10. Evolution Of Surya Namaskars (The Ten Point Way to Health)

10. Evolution Of Surya Namaskars (The Ten Point Way to Health)

Evolution Of Surya Namaskars

“The Ten Point Way to Health (Surya Namaskars)


Shrimant Balasahib Pandit Pratinidhi (B.A.) Rajah of Aundh

Edited with an introduction by Louise Morgan

First Published: 1938

We are often asked the question : ‘Has the method of Surya Namaskars which you are now advocating been following by you from the beginning? ‘

In reply, we shall try briefly to show how the present system was gradually evolved from the old method.

It was in 1908 that we first began to do Surya Namaskars in the old style. According to this the knees were not straightened while bending over, nor was the foot brought forward on a line with the palms, and it was not necessary to stand erect at the beginning of each Namaskar or to regulate the breathing in the way we have indicated.

After doing the Namaskars in this way for about a year, we tried one day to bring the toes of one leg forward on a line with the palms, and found that it put a grater strain on the abdomen and waist. This was the first improvement made on the old style.

On another occasion, while attempting to straighten the knees when bending over to place the palms on the ground, we experienced a still greater stretching sensation in the calves, thighs, waist, abdomen, and throughout the back. A material improvement resulted.

Following the custom of the old school of wrestling and athletics, we are freely of fatty and protcinaceous foods, such as cream, butter, and nuts, and consequently put on an excess o fat all over the body, especially round the abdomen. As we felt it necessary to reduce the girth of the abdomen, all such movements as gave a vigorous stretch and compression to the abdomen were gradually introduced.

The changes thus made in the mode of doing Namaskars vigorously strained and acted upon the stomach and abdomen muscles, and gradually got rid of a tendency to constipation. Though the bowels sometimes fail to function the first thing in the morning, they do open freely an hour or so after the Namaskars.

When required to stand for a longer time than usual in order to recite certain prayers and hymns, we tried to stand erect, with chest inflated and thrown forward, and felt an appreciable strain in the abdomen and waist regions. Since then we assumed this attitude in every Namaskar.

When taking the right foot forward, a studied

pressure on the right side of the stomach, and a similar pressure on the left side in taking the left foot forward, were found to stimulate the liver and spleen respectively.

With the introduction of these improvements, we naturally stopped the old way of doing four or five Namaskars in one breath. Discovering as well that a complete exhalation greatly facilitated the action of pulling up the abdomen, we made use of this in the positions of bending over and touching the ground with chest and forehead.

At first we began to take one full breath for one Namaskar. Finally, we found it most useful to accompany each drawing-in of the stomach with a complete exhalation, so that three full breaths came at length to be included in performing a single Namaskar.

We have explained this at some length, because we feel that we have played our small part in helping our fellow-men and in helping to change matters.


10. Evolution Of Surya Namaskars (The Ten Point Way to Health)

Continue to Chapter 11



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