Enjoy the Paintings
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Namaste to the Sun: An Ancient Yogic Way to Glow from Within

I had gone to my old Yoga school on a long walk. Not to meet anyone but to eat fruits. From an elderly woman who has been sitting outside Yoga centre ever since, with a fruit basket. “Mango aren’t yet sweet, I was about to tell her”, when she introduced me to a police man sitting beside, telling him that I am a Yoga Teacher.

I finished my fruit Salad. About to leave when he requested me to come near and asked in a hushed voice, what to do when your face is darkening? Quiet. I wanted to hear more. It is my wife, she is also gaining a lot of weight. She isn’t old. 47 Years. What to do?

Hearing these two queries took my intuition and understanding towards the Source; The Sun. And Since the Origin of Yoga is centered around and incipiently with worshipping the Sun, I started with telling him about how human civilisation and life actually started around Fire, and fire worship in form of the Sun on Earth, i requested him a few things. Only If she can start her day with Surya Namaskar; Salutations to the Surya Dev first thing in the morning, the giver of energy to the world, for self Vitalisation. I asked him to look over this video for assistance as I didn’t want to do the 12 postures right there on the roadside.

Because first thing that the practice of Surya Namaskar in the direction of the sunrise will do is that it will start maintaining an optimal Vitamin D in the body. Also, solar plexus located behind the navel in the human body is connected to the Sun. The practice of 12 postures of the sun salutation series enhances the solar plexus which, in turn, increases the level of Oxygen in the body, greatly enhances the flow of blood along with creative, intuitive, and other sensitive abilities in the practitioners. I told him even though it is best to practise before or even at the time of the rising sun, but one can perform whenever it feels comfortable.

I even made him write the mantras that go with each posture, more because I could feel he was intrigued and wanted to know it well and right.

Stand facing the east at dawn and recite the mantras to pray Surya Dev and offer flowers, rice grains with water or simply offer water and perform Surya Namaskar. There are 12 Mantras which are different names of Sun God. With each posture, a particular Mantra is chanted.”

𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐲𝐚 𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐚𝐫 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 :

12 सूर्य नमस्कार मंत्र :

1. ॐ मित्राय नमः (Aum Mitraya Namaha) – One who is friendly to all

2. ॐ रवये नमः (Aum Ravaye Namaha) – The shining one, the radiant one

3.  ॐ सूर्याय नमः (Aum Suryaya Namaha) – Who is the dispeller of darkness & responsible for bringing activity.

4. ॐ भानवे नमः (Aum Bhanave Namaha – One who illumines, the bright one.

5.  ॐ खगय नमः (Aum Khagaya Namaha) – Who is all-pervading, one who moves through the sky.

6.  ॐ पुष्णे नमः (Aum Pushne Namaha) – Giver of nourishment and fulfillment

7. ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः  (Aum Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha) – Who has golden color brilliance.

8.  ॐ मारिचाये नमः (Aum Marichaye Namaha) – The giver of light with infinite number of rays.

9.  ॐ आदित्याय नमः (Aum Adityaya Namaha) – The son of Aditi, the cosmic divine Mother.

10. ॐ सावित्रे नमः (Aum Savitre Namaha) – One who is responsible for life.

11. ॐ आर्काय नमः (Aum Arkaya Namaha) – Worthy of praise and glory.

12. ॐ भास्कराय नमः (Aum Bhaskaraya Namaha) – Giver of wisdom and cosmic illumination.


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As with anyone, moving body is as hard as giving exams without preparation expected to pass. I knew Asanas or the Yogic Poses are the hardest thing to do. Hence to make things doable I asked the Officer to First get her to clean her blood and Ama i.e toxins and undigested metabolic waste. If she can start taking half Tsp. Turmeric and and less than half Tsp. Neem powder daily on a empty stomach with Luke warm water. Similarly just before sleeping, if she can only take alum water to gargle and drink just two Tsp of it, it will clean her colon to a great extent and she will start feeling the change and lightness in the body.

He wrote it rapidly on a piece of paper. But for my co-travellers who are young and exploring different dimensions of Body and heart, I thought of sharing some rewards of this daily practice while becoming one with the Nature.

10 Health Rewards/Benefits of Yogic Salutations to the Sun


1. Surya Namaskara as a Gratitude Practice

Sun salutations were born out of deep reverence for the sun, that great ball of fire that warms us, makes plants grow and makes all of nature flourish. The yogis created the sun salutation to pay homage to the sun each morning at sunrise. In doing so, they were practicing gratitude, whether you realize it or not. In pranamasana, the hands are folded in Namaste position close to the heart. Scientifically, the folding of hands together connects the right and left hemisphere of the brain.

2. Magnifies the Blood Circulation:

The active inhalation and exhalation process throughout the Sun salutation series keeps the blood oxygenated and lungs ventilated. The optimal flow of fresh blood in the body is a great way to detox the body making it free from toxic elements and carbon dioxide.

3. Focuses Your Mind

Sun salutations can be thought of as tools for the mind. They get you focused and on the right track, especially first thing in the morning. When you attune your breath to your movement, you’re bringing your attention into the present moment, which supports clarity of mind and present-moment awareness. These are really essential characteristics to have if you want to evolve on the yogic path.

4. Glowing Skin and Luscious Hair:

The Sun Salutation incorporates diverse yoga asanas that enhance the supply of blood and oxygen to these regions helping you savor a youthful glow and long-healthy mane even during old age.


5. Oxygenate Your Cells:

As you increase the length of your inhalations and exhalations, you are bringing an increased supply of oxygen to your cells. Increased oxygenation of your cells is believed to prevent fatal diseases like cancer. It also improves lung health the body’s ability to detox. Because of this, statistics show that cancer patients are now increasingly considering oxygen therapy. When we increase our blood oxygen levels, we’re fighting free radicals, which also helps cognitive function. This means our mind will function better as we age. Therefore, sun salutations can actually slow the ageing process of the mind.

6. Enhances Fitness and Flexibility:

The Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive workout that benefits the entire body. The diverse 12 postures stretch, strengthen, and boost fitness levels of the body. The Ashtanga Namaskar works on the joints of wrists, the forward fold extends the limbs and makes the spine supple, and so much more.

7. Activates the Heart and Helps Bringing Nature Close:

As the hands are join together in front of the heart centre opens one to humility and Gratitude. And when once you are open to these gifts, nature open to you. As they say Nature, nurtures.

8. A Remedy for Blood Pressure and Heart Problems:

Surya Namaskar is a natural remedy for blood pressure. The Surya Namaskar benefits the heart muscles and corrects irregular heartbeats. The practice also keeps sugar levels in control thus keeping the heart problems at bay.

9. A Very Happy Gut:

Due to the alternate stretching and compression of the abdominal organs in the Sun Salutation Series, the digestive fire gets activated that helps get rid of constipation and other stomach problems. A happy and healthy gut is one of the most regarded health benefits of Surya Namaskar.

10. Helps Building Immune System for One and All. Travellers or even Office Goers:

With the practice of Surya Namaskar enhance the health of your body, mind, and soul. It is one of the best ways to keep the body free from diseases and to lead a life of youthfulness, vigour, and positivity.

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Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste


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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, taking you through Ten Lessons I learnt from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.


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You might also like to know about My Little SchoolIf you wish to come over for a visit, to share your stories or to share one of your magic tricks with children, you are heartily welcome here

If you appreciate what you read on the blog, you can support it by contributing towards my travels. it will let me keep bringing you all the secrets, stories and landscapes of nature and life to you. If you live in India You can do it here. And If you are living outside India, please drop me a mail.

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If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, you can visit here.


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This entry was posted in: Enjoy the Paintings

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Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

55 Comments

  1. Thank you so much Narayan ji for sharing this post on San Salutations.
    Indeed it is very important in our life.
    I am practicing it since last few years. 21 rounds of Surya Namaskar is my routine in the morning 🌅
    Along with that I practice pranayama.
    You have elaborated the benefits very nicely.
    Thank you so much.
    Regards 🙏😊

    Like

  2. I’ve seldom seen a nicer summary of this practice and it’/s benefits.

    It’s funny how things are in different parts of this world ~ if I climbed out of my van and did these postures at sunrise every day, the people around me would probably decide that there was no more confusion about it: between harmlessly creative and harmfully crazy, they now choose the latter in my regard.

    Already marginalized to the perimeters of our culture’s category of acceptability, such a decision, sooner or later, would mean my imprisonment or banishment. No exaggeration. Wild, huh?

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    • Thank you so much Ana Sis. For saying this above all.

      More so when I feel you, and you are right that it is not going to be accepted as it is. And it is sad when you can imagine imprisonment the least. I tell you, start planning to come to India then. Travel and do Yoga along the mother Ganges or anywhere for as long as you want.

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      • You are very kind. And I am very disabled ~ travel is beyond me. Besides, I think they need my words here more than they do there, yes?

        But I can take comfort from your stories, and I do. 🙏

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        • If you can’t, pray that I make it to you, your country. Will meet and spend some time then. Yes sis, you can always travel with your words, and better- with your eyes closed. Deeper and farther.

          Like

  3. The wisdom in the practices followed by our ancestors, drawing energy from nature in perfect harmony, is something we have completely overlooked.
    Surya namaskar is one of the best forms of exercise, the benefits of which you have elucidated so beautifully Narayan.
    Simple ingredients from the kitchen can work up as such a good cleanser for the body.
    It is time we go back to our roots. Mankind will immensely benefit from it.

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    • Majority over past 10-15 generations have overlooked not only this but we dont know how many nature related customs and rituals. It is just a matter of mind being tuned to Indian life that we have managed to continue and not abandon Yoga and many such practices which clearly are there to elevate us dear Radhika. In last few years I have found some happiness, some company and a lot of acceptance from Youngsters, but only if I am the one doing it in front of them. It is when people see you doing it, they move towards doing it, just like children.

      Like

    • Surya Namaskar is the foundation of what least a man can do once up from bed. Nothing much is required but just some stretching. Also, it came, this writeup and even this conversation with the Police man very naturally, I thought why not share it with my co-travellers. Thank you for opening up dear Radhika. And you know in ancient times, our kitchen was not used to be known as Rasoi or bhojnalay, rather it was called as Aushdhyalay, for having all the spices in the world, in one place.

      Like

  4. This installment of Narayan’s teachings and deep-held beliefs is an important one as it gives
    a template for a healthy and long life. And at its core is yoga. He expertly points to the ancient sun worship that was practiced all over the world, the reasons are obvious; the sun keeps us warm, helps plants to grow, and nature to flourish, and it makes us happy in a way a gloomy day cannot.
    The benefits of practicing yoga are undisputable, and Narayan lists them all with professional precision. I could just add that yoga improves the lungs’ function which will give a major prediction on how long one will live. Mouth breathing is essential, as he wrote previously, to determine good health. It will increase nitric oxide production, and it is an important molecule
    that has many health benefits, including increased circulation by relaxing the inner muscles of the blood vessels, also lowers blood pressure, and strengthening the immune system,
    It also stimulates the vagus nerve. I might repeat loud and clear: Yoga is good! The breathing practice is used in playing the flute and it will also build up the lung capacity, as well as reciting the mantras.
    Narayan’s devotion to improving our health has to be gratefully acknowledged.
    And the wises one-word sentence? Breath.

    Joanna

    Like

    • Thank you dearest Joanna for such an in depth, exhilarating and what was left-you said it all review of this post whose core is undoubtedly Yoga and upliftment of one and all humankind.

      It is only obvious that our ancestors developed this Yogic system by providing us a way to show our gratitude to the sun, the giver of all food and nourishment. And made sure that the majority of people not only excersice but become one with the nature by manifesting it in their practices.

      Like

    • Also, how well you summed up the latter part of the benefits of Yoga only surprises me and even gives me a sense of pride about how well you know about it intrinsically for our inner as well as outer wellbeing.

      It is true that nothing else but breathing has helped me in my Flute practices over the years.

      My thanking you well is only a social norm but I am much more indebted for your beautiful review again. Thank you so much Joanna.

      Like

  5. Indeed, a great way to start your day- with sun salutations. On another note, I find many teachers spreading the concept that sun salutation is a complete exercise and pushing people to do 80-200 SS. Well, yoga is all about balance. Stressing so much on just sun salutation is questionable. While it does contain movements that works on all parts of the body, but then there are other Aasanas too which work on parts not included in SS.
    hanks for all this information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right dear Arv, many teachers have propagated this being a complete workout but you know, I too will resist proving them wrong completely in case of teaching or leading elderly people, it is this surrender to the completeness of this cycle that they get started with in the first place.

      And secondly, it is the contact, the relation with the sun, the realisation that they carry at the back of their heads that it is somewhere an offering to the Sun, it is their gratitude which somewhere comes close to satiating or at least calling it near complete. But of course it isn’t all. Just the foundation or the minimum one can do.

      Appreciate much your words dear Arv. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is very interesting to read the details of this practice. I believe mankind needs to return to a place where we make daily contact with the earth and respect the elements of our universe. Thank you for explaining it all so well.

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    • Caro, just that Caro, you said it all. It is just making that connect. Realising ones origin and respecting it, carrying a gratitude is all what will change the way people perceive themselves and the world.

      Thanks for understanding dear Caro.

      Like

  7. Luscious hair? You meant lustrous, as luscious means delicious! Also, coarse has been used, instead of course! Please correct!

    Like

  8. So sad that many in India still suffer from what I term colonial colic—having dark skin. Where I live, no matter how long I might be in the sun, its rays are not strong enough this far north to provide vitamin D, we have to take supplements and it makes me wonder where else this vitamin could be found because Inuit peoples still survived even further north.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Martha, you are right. Fish is the best form a human can consume if one wants to eat anything in Animal kingdom. But please read what i wrote to Mallee, as it might help in understanding how we can get Vit D naturally from the sun.

        Thanks Martha, for your presence.

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    • Dear Mallee, thank you for writing in Kind, but here dark skin was meant for a disease as in depression and deprivation of energy and enthusiasm at the core of it. Being overweight as i was told.

      Even though you are right, it was a long era of self-subjugation but slowly girls and boys have started to accept themselves and even enjoy their skin tone slowly but surely.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Also Mallee, it is a certain area and not the whole body which derives Vit D from sun. For example if you have ever seen an Indian woman wearing a Saree, the waist is never covered with the cloth, one of the reason was this.

      Doing pranayama(breathing exercise) under sun opens the pores and allows the cells to re-energize which in turn derives more sunlight into the body. So, better than just lying on the beach or on the roof with our backs towards the Sun, it will be better we start inhaling and exhaling rightly while receiving the Sun.

      Thank you for making me write Mallee. Think it will help. Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The benefits of the Surya Namaskar is beautifully explained in this well written article, especially for the beginners.
    Thank you for sharing. Namaste 🙏

    Like

  10. This is an extremely useful post. You’ve covered the details of Surya Namaskars so comprehensively. Sometimes I tell people (friends and acquaintances) that just do 6- 9 rounds of Suryanamaskars if you have time for nothing else. It’s a complete workout by itself.

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    • I completely agree with you Neel. It is the core, the basis, the pillar on which anything you wish can be made later but doing this is close to doing most.

      I was happy, even surprised but with you all the time when I read about that life changing teachers training you got into. I am certain you have plans to continue and even expand it in coming times Neel.

      Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: International Yoga Day 2020 – Seasons of Life!

  12. Such a helpful, informative and clearly explained post as also great motivation to get back into the the rhythm of universe. Thanks a lot.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your warm comment Diti. Apologies for coming here after sometime, but yes if you believe in the timing, I feel this post certainly want you to get back soon into the rhythm. Thanks so much again.

      Like

  13. KK says

    Thank you, Narayan ji for this exquisite post. Much appreciated. I also firmly believe that Surya Namaskar is a complete exercise covering the whole body and soul too. All should do it starting with 5 rounds, along with pranayam, as the benefits are immense.

    Like

    • Thank you for your warm comment Kaushal. The trigger was the query of the policemen and I thought why not share this with each and everyone with some in depth detail. Thank you again Kaushal Ji.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. There is great danger in praying to the sun. The sun is simply a ball fire created by God to give light and warmth to the earth. We should be serving and praying to the God who made all things in the universe, not to creatures or things He has made.
    “God is not the soul of Nature, nor any part of Nature. He inhabits eternity: He dwells in a high and holy place: Heaven is His throne, not his vehicle, earth is His footstool, not His vesture. One day He will dismantle both and make a new heaven and earth. He is not to be identified even with the ‘divine spark’ in man. He is God and not man.” C. S. Lewis

    Like

    • haha. my dear c.a of course Sun is a ball of fire, but isn’t it also the giver, the one who is nourishing one and all- doing the god’s work each and every day of his life. I bow to him in gratitude, for his service. And if there is any greater danger that is there upon earth, it is the human mind which denies simple truths.

      If an elderly doorman opens the door for you, won’t you say a mere thank you to him. Doesn’t matter who is the boss, sitting in the office. Well, I would.

      Thank you c.a for being close.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting analogy of the doorman. However, in that case both the doorman and the boss are sentient beings. Even the Bible teaches to honor and show respect to those to whom it is owed (Romans 13:7).
        However, the sun is only a ball of fire, not sentient. It is a created thing that The God Who Is put in place for our benefit. He, not IT, is the giver to whom we should bow. You thank the doorman, not the door.
        The danger I mention is because there is a devil who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and his delight is to pull us away from being grateful to the appropriate giver of all good things (James 1:17), and many mantras invoke the names of demons.
        Keep traveling and learning as you go.
        ❤️&🙏, c.a.

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        • Thank you so much c.a. You are of course right. But at the same time you know that I look at things differently. Like how I feel about an artist who, when creates anything- you will believe that, he leaves his imprint, his part of something in that whatever he creates. I hope you will think so.

          Similarly whatever God, the supreme creation, who created all of us, the mankind, also created everything that we see and know to sustain this life, our life on earth. The Earth itself and the life of whoever and whatever is around us, near and far.

          Whenever in future, you will come to India, I will pray and hope to take you along not just to the places but to the insights of all five elements of nature from which we became, and how I give them all back in prayers.

          Thanks c.a for blessing. I really hope to travel the world, though it seems impossible as of now, but i would like to learn and keep sharing, slowly, slowly. My gratitude.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful benefits of yoga shared dear Nara!! I’ve got to hit my mat later and we all need your wonderful writing that delivers beauty … thanks you! 💖

    Like

  16. It was very interesting to visit your blog and read the story of your open and helpful sharing of your wisdom with whoever is interested and will listen or read. I practice “The active inhalation and exhalation process” every morning in my sanctuary as I breath in the love & peace of the Holy Spirit (my understanding of the 3-in-1 part of the God who created heaven & earth, sun, etc) … and I breath out the troubles, worries, pain of life. It is part of my daily routine. The fullness of the ten step program you outlined would no doubt enhance the search for a healthy and wholesome life. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • As long as you close your eyes, breathe deep and pray to god, anyone you connect to. You are there, you are safe, you are loved.

      Thanks for taking your precious time and availing your words here, with your presence.

      Thanks again Jan
      Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

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