Body image is something so many people are worried about due to pressure from social media, magazines, TV and maybe even people in their lives. On top of being body conscious many people in the modern world are less physically active and suffer because of this.
How important are our bodies and our appearance? The answer to that is very personal for each individual. For me, it comes down to how you feel. Do you feel at ease with your body or is there 'dis-ease'? The focus should be less about how you look and more about how you feel.
The bodies we have are literally temples for the Soul. The Atma animates the body; without it the body is not alive. For our very existence, it is essential to look after our bodies and to live a happy and fulfilling life. We owe it to ourselves to care for and love our bodies.
One of the best ways to improve health is to exercise. Studies prove that regular exercise helps to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and ward off anxiety and feelings of depression. Moving your body and increasing your heart rate with cardiovascular exercise stimulates the production of endorphins in the bloodstream. These endorphins are often referred to as 'happy hormones' or 'feel-good' chemicals that the body produces, creating a general feeling of positivity within the body.
As a yoga teacher, I have noticed that the majority of people start to do yoga because it’s fashionable or because it is a good way to lose weight and tone the body. One student of mine, many years ago, started attending my classes for the latter reason; she had been suffering from poor body image for years and was often seeking a form of exercise to lose weight. After regularly attending my classes she told me how they had changed her life for the better and how her feelings of insecurity, anxiety and depression had decreased.
Another student, an extremely wealthy businessman, wanted private yoga lessons to help him feel physically better. He suffered from a lot of physical ailments due to the fact that he was constantly working and traveling the world. Whenever he was in London I would teach him yoga everyday. He got so much pleasure from it that he began to extend his stays in London. He also told me how his life had changed for the better since doing yoga. He had always suffered from insomnia, but found since the classes he was able to sleep better. He lost weight without changing his diet in any way which was something his doctor had wanted him to do for a long time. He also joked with me that his energy levels had improved which made his wife very happy.
Yoga postures are an excellent form of exercise. They are designed to elongate and strengthen the muscles which helps increase our range of motion, eliminate aches and pains, improve posture and increases our overall energy. Babaji Surya Namaskar in particular, is a sequence of yoga postures that benefits the whole body. The additional use of mantra as part of the practice helps to clear the mind and breath control increases inner awareness.
“It is an exercise of saluting the sun where every part of your body is infused with the sun´s rays inside: sun energy”. Paramahamsa Vishwananda
Babaji Surya Namaskar is beneficial and apt to our time specifically. A mere 10 to 15 minutes practice of BSN gives equivalent benefits as a 45-minute Hatha Yoga class. It can be practiced alone, in a class or with a group of friends and has also been adapted into a chair sequence for those who are less mobile.
If you are looking to improve your health, to be physically fit, to create a positive mind and also nurture your soul then BSN is what you are looking for.