Continued from: Surya Namaskara. Benefits. Part I
Respiratory system: Most people tend to breathe superficially in short and shallow gasps. This starves the body of the oxygen it requires for perfect health. Carbon dioxide also tends to accumulate in the system. Further under-utilization of the lung capacity allows a build-up of germs which can lead to various illnesses. Surya namaskara, when done correctly, accentuates the exchange of air to and from the lungs, opens and expands the intricate alveoli, or air sacs, of the lung tissue and exercises the muscles of the surrounding chest region. The lungs are emptied of impurities and stale air and the body and brain are revitalized by the extra supply of oxygen they receive. One can almost feel the extra super-charge of energy.
Endocrinal system: This system plays an important part in determining our well-being and attitude towards life. It consists of a large number of different chemicals (hormones) which interact with each other, reinforcing or counteracting each other. Even the slightest imbalance can cause widespread repercussions in the form of disease. A well-known example is diabetes. There are many other illnesses which are a direct result of hormonal imbalance. The hormones are the officers of the body, the brain is the commander and the parts of the body are the soldiers. It is the hormones that mobilize and coordinate the different functions of the body. Rate of growth, sexual functions, excitability and so on are all controlled by hormones.
Surya namaskara harmonizes this system helping to remove any irregularities by directly massaging the relevant glands and improving their blood flow. Imbalance of the endocrinal system is often caused by mental tension. Surya namaskara can help to remove or reduce this deeper cause of hormonal malfunction, especially if it is supplemented by other yoga practices.
Nervous system: The multitudes of nerve connections throughout the body are gently stretched, massaged and stimulated while doing surya namaskara. It is these nerves that connect the different parts and organs of the body with the brain. The nerves are the intermediaries. Even if an organ is in perfect condition it can only function as well as the nerves will allow. If the nerves are unhealthy then the functioning of the associated organs must suffer. If the pipe connecting the water tank to the tap is blocked, then the tap cannot work properly, even though it might be perfectly new. It is the same with the body’s nervous system. The nerve fibres determine how well the organs and muscles of the body function.
Most modern, sedentary people don’t exercise their bodies sufficiently. As a consequence the nerve connections tend to become lazy and atrophy develops. Surya namaskara tones up these nerves and simultaneously awakens the associated brain centres. One feels more alive after a few rounds of this exercise.
Continue to: Surya Namaskara. Benefits. Part III