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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Annamaya kosha and suryanamaskara

December 13, 2005

Let us now come to the physical body called ‘Annamaya Kosa’, which is equivalent to physical body. Though we roughly equate it is not strictly so because Annamaya kosa is not water tight compartment but it is a continuum in body-mind-consciousness complex, which is what we are. Because of this difference there are few things which we need to consider. They are Annamaya kosa as the name indicates it needs food. Food is ‘Anna’ and Annamaya is like ornament made out of gold is called as ‘hiranmaya’ where ‘hiran’ is gold. I will no go into this aspect because I would like to go into the exercise aspect which is directly connected with Suryanamaskara. The other two aspects are exercise and relaxation. Exercise is very important aspect of our life. Exercise involves bending the joints twisting and stretching. So in all the postures make sure that you fully stretch and where ever it provides an opportunity twist fully like in the case of third posture or tenth where we stretch one of the legs forward there is a chance to twist too. Use this opportunity. Regarding stretching in the second posture consciously and slowly stretch in back bending systematically from neck muscles to chest and further on to stomach muscles to waist. So that your posture helps you to fully stretch the front portion of the body. Same way use the third posture to be used for stretching the back fully. Every posture involves some body part being stretched. In every posture also recognize that you one should be stable.If we study the postures closely we can see that starting from the top of the body come to the waist then to the lower portion of the body and come to total prostration in namaskarasana. After that the sequence is to retrace the steps back to standing position which is like unwinding. There is a nice symmetry involved, which is also further enhanced by the breathing pattern adapted in the postures. The stretch is from the upper body muscles to the lower limbs thereby e The stretch is from the upper body muscles to the lower limbs thereby exercising the whole body. That is the reason in several schools they consider Suryanamaskara is a wholesome exercise for our body. When we can not do other practices of asanas due to some external reasons we should be able to do at least six sun-salutations. Yoga postures are different from the physical exercises in several aspects. In case of the physical exercises awareness is not mandatory where as in case of yoga practices or suryanamaskaras we must have the awareness. Another aspect in physical exercises we have to do more and more and achieve more and more which is measure for progress. On the other hand in yogic practices such as Suryanamaskara it should be like a flow of physical postures smoothly and effortlessly and not the doing of ‘more’ is important! We have to relax in the practice which means actually the muscles have as little participation as possible. Therefore the physical exercises are for building muscles where as Suryanamaskara will help us in glandular system and the nervous system. For nervous and glandular problems Suryanamaskara is a good solution. Though they are essentially not focusing on muscles, since there is some participation of muscles the practice of Suryanamaskara will help in loosening the muscle tone. Early morning if we do six rounds of Suryanamaskara followed by brief Shavasana for five minutes we have observed that the day’s activities of the work place flow very smoothly and harmoniously. In hospital ‘Stift Rottal clinic’ at Griesbach in Germany, all my doctor friends do the practice of five to six suryanamaskaras before starting their days work.The great benefits of Suryanamaskara is, it helps in improving the circulation of blood and makes the body flexible and helps to spend the energies of Vasana in a neutral way so that it helps to contribute towards inner peace! Simple muscular pains and discomfort because of our sedentary habits will be removed very effectively and makes our activities normally blissful.According to the energy model explanations when we are not engaged in any activity we can experience the accumulation of some sort of uneasiness, and the desire of wanting to do some thing or the other comes up for all of us sooner or later! This is what we call as ‘boredom’. We actually engage in either drinking cups of coffee or munch some fried stuff or in gossiping. These physical activities help us to spend the restless energy for some period of time. This restless-form-of-energy-disturbance is called as moola Vasana or anaadi avidya. Suryanamaskara offers a very non-injurious form of exercise to get rid of this moola Vasana. Therefore Suryanamaskara practice is spiritual in nature taking us to inner peace and harmony!So let me summarize the points for suryanamaskaras.Suryanamaskaras are good for circulation and helps to start the days work much more harmoniously.It is useful in case of glandular and nervous dysfunctions.It helps to loosen the joints and tones up muscles.Spends the general boredom forces and makes the life enjoyable and the over burden of life can be diffused.Heart patients should exercise caution in doing this practice. A proper Suryanamaskara should help one to go deeper into various aspects transcending the physical identification and let us now try to understand from the pranamaya stand point.According to yogic language of physiology we have these chakras which are located in the middle of the spinal chord and the chakras are supposed to be in dormant way so that the serpent power or our vital force is lying coiled in the foundation chakra called mooladhara. Though lot of these things appear to be rather vague we can experience one thing that is we can feel the laziness in the position which correlates to chakras which will make us lazy and we will be unwilling to take up activity. Once we practice this it will make us active. For the first practice of back bending we have to pull our body from the lower abdominal region which will start working at the mooladhara chakra. The next posture will work on the next higher chakra swadhistana, in this sequence these postures are so designed to activate from lower to higher chakras.The posture immediately after the sa-astanga-namaskarasana [where the participant is lying on face on earth, with forehead on the ground, with chin on the floor which is the symbol of surrender to the divine] the posture which follows is bhujangasana, the cobra pose which is indicating the awakening of kundalini or the coiled serpent power. When the force acts without awakened mind it will lead us astray where as when the activity comes up as activity with awakened mind, the same force will be constructive and all activities become spiritual activities. Therefore the Suryanamaskara has a very deep perspective from yogic physiology point of view.

1 comment:

YourSimplerLife said...

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