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100 Surya Namaskars, Anyone?

Jan_11_surya_asanas_002_-_Urdhva_Vrikshasana_StraightI mean, anyone?  Because it won’t be me.  😦

Ah, but the time for gloating is over. It ended when I left India and returned home on Christmas day. It should not have. But it did.

For that, I only blame myself.

However, I will say that I was spoiled while living in India and I never quite got over it.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 am and every Sunday at 8 am – on the dot – meant only one thing:

Yoga.

The spoiling came because precisely at those times, my doorbell would ring announcing the arrival of my yoga instructor.

Today, at 6 am on those days, the only ringtone I hear is from my alarm clock, prodding me awake to face a new day. 😦

Yoga for me became closely associated with the arrival of my yoga instructor and the hour plus of yoga that followed. So, ever since I returned home, I have been unable to practice it alone, all by my lonesome.

All I do is talk (and write) about beginning the regimen. Tomorrow.

When did I become such a procrastinator?

Give me strength. Give me wisdom. Give me the will so I can get started again on the wonderful journey that I began in India. The one that came to a full stop once I entered the shores of the United States.

Once I left Mumbai eight months ago, I kept in touch with my instructor and he has been telling me over these months that after my departure, he rarely practiced our Sunday norm of 100 Surya Namaskars at one go . [So I’m not the only one who needs company].

Then, this week, I got his Whatsapp message to let me know that he had just completed 100 Surya Namaskars in 60 minutes. It sounded like he was getting back into the groove with what used to be our regular weekly session.

My reply to him was short and simple – “I’m jealous”.

I’ve got to get with the program again. I’ve simply got to!

Give me strength. Give me wisdom. Give me the will to just do it.  Dammit.

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Photo credit: By Ursula [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Countdown: One Hundred Surya Namaskars!

The first anniversary of learning yoga is approaching this month; incidentally it is happening soon after the completion of my first year of living in India.

So, my yoga trainer decided (unilaterally!) that before the first year was up that I and my yoga buddy needed to have at least one session where we each did one hundred Surya Namaskars – aiming for a major milestone to celebrate the occasion.  But we were not the only ones who were going for the gold. We roped him in to join us on the ‘marathon’ [I know I exaggerate, but that’s what it felt like] session.

Posture # 7 of Surya Namaskar

Today being a Sunday allowed for the extra time needed for this feat. So, it was D-day and what a session this was!  With very little warm-up, we started counting down.

Can you imagine how it felt after completing that first Surya Namaskar?  Yep, “99 to go”. Whew.  😦

The trick was to pace ourselves and divide the larger goal of one hundred Surya Namaskars into sets of ten each. That made it easier to digest – physically and mentally.  We averaged about 7 or 8 minutes per set and gave ourselves “generous” breaks between the sets of about 3 minutes each. Enough for a few sips of water and to wipe the dripping sweat off our red faces.

Postures #3 and # 10 of Surya Namaskar

As you may know, each Surya Namaskar is a set in itself – of 12 asanas or postures.

So that means we did 1200 asanas today!

Can you guess how we all felt after completing the 100th one?  Unbelievably exhilarated!

I must say it was tough going though. I had done up to 75 in one go (once) – and that was months ago. Since then, my regular class routine has included only 20 or 30 of them, so this felt (really felt!) like a major mountain to climb.

According to our teacher, in addition to getting all the benefits of Surya Namaskar, we could also assume our body had received the benefits of having done something like:

    • 40 crunches, 
    • 50 squats and 
    • 150 push-ups.  

Wow!

Here’s my personal lesson learned after one year of yoga:

Never, ever underestimate what your body is capable of – no matter how stiff, unused to exercise, dormant or tired it may be…

And the Yoga (if that’s your cuppa tea) bonus:

It works great on energizing your mind too.

Posture #8 of Surya Namaskar

Back to the countdown, here’s some of what I told myself during the grueling session:

1. Just do this one…don’t worry about what’s coming next (and next and next…).  You can do it.

2. It’s all in your mind…of course, you can do it.

3. Plus my favorite – If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. You can do it.

4. Go ahead and visualize…the 80th one, the 90th, the 95th, the 99th, the 100th, and then…then, the bragging rights!  

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Thank you. You may applaud now. I think we deserve it, don’t you?.    😉

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P.S. We have one more Sunday before that “first yoga anniversary” and there’s some talk about a repeat feat. But, don’t worry, I will resist hard about writing another post so you won’t have to hear me bragging all over again… 🙂

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