Continued from: Surya Namaskara. Benefits. Part II
Muscles and skeleton: Surya namaskara exercises all the main muscles and joints in the body. The muscles are contracted and extended and any impure, stagnant blood is redirected back to the lungs and kidneys for purification. It is an excellent method of loosening up the body for asana practice.
Subtle influences: Surya namaskara can give many additional and perhaps more important benefits beyond the physical. It depends on your attitude. If you are aware and totally involved with the intonation of the mantras, the breathing and the movements, it will induce peace of mind. It is therefore a very useful exercise in reducing emotional conflict, neurosis and stress, especially when supplemented by other yoga practices. If one is devotionally inclined then the exercise can be done with full knowledge of the significance of worshipping the sun. This will purify the heart and mind. Sun a namaskara also helps to bring the flow of pranic or bioplasmic energy into balance and remove blockages in the nadis through which it flows. Surya namaskara is an excellent practice with which to start the day. It helps to prepare you in every way to face the oncoming day with physical and mental strength and confidence.
Sun a namaskara is a panacea for those people who live in cities and towns and who find insufficient time and opportunity to take adequate exercise. People in the country automatically exercise their bodies and relax their minds, as well as feel an intimate relationship with everything around them. It is urban people who suffer from the majority of diseases. The main reason is lack of exercise and peace of mind. Surva namaskara is the answer, especially if done in conjunction with other yogic techniques. There is no reason why most people cannot practise it daily. It only takes a matter often minutes or so. During this short period of time the body is exercised in the most systematic and comprehensive manner possible. There is no other exercise that can surpass it. Running, walking and swimming are all excellent exercises no doubt, but they don’t exercise the body as effectively as surya namaskara in the time available. So needless to say we highly recommend that you practise suna namaskara. In fact, we regard surya namaskara so highly that we will recommend that you practise it in your daily practice program from now onwards throughout the book.
Continue to: Hatha Yoga: Vatsara Dhauti