For the past several months, exercise of any sort has been very skimpy. Now that Advaith is 3 months old, its time to focus a little bit more or much more on getting fit. And about. The only thing I have been doing most days, is the Surya namaskar. I do 6 sets. It has helped in all those things we do with babies around – bend, sit immobile for hours, rocking, walking around carrying a 5 kg weight…Personally, I feel its the best thing that has happened to me, eliminating most of those aches and pains I thought I suffered from.
I found this set of pictures in a magazine, clearly illustrating the asana with the names too for beginners.
I would suggest learning to do it in 3 stages
1) just get the motions right
2) do the motions with breathing consciously in and out
3) do the motions saying the names in your head. This helps you focus more and keeps you holding the pose longer while you rack your head for the long name.
Note: the names take a good while to memorize. I used the associations-memory technique
Stand erect with feet together. Join the palms together in front of the chest. Concentrate on standing straight and steady.
Raise both arms above the head, palms facing upwards.
Arch the back and stretch the whole body.
From 2, bend the body forward and touch the floor.
Keep the legs perpendicular to the gound. Bend the knees a little if needed.
Place the palms next to the feet.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasna
From 3, extend the left leg back and drop the left knee to the floor,
bend the right knee and keep it between the hands.
Lift the head and chest up.
5. Adho Mukha Svansana
Take the right foot back to join the left, keeping the palms on the floor.
Lift your back and hips upwards to a triangular position.
Bend downwards and lower the head between the arms.
Inhale and Exhale
Drop both knees to the ground and slowly bring the chest and chin to the ground between your palms.
Eight parts of the body should be touching the floor. Two sets of toes, two knees, two hands, chest, and chin or forehead.
Keep feet together and make sure hips are above the floor.
Lower the hips, slowly lift up from the chest until the spine is fully arched. And look up.
Keep your legs together and the elbows alongside the body slightly bent and keep the shoulders down.
Now the motions repeat in a backward cycle.
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (5) position. Allow your feet to rest on the soles.
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (4) position. Swing the left foot forward. This might be difficult at first, in which case, you can bring the foot forward in 2 steps.
10. Padahastanasana (3) position. Bring the right foot in front to meet the left.
11. Raise both upwards into the hastauttanasana (2) position.
12. Sthitaprarthanasana posture.
As you get better, you can introduce the Adho Mukha Dandasana , or 4 limbed stiff pose between 5, and 6. This is the Plank and can be held for a few seconds.
Pictures and text adapted from an article by Deepti Bansal Seth, a nutrionitst and Yoga consultant, in Tarla Dalas’ Cooking & More Magazine.