Uniqueness of Suryanamaskars
Best Energization Technique -Suryanamaskar brings a unique dimension to yoga. It energizes the body through a combination of stimulation and relaxation techniques. It can be singularly useful for people with either Tamas (inertia), Rajas (hyperactivity) or Satva (balance). In every human physiology, we have both stress response and relaxation response but we do not seem to have control over them. Yoga, and especially Suryanamaskar, brings a voluntary control over this involuntary capacity of human physiology and personality.
Best Aerobic tool -Suryanamaskar is also a very effective cardiovascular exercise. There is a common concern that Yoga does not provide adequate cardiovascular endurance. Not only does Suryanamaskar have cardiovascular benefits it is also least likely to cause injuries to muscles and joints. This is attributed to the continuous variability of muscle length during a flow of 10 postures reducing the probability of the types of injuries typically seen in other forms of aerobic activity. Suryanamaskar practice produces hormonal balance thereby resulting in overall good health. According to recent research (Pubmed), Suryanamaskar can result in an energy expenditure of 230 kcals during a 30 min session for a 132 lb individual.
Breath Work – The alternate expansion and contraction of the chest helps in regulating and deepening the breath through the practice. For a novice yoga practitioner, it is hard to synchronize breathing with body postures. Regular practice of Suryanamaskar is the best way to learn the breath synchronization aspect of yoga practice.
Sense of body awareness – We are usually not aware of our bodies all the time. If we were, we would be sensitive to our posture, our discomforts and thereby avoid unnecessary wear and tear and be able to detect the onset of diseases. Suryanamaskar enhances this body awareness and improves overall quality of life.
Sense of mindfulness – We do most things mindlessly. Once we learn something, it becomes mechanical and then we are mindless about it. Improved body awareness automatically leads to improved mindfulness. Suryanamaskar practice helps immensely in developing this capacity of mindfulness in everything we do. When we are mindful, we commit less mistakes and there are less chances of accidents and we have better control of our emotions and reactions.
Social Transformation – A mindful person is by nature more aware of other people’s feelings and hence tends to exhibit more empathy and kindness. Regular Suryanamaskar practice not only helps individuals with their personal health but benefits the entire society by moving people towards a more harmonious life one individual at a time.
Some other Physiological Benefits:
Cyclic Practice of yogic postures in Suryanamaskar helps to loosen up joints and muscles in a short period of time. Abdominal Organs are alternately stretched and compressed. This ensures proper functioning of the organs. Suryanamaskar removes nervous tension and anxiety due to the dynamic nature of the practice. This practice also has a profound positive effect on the back as it involves alternate backward and forward bends. It also improves spinal flexibility and results in improved immunity.
- Due to a beautiful combination of variability and repetitive nature of Suryanamaskars, it allows individuals to do self-motivated practice without getting bored or mindless and it allows for easy self-maneuvering since it is repetitive in nature.
- Adding Mantras during the practice removes monotony, provides harmony within and produces soothing vibrations that removes fatigue. Mantras act on various chakras resulting in overall spiritual benefits to the yogi who seeks to grow in spiritual sadhana (practice).
- Mudras like Namaste and poses like Ashtanga bring humility and remove self-binding ego in the practitioner.
- Salutations to Sun, the visible divinity in nature allows the practitioner to practice with faith (shraddha and bhakti). Visualizing the Sun in our heart center brings a sense of peace and wholeness.
Can people with hypertension practice Suryanamaskar?
– Yes, if the condition is under control using medications etc. But please consult your yoga teacher and your doctor before beginning the practice.
What are the different ailments that are helped by Suryanamaskar?
- Diabetes – One of the best techniques to keep your sugar under control
- Hypertension (if under control) – however, the practitioner should reduce holding of the poses where the upper part of the body is inverted (eg: forward bending)
- Sleep disorders – Suryanamaskar is known to be very effective in people with insomnia.
- ADHD Kids – Teaching these kids is a challenge but once they learn, they can practice and it is very helpful – Chanting helps them to concentrate.
- Milder back pain (without structural damages) – Note: people with back pain should not hold the postures. They can flow through the poses and this generates endogenous pain killers (human body itself is capable of producing pain killer hormones)
- Heart Conditions – Caution: consult your doctor before beginning. Contrary to the popular belief, people with heart disease are recommended to do fast Suryanamaskar (heart rate can go beyond 90 or 100).