“Come, let’s go to the rose garden”, he said.

“Rose garden! But why?” she exclaimed, sipping a cup of coffee at Nescafe.

“I will teach you some asanas and more importantly surya namaskar. It will benefit you lifelong”, he chuckled, watching the sun setting at distant.

Thus, started my journey of practicing yoga and especially surya namaskar since 2006 when Rajesh and I were studying at IIT Delhi. Thank you Rajesh for introducing me to the world of asanas.

But, in between the practice came to a standstill due to beginning of motherhood and other personal issues.

Result? Unfit body and restless mind. One fine and graceful day, I got introduced to Pinkathon and started with my morning walks and runs.

In 2020, COVID hit India and we all were in lockdown. But, that did not deter my motivation to stay fit and I started with my practice of surya namaskar once again.

Dear readers,

We all are aware how the second wave of COVID is taking our physical and mental health; the news channels are flooded with all kind of information like infection rate, death rate, vaccine unavailability that have created lot of stress and panic in our lives. Many of our near and dear ones are actually fighting/struggling for their lives. My prayers for everyone. This too shall pass and we have to fight back, keep walking, do our bit by staying home and staying healthy.

Regular exercise is one of the best options. I understand that due to lockdown, gyms are closed, swimming pools are dry, basketball and tennis courts are a no no option (Social distancing, you see), walking, jogging and running are also prohibited.

Hence, personally, surya namaskar has become my high point of morning practice after optimizing my strength by warming up. All that is needed is a well-ventilated space, so that air circulates freely, with natural light, neat and clean room, quiet and free from distractions and a yoga mat. Morning dawn suits me best for relaxation.

This beautiful practice is divine and has many esoteric benefits but I will share my physical benefits here:

1) Energetic for the whole day

2) Relief from back pain and left temple pain

3) Weight in check

4) Glowing skin and smiling face

5) Reduced binging and increased intake of healthy food

6) No extra sleep hours

7) Increased respiratory efficiency 

8) Experience of more joy and health

9) Reduced stress and anxiety

Surya namaskar is very effective for overall health, an all-time exercise which helps in a subtle way. It also helps me prepare for my RARE activities which I do using Black Lotus meditation app. The suppleness of body has also improved my sitting posture for doing my breathing exercises (Deep breathing, Anulom vilom). And yes, little more concentration, awareness and mindfulness while practicing my meditation.

Other benefits like better digestive system, regular menstrual cycle, controlled sugar levels, body detox and overcoming  insomnia are also to be appreciated.

When we are happy and healthy, in harmony with our mind and emotions we can take care of our family in a much better way. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started. There are ample of videos available on internet if one wants to learn this art.

I follow my practice from the book “Structural Yoga Therapy, Adapting to the Individual” by “Mukunda Stiles”. It is a beautiful book in which he gives the comprehensive overview of the spiritual philosophy of yoga and discusses everything that one needs to know. He also shares is understanding of anatomy and how each asana affects our muscles, bones and body.

In the end, I would like to say, adapt the practice according to your effort level. Surya namaskar is a complete physical and mental workout to be done with discipline, joy and reverence in order to receive its fullest benefits possible. One must learn not to cause oneself pain, injury or unnecessary strain. Your body may be stiff when you begin, but with regular practice, it will become free and supple.

Thank you and stay safe.

The body is my temple

And asanas are my prayers…

When practicing asanas,

Go beyond thoughts of pleasure and pain.

-B.K.S.IYENGAR

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Ritu Om Chatterjee

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