This One’s For Me
I hope that people who know me well will tell you that I’m generally a modest person and not really given to showing off. [I really hope…!].
Somehow, though, when it comes to me and my Surya Namaskars, that nice human quality seems to get thrown out the window. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can claim bragging rights without sounding like a braggart, and just may be, I have found a reasonable balance.
First, the bragging. This morning, I completed – are you ready for this? – seventy-five (that’s 75) Surya Namaskars! It was during my usual one hour morning yoga class that got extended by about 20 minutes so I could complete this feat. It took me – between huffing and puffing – roughly 85-90 minutes; that’s not counting the warm-up, 50 push-ups and 60 crunches (if I’m going to brag, may as well go whole hog) that my teacher made me complete.
My average Surya Namaskar was probably about a minute long, combined with a few minute-long breaks along the way. It was arduous. And exhilarating! For someone like me, an anti-fitness geek if you ever saw one – I just feel like I have earned my badge and bragging rights. What do you say?
That’s all I’m going to say about my totally unforeseen coup. [To understand why I call it that, you may want to read this]. Except for thanking my fantastic yoga teacher for always pushing me to the limits, and helping me get this far on my “yoga journey”. I know he’s already thought of what my next goal should be. Yikes!
And This Is For You
Now, for that balance I talked about, I thought I would give you a few more resources on the wonders of Surya Namasker to make this a useful post. Through this, I also hope to entice those of you not already on the yoga bandwagon to get started already!
What are you waiting for?
For starters, here’s another great video demonstrating Surya Namaskar. The first minute goes through one entire cycle consisting of the 12 asanas (or postures), followed by a few repetitions.
To recap, here are the primary benefits of Surya Namaskars (and yoga in general):
- Surya Namaskar’s 12 steps (or 16 or 18 step variation) works virtually every muscle group of your body – from your head to your toes.
- Its roots are found in yoga philosophy of vedic tradition and has been designed to strengthen mind and body.
- Each organ of the body is likewise exercised. It is to be combined with specific breathing techniques to enhance the value of its practice (the video above is a great demonstration of how you should breathe as you go through each step).
- It works on spinal alignment and corrects your posture.
- It strengthens the extensor muscles of your body. [An “extension” s a movement of a joint that results in increased angle between two bones or body surfaces at a joint. For example, extension is produced by extending the flexed (bent) elbow].
- A fantastic benefit is achieving flexibility of various parts of your body.
- The fast movements between postures creates agility while improving blood circulation. Likewise, a dull brain becomes active and the brooding mind gets refreshed.
- Yoga gives you energy. When you practice during mornings, you will find yourself energetic for the rest of the day.
- It’s great for losing weight and inches all over! That alone should be enough of an incentive for some.
You Should Go For It!
Ancient yogis prescribed the practice of Surya Namaskar centuries ago for gaining optimum physical and mental health with huge benefits such as these: building muscular strength and endurance, increased all-over flexibility, spinal alignment, better breathing capacity and stamina, reduced abdominal fat, enhanced metabolism and a refreshed mind.
What other form of exercise can claim to do all this? It’s all there for the taking.
Like I said before, what are you waiting for? Go for it. And become a braggart just like me. You would’ve earned it!
Photo Credit: By http://theholisticcare.com [CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons