6. Value To Women (The Ten Point Way to Health)
Value To Women
“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
As we strongly recommend Surya Namaskars for women-young and old, maids and matrons ( even pregnant women or nursing mother ) –the following instructions, based on actual experience, will be found useful to womenfolk in special conditions.
The Namaskar exercise should be suspended during the menstrual period, from the time the menses actually begin to flow until they stop, the normal period being four to six days. At the end of the period the exercise should be begun again without delay.
An expectant mother may continue the Namaskar exercise as usual until the completes the fourth month of pregnancy. From the fifth month to the end of the seventh the exercise should be modified in accordance with her state of health. If she is in any doubt, she should consult her doctor. From the beginning of the eighth month until child-birth the should only do the deep breathing and reciting of the mantras. The mantras are explained fully in Chapters 11 and 12.
Even after the suspension of the Namaskars, no pregnant woman should sit or lie down in laziness, but should do light and pleasant work, such as domestic duties, walking, gardening, and so on until the very hour of child- birth.
Resumption of the exercises after child – birth should be undertaken on the advice of the doctor. Some women could do them safely and with great advantage within a month of child – birth. Others would have to wait several months. In any case, they should be resumed gradually, care being taken to avoid all strain or tiredness.
Whenever a girl or woman cannot take, or is prevented from taking, any bodily exercise for reasons other than ailment or discase, she will be helped by reciting the mantras, concentrating her mind as strongly as possible on any desire she wishes to attain.
Apart from the above special conditions, women should follow exactly the same rules that govern men in performing Surya Namaskars.
To those who hold that women do not need as much exercise as men it should be pointed out that woman-the mother-is, in the words of an Indian poet, ‘the mine of heroes and great men,’ and that you cannot expect a weak and sickly mother to bear healthy, strong, and long-lived children.
Are the present generation of our young girls and women models of physical perfection?
Is it not a fact that in many cased they come of parents who have rarely enjoyed normal health?
Is it not a fact that many young women are averse to marriage because of the duties of motherhood?
Is it not a fact that there is a general dread of motherhood in the minds of young wives through-out the world?
Is it not a fact that there is an appalling infant mortality amongst: our city-dwellers?
Is it not a fact that very few young mothers are able to suckle their children and that the widely advertised ‘foods’ have to be depended upon mainly because the mother is often a mother when she is hardly fit to be one?
In his novel, The Silver Spoon, John Galsworthy described a modern young woman as ‘flat as a board behind and before.’ This still holds true of the vast majority of young women from China to Peru.
The only remedy for this most deplorable state of things is to put our girls and women through a scientifically designed course of physical culture. There is no doubt at all that girls and young women derive benefit from Surya
Namaskars. Indeed, cases are known of matrons of fifty who only after a short course have almost regained their youth.
To those readers who can afford it we recommend at least a cursory perusal of numerous magazines and books on physical culture that have recently been published in India, Europe, and America, and of the large output of literature about the science of eugenics. All who study these carefully will be convinced that the same course of physical training as is prescribed for men is also beneficial for women-with, of course, a few minor adaptations.
Girls and women in great numbers have benefited from Surya Namaskars in bodily and mental health and in general appearance. We vouch for this personally.
It might be of interest to know what Surya Namaskars have done for our Ranisahib.
Before she took up the exercises eleven years ago, she had backache whenever she worked for an hour or so in a sitting position. Now, though she studies and works harder and longer in the same position, she feels no pain whatsoever. It has entirely disappeared.
She used to suffer occasionally from indigestion and constipation. These ailments too have disappeared. Pain above the waist used to afflict her, but that has ceased. A number of menstrual irregularities have also cleared up since she began these exercises.
Weakness subsequent to child-birth disappears more rapidly than before, and parturition is practically painless. Our children are healthier and stronger. The Ranisahib looks younger, though she is the mother of eight children.
Even more convincing is the case of Mrs Saubhagyavati Sitabai Kirloskar, wife of the tutor to the Ranisahib. She is now aged sixty-one and is the mother of ten children.
Within six months of beginning to do Surya Namaskars systematically, most of the superfluous fat from which she had suffered for many years and all here rheumatism and backache disappeared. Her digestive system began to function better, her hair stopped falling out and its former luster returned ; her complexion became clearer and ruddier, even her nails showing a redder tint. Perspiration lost its unwholesome odour-an awkward personal complaint from which she had suffered much. The muscles of her arms, legs, and bust became firmer and stronger. Her chest measurement increased by two inches, while that of the abdomen decreased by two inches.
Surya Namaskars have a peculiar importance for women in so far as they more than men depend upon physical attractiveness, and by the harmonious action of these exercise in toning up all their physical processes they acquire a very bloom of personality.
6. Value To Women (The Ten Point Way to Health)
Continue to Chapter 6