Monday, August 22, 2011

Surya Namaskar


There are Asanas, which have remarkable impact on weight reduction and to reduce fat on the tummy. The result would begin to show right from the first week. You first start with sun salutations as this is a great way of keeping fit. You have to remember that in yoga you must listen to your body as it will know when to stop and where to stop. If this is the first time you are doing yoga be careful with postures if possible try with some teacher for a while.

This dynamic series is very useful for physical fitness and for treatment of obesity. Surya namaskar is a complete practice in itself because it includes asana, pranayama and meditation. This practice has a unique influence on the endocrine and nervous system, helping to correct metabolic imbalances that cause and perpetuate obesity. Being a dynamic practice, it is also an excellent exercise equated to cycling, jogging or swimming.

Surya namaskar consists of a sequence of twelve postures performed continuously and combined with synchronized breathing. Each position counteracts the preceding one producing a balance between flexions and extensions. The postures are as follows:

1.       Namaskar - salute. Stand erect with feet together and join the palms in the center of the chest (position of namaskar) and exhale.

2.       Chandraasan - crescent moon pose. Inhale and raise the arms above the head and extend the spine  backwards arching the back from the waist and moving the hips forward. Let the eyes follow your hands.
3.       Hastapadaasan - bending pose. Begin to exhale and bend forward from the waist; place the hands on the floor besides each foot. Relax with your head and neck in a bending pose.

4. Surya darshan - sun gaze. Inhale and put your weight on the hands; stretch the right leg behind like a stick resting on the toes. Bend the knee and place it on the floor with your weight on the left foot and arch thespine backward. Lift the head and neck first up and then back. Roll the eyes up. The left foot remains between the hands.

5. Himalayan - mountain pose. Exhale and bring the left foot back in line with the right. Lift the hips up high like a mountain. Push the heels and head down and look at the toes with head down between the arms

6. Sashtang dandawat - Put the knees down first and then bring the chest down. See that eight parts of the body are touching the floor including two feet, two knees, two hands, the chest and the chin or forehead. Sashtang means eight limbs and dandawat means paying homage by touching the floor. Make sure the hips are slightly raised above the ground. Inhale and exhale in this position. Keep the feet together.

7.  Bhujangaasan - cobra pose. Lower the pelvis and abdomen to the floor. Inhale and stretch the toes on the floor. Raise your head slowly up, arch the spine and neck and look up. Keep your legs together and the elbows alongside the body slightly bent and keep the shoulders down.

8.  Himalaya asana. Exhale and wiggle your toes forward allowing your feet to rest on the soles while your raise the hips as you did in number 5.

9. Surya darshan. Inhale and bring the right foot forward and assume pose number 4 exactly as before.

10. Hastapadaasan. Exhale and bring the right foot forward and assume pose number 3.

11. Chandraasan. Inhale and stretch up in a standing pose with your arms up and bend backwards like in pose number 2.

12. Namaskar. Exhale and stand erect bringing the hands back to the center of the chest with palms together as in pose number 1.

Things to remember while doing surya namaskar;

1. The above mentioned are the 12 poses of sun salutation, this is half round of surya namaskar. Full round consists of 24 poses. The same 12 poses are repeated with a minor modification i.e. in position 4 left leg is taken back and in position 9 left leg has to be brought forward.
2. Breathing should be only with mouth. The breathing should occur spontaneously as mentioned in the poses above.
3. Be aware of the body all the time. Witness the various movements of the body and the corresponding breathing.
4.  The number of rounds depends on the health of an individual. Start with two rounds and then increase it to 6 rounds.
5. It is essential to relax after the suryanamaskar, preferably in Shavasana or the corpse pose as shown below. During this pose you have to do a very deep inhale and exhale.

For people who needs detailed explanation on which part of body gets affected due to surya namaskar postures please refer 

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