale and relax.
During all these positions, movements of the limbs and breathing must be very slow and rhythmical. Sudden jerks on any part of the body and hard inhalation and exhalation in quick succession including retention of breath may cause strain in the lungs and should be completely avoided.
Once you are done with these twelve namaskaras, lie down flat on the ground on your back and relax each and every limb one by one from toes to the crown of the head. This is called Savasana (corpse pose). To begin with, if one feels tired after three or four Namaskaras, he may stop with that and increase the number gradually (one everyday or every two days). All the time, too much strain is not caused on any account for the body. The number may be increased according to each one’s capacity.