A step ahead to excellence

There is coordination between the body movement and breathing. If you want to call out somebody on the road from the third floor you take a deep breath and then call out his name loudly. You can’t stop exhaling and speak out at the same time. In fact the harmony between breathing and action is quite natural. Be aware of the harmony between the two. While you bend down exhale and stand up inhale. In other words, exhale while going near to the centre of gravity and inhale while getting away from it. Don’t go against this rule. The body postures in SuryaNamaskar, if done with the awareness of breathing, give you the desired results. It gives you ease to perform the postures. The series of body postures tuned with breathing become rhythmic and graceful without any stops or jerks or halts. It puts the cells in the muscles on the active mode to generate energy and power. There are various breathing exercises supporting different Yogasanas. In the following paragraphs I have selected some which, I think, are beneficial to you in performing SuryaNamaskar.

Before performing SuryaNamaskar give fifteen minutes to the practice of Pranayam. Some of the most useful and correlated Pranayam to SuryaNamaskar are Bhastrika Pranayam, Kapaal Bhaati Pranayam and Bhaaya Pranayam. The practice in Pranayam should be undertaken under the guidance of experienced person.

Warming up:
  • Stand straight in relaxed position.
  • Inhale silently and slowly through nose in two segments.
  • Hold the breath.
  • Tighten all the joints and muscles from toes to neck.
  • Exhale completely with force through mouth, air vibrations audible, in two segments.
  • Repeat the action for three times.
  • Effect on body: The entire body is charged with cosmic energy due to the contraction and expansion of the cells in the muscles. All the tissues of almost all the muscles are put on active mode.

The following exercises are useful in the practice of Aum Mitraaya Namah (Pranama-asan), Aum Arkaya Namah (Pranama-asan) Aum Bhaaskaraaya Namah (Namaskar Mudra). These exercises help to expand the chest, in order to increase the intake of air in the chest, to supply more oxygen to the cells in the body.

Exercise one:
  • Stand in Namaskar position.
  • Focus your mind on the chest.
  • Press the top of the fingers tight on each other.
  • Press the middle parts of the fingers tight.
  • Press the bottom part of the fingers tight.
  • Press the palms and the thumbs tight.
  • Press and remove the air in between the palms.
  • Press the end parts of the palms tight on.
  • After every action stop for a while. Take regular breathing. Retain the pressure for ten seconds and move ahead to the next action.
  • Wait for a moment. Release the pressure slowly. Take the hands apart one or two centimeters and bring them close. Experience the force of attraction between the palms. Refer to Surya Darshan in the item “Instructions to Participants”.
  • Move the palms on your face with a light press. The energy collected on the fingers is directly applied onto the face.
Exercise two:
  • Stand in Namaskar position.
  • Intertwine the fingers.
  • While inhaling push the hands ahead straight.
  • Hold the palms tight facing each other.
  • Keep the hands parallel to the ground.
  • Lock the hands at the shoulders and stretch them ahead.
  • Experience the stress and strain on the chest and shoulders.
  • While exhaling bring the palms close to the chest.
  • Stretch the palms sideways.
  • Experience the stress and strain on the chest and shoulders, ankles, wrists and intertwined fingers.
  • The duration of time for the forward backward movements of the hands should be equal to that of inhaling and exhaling respectively. Repeat the series of actions for several times.
  • Repeat the same action, in slow motion, for several times now with the hands stretched over your head. Inhaling for upward movement and exhaling for downward movement.

The folloing exercises are useful in the practice of Aum Ravaye Namah (Urddhva-hasta-asan) Aum Suryaaya Namah (Hasta-pada-asan) Aum Savitre Namah (Hasta-pada-asan) Aum Marichaye Namah (Parvata-asan). These exercises help to improve the flexibility of the neck and the waist and the other parts of the spinal cord, to take the feel of the improved quality of body movements, to attain the harmony in breathing and body moment, to achieve ease and grace in each and every posture.

Exercise three:
  • Stand in relaxed position with legs a bit apart.
  • Stretch up your hands parallel to the ground, palms facing each other.
  • While inhaling stretch the hands upward and bend backward.
  • Keep the knees straight.
  • Push the hands, at the shoulders, as far back as possible.
  • While exhaling come back to the previous position and
  • (if possible) bend forward to touch the ground.
  • Repeat the series of actions, in slow motion, for several times
Exercise four:
  • Stand up with legs apart in relaxed position.
  • While inhaling raise the hands sideways parallel to the ground.
  • While exhaling bend down in the waist to touch the left hand to the right toe.
  • While inhaling come to the previous position.
  • While exhaling bend down in the waist to touch the right hand to the left toe.
  • Repeat the series of actions, in slow motion, for several times.

The following exercises are useful in the practice of Aum Bhaanave Namah (Ardha-bhujanga-asan), Aum Khagaaya Namah (Makar-asan), Aum Hiranyagarbhaaya Namah (Bhujanga-asan), Aum Adityaaya Namah (Ardha-bhujanga-asan). These exercises help to bring about ease and grace in the body postures in the Aasanas mentioned above. These exercises also help to keep the body movements tuned with breathing.

Exercise five:
  • Sit down on the toes and palms.
  • DON’T rest the heels on the ground.
  • Keep the hands straight.
  • Take the body weight on the hands.
  • Inhale deep and hold the breath.
  • Keep the hands firm on the ground and throw the feet backward.
  • (Refer to Aum Hiranyagarbhaaya Namah / Bhujanga-asan.)
  • Keep the heels close together.
  • Rest the heels on the ground.
  • While inhaling pull the waist towards the centre between the palms.
  • Look towards the sky. Take the feel of stretch on the stomach.
  • Keep the position of the palms as it is.
  • Keep the hands firm on the ground.
  • Remove the inward curve of the back
  • Inhale deep , hold it and jump forward.
  • Jump forward to bring the legs between the palms.
  • Repeat this series of actions for several times.
Exercise six:
  • Stand up in relaxed position.
  • Stretch your hands ahead, parallel to the ground.
  • Keep the palms facing to the ground.
  • While exhaling sit down taking the body weight on the toes.
  • Don’t rest the heels on the ground while sitting down.
  • Now, put the body weight on the heels and sit down.
  • While inhaling come to the standing position.
  • Repeat the series of actions , in slow motion, for several times.

The following exercises are useful in the practice of Aum Pushne Namah (Sastang-namaskar-asan). These exercises help to bring about ease and grace in the body postures in this Aasana. These exercises also help to keep the Manipur Chakra tuned with breathing.

Exercise seven:
  • Rest on your four – palms and knees.
  • Keep the hands straight. Keep the elbow joints straight.
  • Keep shoulder-distance between the knees.
  • While exhaling fast through mouth lower down the head and give arch shape to the spine.
  • While inhaling raise up the head and arch the spine in concave shape.
  • Repeat the series of actions , in slow motion, for several times.
Exercise eight:
  • Lie flat touching the stomach, chest and forehead onto the ground.
  • Close the feet, touch the toes and knees onto the ground.
  • Put the palms at both sides of the chest.
  • Refer to the (Aum Pushne Namah) Saastang-namaskara-asan.
  • Be at relaxed position.
  • Now, while exhaling fast through mouth, lift up the middle part of the body. Hold the arch shape at the other end of the spine.
  • While inhaling rest the abdomen onto the ground slowly.
  • Repeat the series of actions for several times.
Important points to remember:
  • The duration of time for the body movement should be equal to that of inhaling or exhaling.
  • The duration of time for exhaling is a bit more than that of inhaling.
  • This time sense can be easily attained if you concentrate on the abdomen to breathe out completely.
  • After the practice of SuryaNamaskar some exercises in Pranayam is advised. The combination of SuryaNamaskar and Pranayam is very effective to root out all sorts of physical and mental disorders.
  • Don’t perform two body actions in one inhaling / exhaling.
  • One Aasana can be performed in parts during multiple breathing, of course observing the breathing pattern of the Aasana.