Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If there is not much time to practise Asanas, Pranayama and meditation, Surya Namaskar alone can ensure the benefits of all types of Yogic practices.Surya Namaskar combines the benefits of physical exercise, Asanas and Pranayama. It is a multi-stage Asana. Being a combination of 12 Asanas, one can gain the benefits of all the Asanas involved in it.In this Asana there are 12 spinal positions. The vertebral column is bent forward and backward alternately with deep breathing. There is contraction on the abdomen and diaphragm when the body is bent forward. When the body bends backward the chest expands and deep breathing occurs automatically. In this way, flexibility increases and breathing is corrected.
This Asana is done preferably in the morning while facing the rising sun. If vou are unable to watch the rising sun for one reason or the other, practise Surya Namaskar facing the East. Start doing it thrice only and gradually increase the number.
Position One - Pranama. Asana (Prayer Posture)• Stand erect facing the East, with hands relaxed by the sides.• Inhale and join the palms in Namaskara Mudra on the chest. • Breathe normally and concentrate on the rising sun.Position Two - Hasta Uttan Asana (Raised Arms Posture)• Inhale and raise the arms high.• Bend backward as far as possible.• Hold the breath in. Position Three - Pada Hasta Asana (Head to Foot Posture)• Without bending the knees, bend forward while exhaling till the palms touch thefloor.• Stay in this posture as long as you feel comfortable.
Position Four - Ashwasanchalana Asana (Equestrian Posture)« Without inhaling, bend the left knee and stretch the left leg as far back as possible until the palms rest on the floor.• The weight of the body should now be supported on the two hands, the left foot,the right knee and the right toes. Hold your breath.
Position Five - Parvat Asana (Mountain Posture)• Exhale as you straighten the left leg to place the left foot beside the right one.• Raise the buttocks and keep the head up, with the heels touching the floor.• The body should form two sides of a triangle with the legs and arms unbent
Position Six - Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Salute with Total Surrender Posture)• Lower the body to the floor so that the toes of the feet, the knees, the chest, thehands and the chin touch the floor.• The hips and the abdomen should be raised.• Do not breathe.
Position Seven - Bhujanga Asana (Cobra Posture)• While inhaling, raise the body from the waist up by straightening the arms• Bend as far back as possible. The spine should be bent to the maximum.
Position Eight - Parvat AsanaThis is a repetition of position five.• Exhale and lift the body.• Keep the feet and heels flat on the floor. Position Nine - Ashwasanchalana Asana• This posture corresponds to position four with the legs in alternate positions.• Inhale and bring the right foot in line with the hands. The left foot and kneeshould touch the floor.• Look slightly up. Position Ten - Pada Hasta Asana• Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight.• Bring the head to the third position.
Position Eleven - Hasta Uttan AsanaThis is a repetition of position two.Position Twelve - Final Posture• Exhale. Drop the arms and relax.

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