Continued from: Surya Namaskara. Limitations
The obvious characteristic of surya namaskara is the fact that it exercises the entire body. The back is bent forwards and backwards, the arms and legs are bent and straightened, the abdomen is compressed, stretched and so on. It is an integral exercise that influences the health of the whole body. It is not confined to developing one part of the body, such as the arm muscles, like so many other forms of exercises and gymnastics.
The body consists of various systems and organs which interrelate and coordinate with each other to give the best possible health and efficiency. It is very easy for these systems to become disrupted. The result is disease and lack of vitality etc. Surya namaskara brings these systems – the circulatory, respiratory, endocrinal, etc. – into balance with one another, thereby helping to prevent and remove disease. Let us briefly discuss some of the main systems in the body and how they benefit from surya namaskara.
Digestive system: The abdominal organs and stomach are alternately stretched and compressed. This imparts a healthy massage to the internal organs and ensures that they function correctly, or if they don’t currently work efficiently, encourages them to do so. Many diseases of the digestive system can be prevented and removed by the regular practice of surya namaskara.
Eliminative system: Rapid elimination of waste materials from the body is essential. Often undigested waste products remain in the intestines and bowels due to constipation, which can result in various other disorders. Surya namaskara stimulates the peristalsis of the intestines helping to remove any tendency towards constipation.
The kidneys are also important eliminative organs. They filter impurities from the blood and eliminate them from the body in the form of urine.
Therefore, any disorder or inefficiency in the workings of the kidneys will result in impure blood. Surya namaskara gently massages these two organs, increases their supply of blood, as well as speeds up the circulation throughout the body. The result is that the kidneys are encouraged to function properly while at the same time the blood is given an additional flush and filter through the kidneys. For best results one should supplement the daily practice of surya namaskara by drinking plenty of clean, fresh water.
A high proportion of the body’s waste products are eliminated through the skin. This process works particularly well when a person sweats profusely. Often toxins accumulate in the skin, manifesting as boils and pimples. If a good sweat was developed regularly there would be less tendency for this to happen as the toxins would reach the outer surface of the skin and be washed off. Surya namaskara results in increased perspiration and thereby encourages the elimination of toxins from the body, helping to prevent skin ailments. This is an excellent method of acquiring a fresh com-plexion, especially if one takes a bath after surya namaskara or the yoga practice program.
Circulatory system: Surya namaskara increases the heartbeat and the workings of the whole circulatory system, helping to eliminate waste materials from the body. Areas of sluggish blood are also removed and replaced by purified and oxygenated blood. All the cells of the body receive extra nutrition enabling them to function more efficiently. This leads to better health and increased vitality.
The lymphatic system is also speeded up. This system is most important in protecting the body against infection. It is the body’s auto-therapeutic system and without it the body would quickly succumb to disease. Surya namaskara, by increasing the circulation and the removal of poisonous bacteria, directly aids the lymphatic system to work more efficiently in its fight against illness.
Continue to: Surya Namaskara. Benefits. Part II