Asanakriya, commonly known as Suryanamaskara, is a powerful yogic practice with numerous benefits for the body and mind developed by Poorna Guru Sri Sree Madhavacharyan. It is falsely understood as a practice for offering salutations to the sun. Due to this misconception, many people of different religions hesitate to do Asanakriya, preventing them from experiencing the benefits of this practice.
Asanakriya is one of the most important yogic practices of Nirvana Yoga. It involves the scientific integration of several asanas and is practised in a series to achieve its enormous benefits. Asanakriya is an ideal practice for maintaining positive health and balance in all functions of the body and mind. Moreover, it enhances the flow of vital energy into human systems constituted by the physical body, energy body and causal body. Hence it should be an inevitable part of the healthcare management system. Generally, Asanakriya can be practised from the age of eight years onwards. Elderly people or those who have any physical or mental illness should practise only according to their ability.
Asanakriya and Yogasanas are two different categories of yogic practices. Static and effortless maintenance of the body in the final posture is a characteristic feature of Aasanas whereas Asanakriya involves continuous movement from one Asana to another. There are several other differences too. You can practice Asanas also after practising Asanakriya and sufficient relaxation in Vishramasana. Awareness of the body and observing the sensations in the body while practising is a process common to both these systems of Sadhana.
Asanakriya is commonly known as Suryanamaskar due to certain misconceptions. This is because the Asanakriya is most beneficial when practised during sunrise facing the sun or letting sun rays fall on your body. Sunrise is the time when the positivity of sun rays falls on your body. Sunrise is the time when the positivity of the sun's rays is at its peak. This will help the practitioner to receive the vital forces of solar energy and experience its benefits in addition to other constituents of universal energies. This is the reason why sunrise is the best time for practising Asanakriya. Later it was misinterpreted as a practice for offering salutations to the sun. The truth is that Asanakriya is not associated with any religious beliefs, rites or rituals. Chanting of mantras is not mandatory for practising Asanakriya. People belonging to any religion, caste or belief system - even non-believers- can practice Asanakriya to get benefitted from it.
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