Thursday, 4 July 2013

Saluting the sun

Every weekday morning, I stumble out of bed at the insistence of my alarm clock, wishing myself extra snooze time. Not that I wake up at the crack of dawn or anything, (like other amazing mothers I know). I get up around 7-7.15 am, because I have a little boy whose Lightning McQueen snack box needs to be filled up. And said little man also has to be given a decent breakfast. Accomplishing that, every day, leaves me feeling very proud of myself, to be honest

The only problem is, once the little fellow is off to pre-school--bathed, dressed and fed, then the zonkness hits me. Even the enormous mug of filter coffee I prep my mornings with, has stopped working by then. That's when I know, I need to salute the sun.

The sun salutation or the surya namaskar is a 12-step series of asanas, involving breathing right, stretching and general all-round limbering up. I started doing it last year, when my asthma had me using a very strong inhalor-- Foracort 400, which actually comes with it's own 'start-stop' book. That is, you have to mark down the date you start using it, and note down when it gets over, before you get a refill, and so on.

Anyway, over the course of a year, I gained six or seven kilos. I'm 5' 1" and ideally my weight should be less than 55 kgs. But last year, I went up to 62 kgs. My face became puffier, my stomach looked pregnant again. Needless to say, I absolutely and totally loathed being in photographs. I hated myself. Plus, I knew I needed a long-term, healthy solution to get my breathing under control.

A close friend M had been raving about surya namaskar--how she felt lighter, better, and so on, once she started practising it. So I you tubed the sequence and started. The first few times I did surya namaskar, I literally kept my eyes glued to the screen till I memorised the asanas. And I realised she is right.

The surya namaskar is truly incredible. I do the sequence just a couple of times, and that too, not every day (because I'm lazy). But when I do, the sequence immediately calms me down. I feel lighter, more flexible, my lower back pain (something I've had since my C-section delivery nearly five years ago) is so much better and my breathing, easier. I'm prone to allergic rhinitis and doing the surya namaskar helps with that too. Also, I've stopped using my Foracort inhalor and use a regular Asthalin inhalor now. And because I feel stronger, I've included more cardio into my exercise routine and I am six kgs lighter! I yo-yo between 56 and 58 kgs most weeks.

The process to getting healthier started with the surya namaskar.
Saluting the sun is an absolutely beautiful thing. And it makes me feel beautiful too.