• Prajwala Darog

Surya Namaskar Challenge - 2020

Hi Guys, wish you a very happy new year!! I'm excited to publish my first blog post in 2020.

Surya in Sanskrit means Sun and namaskar means salutations.

The life and energy are given by the Sun to the entire world. So, why not offer some gratitude to honor the energy that nourishes and sustains the our lives on this planet.

Traditionally, 1 round of Surya Namaskar comprises a group of 12 asanas. These 12 asanas when done correctly, works and activates every organ of the body.

Some benefits of doing Surya Namaskar everyday include:

Physical – Surya namaskar works on improving mobility and flexibility, strengthening the muscles and also improving our overall stamina.

Mental– Regular practice of Surya namaskar also helps provide mental clarity and stability.

Emotional - Regular practice helps deal with anxiety, stress, depression and even insomnia.

Breath– Just like all other yoga poses, breath work is given utmost importance while doing surya namaskar. This control and awareness on breathing helps deal with chronic issues like Asthma, lung issues, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism etc.

Energy – Practicing 6-12 sets of Surya Namaskar in the morning energizes the body by increasing blood flow to all the organs.

Personally, I feel all of us can benefit from making Surya Namaskar a part of our every day lives. This is the reason why I have decided to call on SURYA NAMASKAR challenge.

The goal of this challenge is simple: Every one does a minimum of 2 sets (4 rounds) everyday, until the 1st of February. You can set a higher goal depending on your fitness level. But the ultimate goal is to do Surya Namaskars EVERYDAY!

If you choose to take up on the challenge, PLEASE CONSIDER the following:

  • If you are a beginner, I would highly recommend doing the asanas slowly and holding each pose for a few seconds.

  • Begin with centering yourself prior, stand still and gently breathe, clear your mind and allow your body, mind and energy to focus on the practice.

  • You can use props/ modifications to help you ease into the practice.

  • At the end of the practice, lie down in Shavasana for a few minutes to allow your body and mind to relax, it is very important to create those transitions between our practices to our daily activities.

  • Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure you are physically fit to take up this challenge.

  • Please keep yourself tune to your body and don’t over push yourself, this challenge is more than a physical workout if any, it is a whole practice, so let’s make the best of it.

Below is a detailed explanation on how to do the 12 asanas:

1. Pranamasana/ Salutation Pose

Also known as prayer pose, Pranamasana is the start of your Surya Namaskar. Stand upright on your mat with your both feet closely aligned. Inhale deeply, expanding your chest and relaxing your shoulders.

While you inhale, raise your arms from the sides. And as you exhale, join your palms together into Namaskar mudra.

2. Hasta uttanasana/ Backward Bend Position

Keeping the palms joined in the previous prayer position, breathe in and lift your arms up and bend backwards slightly. Your biceps should lie close to your ears. This posture is to loosen up your body by stretching the entire body backwards.

3. Hasta Padasana/ Forward bend Position

Now breathe out, and bend forward from the waist. Go down and touch the ground but keeping your spine erect. Do this as you exhale slowly and completely.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana/ Low lunge pose

Now breathe in, and stretch your body parallely to the ground. Keep your hands to the side, and bring your left knee towards the left part of the chest and let your right leg stretch behind. Make sure the left knee is in alignment with your ankle.

5. Dandasana/ Plank pose

Now as you exhale, fling your left leg backwards aligning your entire body into a plank. Suck your stomach in so your abdominal muscles help support you through this pose.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara/ Hands, chest, knees pose

This is also known as giving salutations using eight parts or points. After staying in Dandasana, gently bring down your knees towards the floor and exhale. Now bring your chin to rest on the floor, keep your hips elevated in the air. Hence, your eight parts which are two hands, two knees, chin and chest will rest on the floor while your hip stays elevated in the air.

7. Bhujangasana/ Cobra pose

This is also known as Cobra pose. This is simply aligning your chest and torso 90 degrees to the ground, keeping your legs and mid-section flat on the ground. Make sure you use your hands to support your body and are not tempted to transfer your entire weight onto them.

8. Adomukhashwanasana/ Downward Facing Dog

From, bhujangasana. Keep your palm and feet where they are, and slowly raise your mid-section. Breathe out as you enter Adomukhashvanasana.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Now from Adomukhashvanasana, return to the ashwa sanchalanasana. But this time, we do the opposite of what we did in the 4th step. Procedure- Bring your right foot forward, while resting the left foot, at its original position.

10. Hasta Padasana/ forward bend pose

Now slowly bring your right foot forward, to meet your left foot as you exhale. Keeping the position of your hands intact, lift yourself up to slowly enter Hasta Padasana.

11. Hastauttanasana/ backward bend

Now inhale, raise your hands upward, and bend backward to enter Ardha Chakra Asana.

12. Pranama asana

Finally, exhale and stand in a relaxed manner in the namaskar mudra. Feel the positive vibrations in your body. This is how you complete one round of Surya Namaskar. 2 rounds (on either side)= 1 set. Twelve sets of this holistic exercise are said to yield maximum benefit.

Now all you have to do is comment “I’m in” on my Facebook or Instagram Page so you can join me and the rest of the people who are doing it with us.

Here is the video of the Surya Namaskar flow.

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