Saluting the sun

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Melbourne’s Rashi Kapoor demonstrates the health benefits of a daily Surya Namaskar practice

The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is a powerful sequence of 10-12 poses specifically designed to work out all parts of the body and stretch the spine. It is said that Surya Namaskar contains the entire practice of yoga within it. But what does that mean? If you examine the postures that make up the sun salutations, you get a wide range of movements: forward bend, back bend, being still, lengthening the spine, grounding the feet, strengthening the upper body, stretching the hamstrings, expanding the lungs and more. That is why Surya Namaskar is the ideal way to warm the body at the beginning of a yoga practice. Even if you do not intend to practice yoga, the sun salutation is a great way to start the day, as it also works on the mind. By hearing the breath and holding the gaze (drishti), these movements allow us to centre ourselves and to quiet our wandering mind.

This exercise has many health benefits. Its regular practice helps with increased energy levels, increased radiance, strengthening of the immune system, improved digestion, eyesight and life span and improvement in overall health. Above all, we are invoking the grace of the Lord in the sun to illuminate our path.

Melbourne’s Rashi Kapoor, pictured here, has been doing the Surya Namaskar on a daily basis for many years now.

“I first learnt it as a child as my family is quite into yoga,” she told Indian Link. “It was when I joined the Art Of Living in 2009 that the penny dropped for me about the benefits of this routine. I’ve been doing it daily since.”

A dedicated yoga enthusiast, Rashi rises at four each morning to put in an hour of yoga. This typically includes ten full rounds of Surya Namaskar.

She revealed it helps her control her mind as well as body.

“It is uplifting and relaxing, and as a student it helped me calm the nerves during exam time as well!”

Twenty three-year-old Rashi, an accountant by background, is currently preparing for the Victorian finals of the Miss World Australia competition in July. Already well-known in the Indian community for her many public appearances, such as when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited in November last year, we’re fully behind her to go far in this competition.

Surya Namaskar


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