Surya Namaskar – An Everyday Affair

Before I started writing this article, I did a quick search on the main search engines on internet by typing “Surya Namaskar”. Needless to say, the results were overwhelming. Zooming into different sites, the interpretation and benefits of this favourite sequence of asanas are different. I decided then to write what I personally feel about this amazing sequence of asana.
Surya Namaskar, means Salutation to the Sun. A legend that described the origin or Surya Namaskar was that Hanuman (the son of 2 illustrious fathers, Shiva and Vayu) pay tribute to his teacher, Surya (the Sun God) for educating him. Thus he performed the sequence to show his gratitude, respect and faith.

First Experience
My first experience with this sequence was when I took my first Yoga lesson in a neighborhood Community Centre. We went through the motion of this sequence in a 12 step manner, 3 times at the beginning of every class and without knowing why, that was what I looked forward to in every lesson. My feelings when performing this sequence are as if I am giving thanks. Giving thanks to be able to see the beginning of every day, to the wonderful world with light and that I am even able to go through the flow. It gives me a deep sense of peace and contentment and at the same time, I could feel the ball of energy building up inside me, preparing my physical body in readiness to meet what follows after and the world.

A better understanding of the sequence
Lately my understanding of the sequence was enhanced. I have come to understand the reason why this sequence was performed at the beginning of Yoga Classes. This sequence generally involves the spine to bend in an alternate forward and backward manner increasing its flexibility and opening up the joints. The shoulders, biceps, triceps and retracted scapula also played a great role in transition to Cobra pose. To summarize this, in performing Surya Namaskar, we used about 98% of our body skeletal and muscular system.
For our internal body, Surya Nasmaskar enhances cardio-respiratory system, exercises the heart, massages our internal organs, increases blood circulation and speeds up the removal of toxins.
The physical benefits are probably obvious as we get toned and start reducing weight with more practice. The internal benefits are that long term practice encourages blood circulation, promotes cardio-respiration and massages the internal organs. For the mind, the synchronization of every breath and movement, invites a sense of peace and calmness, which in turns reduce anxiety.
Seldom do we perform an exercise which works our shape,body and mind all at the same time. Thus, I deem it as an everyday affair to love oneself and be gratified.