Sadhana for Week 1
Jog to Jagadeeshwara OR do Suryanamaskaar for 20min.
“Do simple exercises to keep your body trim and vigorous.  All excesses to be wisely weeded out from your day’s programme. Realise that you have no business to be exhaused, drained out, fatigued or sick.”     - Swami Chinmayananda
Once someone was insisting to Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda that the Brahmacharis must do Yoga regularly, in sandeepany it must be taught etc.  He went on and on about the benefits of Yoga.  After sometime Poojya Gurudev said - “They are here, not to twist their bodies but to straighten their minds.  We teach them to do 12 Surya-namaskaars daily and that is sufficient.”

At another instance, Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda gave a message: 

How to?
Jog to Jagadeeshwara

  • The most basic form of exercise, that needs no instruction, is brisk walking.
  • Do 5min. of warmup exercises before you begin the walk
  • Walk gently to begin with and then gradually increase the speed.  Walk for 15mintues. 
  • Slow down for the last 5 minutes. 
  • While walking, pay attention to the rhythm of walking, breathing, movement of the body, pressure on the feet, ground etc. 
  • To increase the challenge, increase speed, length of time, and maybe chose an area which has slopes.  Going uphill is always harder 
  • You can also jog for a few minutes.  
  • Remember the Lord of the Universe - Jagadeeshwara at the end of your walk/Jog and feel grateful for the human body and good health.  

Surya Namaskaar
Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 powerful asanas (postures) performed in a specified sequence which utilizes almost 95% of our body muscles. Each of the 12 asanas have a specific benefit on the body. In Sanskrit, Surya means Sun and Namaskarmeans Salutation. In our Culture, Sun represents not just a star made up of gas but also the symbol of Life.  Through the Sun, we revere the Supreme Lord - the source of the whole creation.  Through Suryanamaskaar we express our gratitude to the Lord along with doing cardio-vascular exercises.

  • Surya Namaskar is most beneficial when done early in the morning. It can also be done in the evening.
  • Like any other exercise, a warm up is necessary.
  • Stand facing in the direction of the rising (east) or setting (west) sun. If you can be in the sunlight, it would be great. If not, face the direction of the rising or setting sun, in your room.
  • Breathing pattern is important in performing Suryanamaskaar.  The image below gives the pattern of breathing.

  • Hold your body in each asana for a few seconds and feel the stretch.  Yoga is to be done slowly for maximum benefit.  Do not try to increase the speed and do more than 12 suryanamaskaars. 
  • Do each cycle of 12 Asanas chanting 1 name of Surya.  The 12 names of Surya are -
  1. Om Mitraaya Namaha
  2. Om Ravaye Namaha
  3. Om Suryaaya Namaha
  4. Om Bhaanave Namaha
  5. Om Khagaaya Namaha
  6. Om Pushne Namaha
  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaaya Namaha
  8. Om Maarichaye Namaha
  9. Om Aadityaaya Namaha
  10. Om Savitre Namaha
  11. Om Arkaaya Namaha
  12. Om Bhaaskaraaya Namaha
  •  Shavasana is practiced at the end of practice for rest.

General Instructions

  • Whichever exercise format you choose, make sure you drink lots of water.
  • Do not do any exercises/Suryanamaskaar empty stomach. have some light snack/fruit/juice 15min before you begin the exercises/Suryanamaskaar.  
  • Begin with a warmup, do the exercises, slow down and do shavaasana for 5minutes before resuming anything else. 
  • Many people do some form as exercise on a weekly bases, for example - 2 yoga sessions a week, here the challenge is to do something on a daily basis.

Benefits – 

  • Our human body has been built to move and we find more and more studies showing that when we stay physical fit and active, it increases our ability to stay concentrated.  Concentration is much needed in regular spiritual practices. 
  • A body that is  exercised, has less aches and pains and therefore this is not a distraction when one sits for one’s sadhana. Body is the tool for sadhana and human body is the rarest and most important tool to speed up our evolution.  
  • Walking is a simple exercise and does not require any tools, has no complicated process and its benefits on the body are immense. 
  • Surya Namaskar is the ideal choice for those who are pressed for time. It is a complete workout by itself. It takes just 20 minutes.
  • It can be done at home and no equipment other than a mat is required.
  • It boosts cardiovascular health, improves blood circulation, helps beat stress, improves digestion, helps detox the body, improves flexibility, tones arms, strengthens the spine, helps in weight loss and increases mental alertness.

Beginners and advanced
Someone who has not got around to doing exercise on a regular basis should start with a morning walk, or some gentle yoga stretches.  Anything too drastic leads to injury and therefore the exercise has to be gradually brought in and gradually increased.

For walking, start with 10minutes daily and increase it upto 30minutes. 
For beginners we suggest start with just 3 suryanamaskaars and gradually increase it to 5,7,9,12.  Do not begin with 12 suryanamaskaars. 
For the advanced level we recommend 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar every morning or evening. Each round comprises of 2 sets of 12 asanas.
If you have been exercising regularly, this week is an opportunity to go a little deeper, push yourself to do a little more, or go to a level harder than what you have been doing.  For example, with walking, you could walk faster, or do a longer distance, or choose to do a small stretch of jogging along with walking, or in addition to the regular walk do push ups/sit ups/star jumps/skipping etc.
Let us invoke the blessings of Pujya Gurudev that may we be regular and consistent in #42chinmayasadhanas and in our Exercises to keep the body fit for sadhana.