3rd International Yoga Day is celebrated, after the United Nations General Assembly, unanimously declared 21st June as Yoga Day, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initial proposal in his speech at the UNGA in September 2014. So let this day be an excuse for you to dip your feet into the world of yoga that leads you to the well being of your mind, body and soul.
Surya Namaskars or the Sun salutations were originally part of the Hindu religious practices performed by priests. They were absorbed into Hatha Yoga Practice because of their powerful ability to lubricate the entire spine and maintain the healthy functioning of the endocrine system.They warm and awaken the entire body, soften the muscles, open up the joints and stimulate the subtle energetic pathways, initiating conscious awareness and synchronization of movement in the breath, body, mind and soul. There couldn’t be a more appropriate way to begin your practice.
Breath and Movement in Surya Namaskar:
- Stand in Samastitihi, with your hands in prayer position.
- Inhale, raise your hands up and arch back.
- Exhale,fold forward and palms to the floor.
- Inhale, Take your right leg back, palms on the floor, look up.
- Exhale, come to plank position.
- Inhale, knees down, chest down, hips up.
- Exhale, Arch and look up (Cobra pose)
- Come to downward dog position.
- Inhale, take the right food forward, palms on the floor, look up.
- Exhale, bring the other foot forward and stay in forward fold position.
- Inhale, arch back with your hands held high.
- Exhale, come back to pose 1 with hands in prayer position.
Benefits of Surya Namaskars: They are innumerable, but let us state a few below-
Muscle toning, improves blood circulation, skin health, improves flexibility, aids in eliminating stress and anxiety (even during pregnancy), helps cope with Insomnia. Also good for your posture.
Over the last two decades or so, Yoga has been given a rather modern twist by the western part of the world and as a result of this modernization of yoga, asana practice has been given dominance with most pranayama (breathing) and meditation techniques missing in yoga classes today.
Here is hoping, Yoga Day becomes instrumental in spreading the right kind of awareness about this ancient practice.