Surya Namaskara: great pose or door to false worship?

Because it seems the trial over yoga in Encinitas public schools is hinging a bit on Surya Namaskara — and whether a bunch of impressionable kids are worshiping the Hindu sun god — I thought it timely that David Garrigues would post something about his experience with this fundamental pose / sequence of poses. From his Tumblr (also, I think, on his Facebook page):

Surya Namaskara is in many ways the most perfect and complete mind body experience of all. On the physical level every muscle group receives action and release, strengthening and lengthening, healthy interaction between agonist and antagonist muscle groups. The movements and positions of Surya Namaskara are basic, relatively simple to perform and accessible to nearly anyone regardless of age, fitness level or even weight.

You can also begin to learn Surya Namaskara even if you are not currently exercising and are out of shape. By moving through just nine positions you can begin to improve the range of motion of your joints, strengthen and tone virtually every muscle group in the body, cleanse the organs and thus improve the function of all the major systems of the body including circulatory, digestive, endocrine, nervous, skeletal, and respiratory.

Find out just how long that was his sole asana practice and more. Check the link.

Posted by Steve

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There’s a curious little item in Tim Miller’s blog this week

Tim Miller has his latest blog post up — a little earlier than usual — and I happen to have just finished a somewhat truncated practice (in the P.M.? Yes — will try to get around to talking about that in the days ahead) and am hovering over dinner, so I saw it earlier than usual, as well.

It’s usual in almost all other ways: A classically Tim take on the skies above us:

In Indian mythology Shani is the son of Surya, and–like all fathers and sons–they have their issues.  There are many different versions of the story of Surya and Shani.  This is my favorite one:  Surya is married to Sanjana, the daughter of the Divine Architect, Vishvakarman.  Sanjana is a delicate sort and begins to find the heat and brightness of Surya oppressive.  Seeking relief, she creates a clone of herself called Chhaya (Shadow) and asks her to assume her role with Surya as she seeks respite in her father’s house.  Surya doesn’t notice the change and has marital relations with Chhaya, resulting in the birth of Shani.  Shani is born with a dark complexion and the moment his father lays eyes on him he goes into an eclipse, questioning the true paternity of Shani.

Check for the full story. And also, check for this hidden little min-bombshell (bombyshell?):

Concerning this aspect, astrologer Robert Hand writes:  “On this day you will turn your attention to your duties and responsibilities, to those tasks that you may not want to do but feel you must in order to fulfill your obligations to others.”  For me this has played out in the last two days as being one of the subjects in a documentary film about ashtanga yoga—having a camera in my face while teaching and practicing.

What’s that about? We’ll have to wait and find out, although I may put Bobbie on the case to check and see if anyone we know is in the know.

Posted by Steve