So my challenge for month 4 of #challenge30by12 was to do 10 Suryanamaskars every morning. This was to be done in addition to my regular exercise routine. And it was the right timing. My trip to Hasimara, visit my sister and the all the New Year festivities had gotten the better of me!! So #challenge4of30by12 was doing 10 Suryanamaskars within half an hour of waking up.
At first, I felt groggy and grumpy. Even my body felt stiff. I was irritated that I had to wake up earlier than usual in order to get this done and still manage the rest of the regular chores [read: make tea for everyone, awaken a 3 yr old, bathe him, clothe him, feed him breakfast and drop him to school, make breakfast for whole family] in time. At first, I did them reluctantly, mind and body and it took me almost 20-25 minutes to get them done, often huffing and puffing by the time I rolled up my mat! On countless number of days, I felt tempted to crawl back under the covers and snuggle my toddler and still-sleeping husband for a power nap!!
But I slowly started noticing the difference in my day. I noticed a certain boost of energy during the first half of my day. I felt enthusiastic and positive and realised that I could accomplish much more than I originally thought possible. I felt upbeat and much more in control of my day. I felt calm and less stressed out.
I had read about the benefits of exercising in the morning and how it kickstarted one’s metabolism and made one feel energised and positive. But I never was a morning person. I preferred staying up late than waking up early. Even when I was a national level athlete, I hated morning workouts and was almost always late for morning training sessions. I never understood the impact that exercising early in the morning could have on my day. But after experiencing change in my day, my mood and my body, I now feel that a morning exercise routine should be a part of everyone’s morning rituals. Even if it’s for 10-15 in the morning, that’s enough to get you pumped for the rest of the day, provided you exercise 3-4 times a week for at-least 30-40 minutes.
Why Suryanamaskars? My dad has been a big influence in my life. I have always seen him exercise, play tennis, go walking/running with my mom. For the past 6 years, he has been diligently practicing yoga for 1 hour everyday. I have heard him extol the virtues of Suryanamaskars as the master exercise for the body. This exercise which is a set of 12 yogasanas helps in stretching your muscles, especially your back and abdominal muscles. It improves flexibility, strengthens and tones your arms and legs, and when done at a moderate-to-brisk pace, it’s a great cardiovascular exercise. What took me 20-25 minutes in the beginnings, I could now achieve in 5-10 minutes. Not only did I feel great and energised, but I also could do them quicker and spend those remaining 10 minutes writing my 750 words!
After a few days, I realised that I had started humming shlokas while doing my Suryanamaskars. I remembered them from a yoga class I took years ago. I was mumbling subconsciously for a few days after which I looked them up and now I practise them with so much more awareness.
I realise that this habit is worth sticking to I plan to keep at it beyond the one month I originally planned to do it. The other habit that has stuck if #challenge3of30by12. You can read about all the challenges here and the original post on why I am doing this!