Every year on International Day of Yoga, today, you will see a lot of talk about Yoga. How it benefits your body, mind and improves overall wellness. People will tell you the kind of yoga you should do on daily basis, and also promote various means of wellbeing. But honestly! that never worked on me. For me exercising needed to be rigorous and something that gets me moving. But something changed!
Especially in the last year, as the talk around yoga increased as a way to combat Covid-19, I began my research on an important routine in yoga called "Suryanamaskar". Ever since I was a child I was told to practice suryanamaskar every day, but I rarely paid heed to it. However, when I finally had the time to read up on it, I took it up as a challenge to do suryanamaskar every day! I researched the benefits of each of the pose involved in Suryanamaskar and would like to share the same today.
As the name suggests Surya meaning sun, and namaskar meaning salutation, when put together means a salutation to the sun. So the ideal time to practice suryanamaskar is in the morning hour when the sun is rising. The practice is known to be the 'King of Yoga', and is believed to revitalizes every aspect of your being, from physical to the spiritual.
Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
The prayer pose is practised to imbibe a sense of balance in the body. It is obvious if you stand at one place for some time, you tend to divide weight unequally between two legs. But the prayer post promotes the right kind of posture to maintain equal balance on both legs. It also promotes relaxation in the body in the right form.
Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
The raised arm pose is known for expanding the rib cage, which leads to improving the intake of oxygen in the lungs. The pose ensures that the lungs are used to their full capacity which improves the cell functioning in the body. The raised arm pose is also known to stretch the body which tones the muscles present in the abdomen. Which improves digestion.
Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
To understand the benefits of yoga, one must understand how the expanding and contracting of the body, in various ways, benefits the body. The hand to foot pose is excellent for stretching various muscles in the back. It also strengthens the nervous system, by improving blood supply to various parts of the body. This form of stretching and contracting also helps cure faulty postures and reduce excess fat in the abdomen, waistline and hips. It also helps in toning the spine and abdominal organs. Finally, this is a good pose to help with problems of hair loss and headache.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
The equestrian pose is known to massage the abdominal organs and improve their functioning. It also strengthens the leg muscles and induces balance in the nervous system. It also lengthens the spine and strengthens the muscles of the chest as it puts pressure on the muscles. It also opens the muscles around the heart, and increases lung capacity. It also improves the strength of the muscles around the arms. Apart from that the pose also tones your kidney and liver.
Dandasana (Stick Pose)
The stick pose is an excellent way to focus on improving posture. It strengthens the back muscles and helps in relaxing the muscles in the body. It is also known to relieve complications related to reproductive organs. It also improves blood flow to the brain and helps to calm the brain. The stretching of the muscles is believed to improve the functioning of the digestive organs and also promote calmness in the body.
Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts Pose)
In this asana, the focus is shifted towards the arms and the shoulders. It also promotes strengthening of the core along with the chest muscles. It also stretches the lower back, hip and neck muscles. It also instils a sense of balance and calmness throughout the body.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
One of the most famous yoga poses is the cobra pose. The pose is also separately practised keeping in mind the various benefits it harbours for the body. The cobra pose strengthens and corrects the spine, along with opening up the muscles around the chest, shoulder and lungs area. The opening up of the muscles improves breathing and helps with asthma. It tones the buttocks and also stimulates abdominal organs which help in improving digestion. Also further improving your reproductive system.
Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Parvatasan is another important pose that improves flexibility and helps strengthen shoulder and arm muscles. It is also an important asana to promote the stretching of muscles in the lower part of the body. It improves blood circulation in the body and to the brain.
During the course of the suryanamaskar, some of the poses are repeated and the benefits are already mentioned. So now we head to Tadasana (Standing or Palm Tree Pose).
Tadasana (Standing or Palm Tree Pose)
It is the final stretch in the routine that promotes stretching of all the muscles in the body. It offers a sense of balance mentally and physically. It may also help increase height in younger children. Tadasana is an excellent pose for pregnant women, which promotes gently stretching the abdomen. It also helps redistribute blood circulation in the body.
Considering that I have been practising Suryanamaskars every day for a year, I can vouch for all the benefits. With every pose in the routine, there is increased concentration on breathing which helps in improving my breathing and how much oxygen is received in the body. It also makes my body feel lighter and has helped in curing pains that I regularly experienced in my back and neck.
Yoga has helped me, and it can help you too.