Surya Namaskar as Therapy
Surya Namaskar serves as a great practice to manage psychosomatic ailments such as Diabetes and reduce the risk for Heart Disease.
Modern Day Epidemics
Globally, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, etc are increasingly recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The World Health Report 2004 had indicated that NCDs account for almost 60% of deaths and 47% of the global burden of disease. Seventy-five per cent of the total deaths due to NCDs occur in developing countries.
According to US National health statistics, diabetes affects an estimated 23.6 million people in the US – 17.9 million have been diagnosed, but 5.7 million are unaware they have the disease. Of this, 90 percent to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes which is a non-insulin dependent condition developed at a later stage in life in majority of the cases.
Heart attacks and strokes are major–but preventable–killers worldwide. Over 80% of cardiovascular disease deaths take place in low-and middle-income countries and occur almost equally in men and women. Every 34 seconds a person in the United States dies from heart disease. More than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day.
Unhealthy Lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise and emotional stress are the main causes of non-communicable diseases. For example, approximately 60-70% of the people are overweight at the time of diagnosis
Stress and Diabetes
Stress is a “phylogenic response pattern to a demanding situation”. Stress is a “flight or fight” response that triggers the sympathetic nervous system to pour enormous amounts of stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol hormones, etc. The demanding situation of the body causes blood glucose levels to rise significantly. The insulin that the pancreas secretes will not be sufficient to cope up with rising demand.
Stress and Heart Disease
Blood Pressure is affected by emotions such as fear, anger, etc, but the effects tend to be short lived. But when a person tends to lead a life full of tension, anxiety, worry, etc, the continued excitation of sympathetic nervous system, the blood pressure remains persistently high. Blood pressure puts enormous pressure on the blood vessels and heart resulting in heart disease. The other common reason for heart disease is the high levels of bad cholestrol in the coronary arteries. Diets rich in sugars and fats and lack of exercise and emotional stress is the cause of high levels of cholestrol in the blood.
Yoga – the Solution
Yogic Concept of Health and Disease
Health according to yogic concept (accepted by WHO) is a positive state of well being at Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual aspects of personality. As per Yoga Vasishta, diseases can be classified into two as below:
- Disease caused by External Factors (Anadhija)
- Diseases caused by Speed of the mind (Adhija)
Stress is the repeated speed in mind that result in psychosmatic ailments:
How Yoga Helps?
Yoga is a conscious process of going back to your stress free, blissful nature. Yoga helps one realize that being happy is one’s own nature. Yoga reduce sympathetic tone by consciously relaxing and breathing. By consciously watch one’s breath one watch one’s thoughts and slowly, through awareness, the yogi removes the negative thoughts that result in stress.
Although sleep and other forms of relaxation help, yoga is a much more effective tool for relaxation and to bring the sympathetic tone in the body. Besides, yoga brings a change in the outlook of one’s life to be more health conscious and to avoid negativity in the mind.
Surya Namaskar Practice
Surya Namaskar is a unique practice, which gives the benefits of sthula (gross) as well as suksma (subtle) vyayam (exercises). Any able-bodied person aged from 8-80 years can perform this practice. This practice is beneficial for students and children in growing age.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar:
Surya Namaskar helps:
- Achieve healthy and efficient body, balanced state of mind
- Enhance work efficiency thru concentration, alertness, memory development and emotional control
- Tones up the functioning of various systems in the body, such as sensory, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, muscular and nervous system.
- Bija Mantras chanted while performing the namaskars generate minute vibrations in the body correcting the functioning of exocrine and endocrine systems of glands.
Surya Namaskar Mantra and Bija Mantras
Hiranmayena patrena satya sapihitam mukham
Tat twam pusam apavarnu satya dharmaya drustaye.
Meaning: O Sun, truth is covered by the sensual desires (which can be liked to golden orb that sun represents) . Please open the door to lead me to the truth.
Bija Mantras help in generating resonance in different aspects of our body and mind.
- Aum Hram Mitraya Namaha
- Aum Hrim Ravaye Namaha
- Aum Hrum Suryaya Namaha
- Aum Hraim Bhanave Namaha
- Aum Hroum Khagaya Namaha
- Aum Hraha Pushne Namaha
- Aum Hram Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha
- Aum Hrim Marichaye Namaha
- Aum Hrum Adityaya Namaha
- Aum Hraim Savitre Namaha
- Aum Hroum Arkaya Namaha
- Aum Hraha Bhaskaraya Namaha
Do’s and Don’ts of Surya Namaskar
- Must be performed with empty-stomach
- Should be performed with full awareness
- Preferable to do this exercise in open, fresh air
- Can be performed individually as well as in the group
- Perform on a clean mat
- Desirable to maintain 30 minutes gap for taking bath before or after the practice
- Women may avoid the practice during menstruation period.
- Pregnant women should avoid this practice.
- People suffering from hernia, spinal disorders, high BP should practice after consulting the doctor as well as competent yoga instructor
Disclaimer: Please consulting your doctor before practicing Yoga and Surya Namaskar