Archives for March 2014 | Monthly InSpirations by Fiona

InSpire - March/April 2014

After a very inspiring month in South Africa, filled with warm days and beautiful star-light nights, days in the mountains, days at the ocean, days meeting old friends, and days simply being at home and appreciating fully where I come from, I realised that the one constant in my life that always adds to all the moments no matter what the context, is my breath and my yoga practice!

I rediscovered the first book from which I taught myself the Surya Namaskars 20 years ago, “The ten-point way to health - Yoga in daily life” by the Rajah of Aundh (1938). It was my grandfathers book.
This amazing ancient wisdom has not changed, simply the coverings of the books and the pictures in them, get more glamorous. I would like to share some of this divine wisdom - literally Divine….

The Meaning of Surya Namaskar
“Is there a universal kind of exercise, right for all ages, for children and women as well as for men, costing nothing, and capable of being accessories, at any moment, anywhere?
There is, and it is called Surya Namaskars, literally translated ‘sun obeisances’ or ‘sun prayers’. They go back thousands of years.Then, as now, man looked to the sun for light. warmth, health, hygiene, and food.The Sun purified things that had festered or moulded or accumulated disease-germs in the dark. The sun caused the growth and ripening of grain, fruit, and other foods by which man sustained life. To early man, the sun was the life-giver, and the thinkers and sages of India thousands of years ago showed their gratitude by making obeisances (or doing exercises) at the rising and the setting of the sun. They bowed to the sun as you would today to one who had bestowed so many priceless gifts on humanity.

“Surya Namaskars have a particularly notable effect on the nervous system, where resides chiefly the spring of human power. It is from here that energy is transmitted to the tissues and organs of the body. A personality is made strong, compelling, and active not so much by muscle as by vital energy behind the muscle.

“The mind wields such a power in every human action that nothing can be done satisfactorily without it. Therefore, each performance of the Surya Namaskars should be permeated with the active consciousness that one is being helped by them. Concentrate on the idea that every movement is bettering a particular muscle or part of the body, and let all your mind-force and will-power radiate towards that spot. Conceive that the special part is getting stronger, or thinner, or fatter, and the object will be attained in a surprisingly short time.
The full development of every part, the amelioration of disease, or the removal of pain, cannot be brought about unless the whole weight of mind and will are brought to bear upon the part throughout the exercise.
In this way one begins to establish mental control over one’s body, a vital principle in the life of the happy creative man or woman.

What are we observing and practicing on and off our mat this month?
What needs healing or attention in your body? What would you like to focus on this month, with a one-pointed attention? It can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual….choose one aspect and attempt to keep returning to this each time you come to the mat.
When you are off your mat, use your breath to encourage healing in the same space.

Can you commit to doing Surya Namaskars each day this month? How many can you realistically commit to?