As the wise say, ‘Health is Wealth', thus, what keeps our health- our mind, body and intellect intact is the strength of our willpower to do more and improve further. The most significant aspect that we need to take care of is our physical health alongside our mental health.
Suryanamaskar is one of the ancient Indian exercises, which has the power to improve both- our physical as well as mental health.
Dr Aniruddha Dhairyadhar Joshi believes that the progress of any human lies primarily in the strength of their physique. Hence, he always encourages the young generation as well as others to perform the traditional Suryanamaskar.
Importance of Suryanamaskar in Ancient Traditions:
The Sun is the soul of all that is movable and immovable and is also the supplier of life-force. Hence the worship of Sun is given utmost importance in the Rigved. The life force which exists in all organisms is the radiance of the Sun's light which also controls the flow of oxygen and waste gases in the body.
Psychology and Suryanamaskar:
According to the Yogshastra, if humans start utilising this energy, they would acquire a radiant aura just like the Sun.
The Manipur Chakra and the fibres of nerves (Gyan-tantu) are very closely related. This Manipur Chakra helps in the smooth and regular functioning of the digestive system. The practice of Suryanamaskar enables the transfer of knowledge formed in mind to the Manipur Chakra.
Nowadays, a lot of people suffer from mental stress. The stress is due mental struggle or situational difficulties. This results in the depletion of phosphorous from the nerves making them weak and degenerating their vital energy. This condition in medical science is termed as Nervous Debility. A person suffering through this may have short-temperedness, depression, forgetfulness, indigestion, headache and many such illnesses. The simple solution to cure this problem is to chant the names of the Sun and perform Suryanamaskar. Similar to how the sound waves of a melody travel through the air to collide with our sensory nerves and bring life and enthusiasm to our heart, in the same way, Suryanamaskar performed by chanting the names brings us the radiance of the sun and provides the nervous fibres with vital energy produced through chemical reactions in the body.
The Effects of Suryanamaskar on External and Internal Body:
- All the muscles become strong and capable.
- Nowadays, kids have to carry a heavy load on their back while going to school. Similarly, sitting, getting up or carrying heavy load without maintaining a correct posture causes the cartilages of the ribs to become stiff and fuse together resulting in difficulty in breathing. Hence, the complete development of cartilages on both sides of the chest is very important. Suryanamaskar helps the cartilages on both sides of the chest to expand to full capacity with air, and this type of breathing is known as the Ribs Stretching Breathing. This allows the lungs to develop correctly and regularizes the breathing activity. Similarly, the exercise of Chest-Expanding Breathing also gets carried out well. This helps in cleansing the lungs and they work energetically when filled with air to full capacity and also speedily purify the blood.
- When we do Sashtang Namaskar (Prostration) the muscles in different parts of our body like back, spine, chest, arms, neck,stomach, thighs, buttocks, abdomen and calves of legs get thorough exercise which increases their efficiency.
- There is a very close relation between the mind and the respiration. The namaskar allows for steady respiration which in turn allows the life force to be amassed. Similarly, the Anahat Chakra situated near our heart blossoms and activates the Jyotishmati Vrutti (The tendency to shed sadness and become enlightened) that helps us keep a happy mind and positive attitude.
- The Muladhara Chakra's Kundalini Gyanshakti is awakened that enables us to experience the pure bright light of wisdom. Yogashastra also claims that the vital energies get heightened by doing the Suryanamaskar.
- Suryanamaskar is the best exercise to give ample blood supply to the muscles under more stress. It also fastens the process of removing impure blood from blood vessels. The stressed-out organs are provided with a necessary boost and can function normally.
Time for Namaskar:
Namaskar can be performed at any time of the day. However, they must not be performed from 11 pm to 3 am as the energy centres of our body are inactive during this time. Similarly, namaskar must also not be performed for an hour after consuming food. The tradition of performing the Suryanamaskar within 3 hours of sunrise is followed, as the radioactive properties of the Sun are at its peak in this duration. The namaskar should also be performed in the open fresh air to get maximum benefits for the body.
The ‘Suryanamaskar’ is included under the curriculum of the traditional exercise. However, we also find some changes in its course. The traditional method comprises of chanting Mantras. Of the many names of Lord Surya, these 12 names are chanted while performing the namaskar. The names to be chanted differ from place to place and so
Dr Aniruddha Joshi has given us 12 specific names of the Sun to chant during namaskar:
Om Suryaya Namah, Om Bhanave Namah, Om Khagaya Namah,
Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namah, Om Mitraya Namah, Om Pushaya Namah,
Om Ravaye Namah, Om Adityanathaya Namah, Om Martandaya Namah,
Om Praanaya Namah, Om Narayanaya Namah, Om Ramchandraya Namah