Samarth Namaskar

Surya Namaskar

While the country is gearing to celebrate WORLD YOGA DAY, an innovation on the SURYA NAMASKAR ———- christened SAMARTH NAMASKAR by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is sitting at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) awaiting a National Launch.

The new routine, that has added 9 postures to the traditional 12, has been  essentially developed by a Pune-based orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Pavan Kohli, with the blessings of the late yoga guru BKS Iyengar and in collaboration with offshore branches of a yoga institute and the Sports Medicine Association (Singapore), SAMARTH NAMASKAR is an attempt to woo over people.  The PM’s astute selection of the name SAMARTH was to signify capable of benefitting all.
Samarth Namaskar“I faced a lot of resistance within the country to my efforts to innovate on the iconic SURYA NAMASKAR, so I chose to involve foreign institutions in my endeavour,” Dr. Kohli told Mirror.  It took him over a year to develop the routine, during which time BKS passed away.
“BKS was already in a frail state of health when I began.  After him, I have been guided by his son Prashant Iyengar,” Kohli recounted.  However, Prashant Iyengar told Mirror, “It is completely designed by Kohli and all the credit for it should go to him.  We only approved his innovations as they were brought to us.”
Dr. Kohli took up the experiment to address the needs of modern life-styles.  “Most people these days suffer from backaches and neck pain due to long hours of sitting.  The problem has become almost epidemic.  SURYA NAMASKAR lacked the sideways movement and could not relieve these issues.  I have made additions to take on these modern-day physical demands with SAMARTH NAMASKAR.”
Early this year, Dr. Kohli submitted his research report to both ICMR and the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).  Vouching for the efficacy of SAMARTH NAMASKAR, Dr. Ravinder Singh, senior scientist at ICMR said, “SAMARTH is definitely more powerful  and energetic.  Its back and neck postures are helpful.  PMO was to launch it on the eve of International Yoga Day, but the plan was held back due to various reasons.  Now, at ICMR, we will do a controlled study of SAMARTH on different subjects to establish stronger evidence of its efficacy.”

94th birthday Celebration of B.K.S. Iyengar

Confirming that SAMARTH NAMASKAR has found acceptance with the Modi government, Union Ministry for AYUSH Shripad Naik, added, “The file is pending with us and a date for the launch of this “innovative routine” will be set on Sunday after the celebrations of International Yoga Day wind up.”  Director of the finance department of PMO also told Mirror, “PM will soon be launching SAMARTH NAMASKAR through AYUSH.”

Given that the research had BKS Iyengar’s backing, not many yoga experts are contesting the efficacy of SAMARTH.  “There are several SURYA NAMASKAR variations some with more than 12 poses.  SAMARTH NAMASKAR has 21, of which 10 are from the classic sun salute.  I think the additional poses, which seem to “have a beautiful flow”, will make SAMARTH NAMASKAR more intense and involving,” opined Mumbai-based  yoga guru and author Shameem Akhtar.


“SAMARTH NAMASKAR seems to have incorporated certain movements of the body that were missing in the traditional SURYA NAMASKAR like the Trikonasana, Marjariasana and the Virbhadrasana kriya.  Since, it has been developed by medical experts, it must have been done keeping in mind the musculoskeletal system.  And if there is an easy flow from one posture to another —— that is the most crucial aspect —– it should work fine,” certified Asheet Ambekar, yoga teacher who has trained under Iyengar.

———with inputs from PM Features team.


Little ‘noni’ fruit

“NONI” or “Indian Mulberry”, the fruit of the Morinda Citrifolia tree, is actually a species of the coffee family ——- and like coffee ——– it is a stimulator, but not in the way you would imagine.  Native to South-East Asia and Australasia, the NONI fruit has been particularly well revered in Hawaii, where it is part of many traditional medicinal remedies.
noni fruitThe NONI plant is a source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium.   Every part of the shrub —— from leaves to roots —— has been used to treat a variety of ailments.  Many of the medicinal benefits though, are largely attributed to the fact that the NONI plant is a source of “phytonutrients”, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds known to boost the immune system, as well as repair cellular damage.
In India, ancient ayurvedic texts mention NONI or ASHYUKA (in Sanskrit), as a remedy to stimulate “internal cleansing” by treating parasitic infections of the stomach and asthma, as well as an “external remedy” to treat joint pains and for skin ailments and as an anti-ageing solution.  C00284-3BTraditional healers in the Pacific Islands have been using NONI for centuries as a general wellness tonic, to cure almost any ailment.
The potato-sized NONI fruit itself is not pleasant in taste and does give off a slightly strong odour, so it is more commonly taken in the form of juice.  For those who don’t have access to the fresh fruit, juices are available in bottles.  However, as the juice is quite bitter, producers will often sweeten it, so it is always advisable to check the quantity of sugar added in the ingredients, before purchasing.  The beneficial properties decrease with added sugar and processing.


(a) Fruit Juice :  When used externally, it works on head lice, when you drink it, it helps with diabetes, high BP, headaches, stomach ailments, gastric ulcers, circulation problems, lowers cholesterol, in fevers, cough & cold, arthritis, poor digestion and weight loss.  It is even considered to be an excellent treatment for senility and depression.
(b) NONI TEA :  Made from the leaves, NONI tea contains antioxidants and works as an anti-ageing treatment.  It also works as a cure for diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, food poisoning and intestinal worms.  The preparation of the tea, however, is unlike the juice and has higher sugar content ——— so can actually be harmful for diabetics and those with liver problems.
(c) NONI LEAVES :  Wrapping NONI leaves around affected areas can cure arthritis, sore & swollen joints, headaches and stomach aches   A mixture of raw fruit and leaves is a cure for skin infections such as boils and bruising.  In the Polynesian Islands, root preparations were used to heal sting-ray and jellyfish wounds .  The bark was also traditionally used as an aid for mothers giving birth.
However, since NONI is a stimulant, it does cleanse the body in order to heal it.  This means that one has a weak liver or kidney, IT IS ADVISABLE TO REFRAIN FROM TAKING NONI INTERNALLY.  This also applies to those taking blood-thinning medications or ant-water retention pills.
Last, and the most important warning : PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT TAKE NONI.
——–Ambika Behal.  

This & That…

(1) An Ayurvedic Proverb : When the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use ; when the diet is right, medicine is of no need.
(2) An untrained person could be killed in these woods, but, there is little “danger for a ranger”.
(3) The best option is to remain “centred in the heart”, which is always ‘silent’, ‘intuitive’ and ‘alert’.  The mind is a ‘chatterbox’ and the heart cannot ‘chatter’, but, it makes it possible for miracles to happen.  Let your success talk about itself, it is more eloquent than 1000s of words.
(4) Writing an ‘A’ on your dish rag, would make it a “towel with a vowel”.
(5) A British Company has launched a range of premium tea-bags (herbal) for dogs.  There are 7 varieties and promises to give your pet ——- better breath, improved digestion and a shinier coat.  The tea cost as much as 11.99 pounds for 28 bags.
(6) Hansel Mehta’s “Citylights” is a film that belongs to the category of films that put truths on the table and dares to touch you with reality rather than fantasy.  It is not a comforting film.  It rips into your apathy and forces you to look at those invisible people, on whose shoulders the very core of the city rides, with new eyes.  The movie manages to reconnect one to those ’emotional wells ‘ within, which we have wilfully ‘walled up’.  Here is a movie for the soul.
CityLights(7)” Verbal abuse” can leave huge scars, just “physical abuse” does.
(8) In the Amazon rainforests, live a certain species of butterflies that drink a turtle’s tears.
(9) Life is ‘shocking, but you must never appear to be shocked.  For, no matter how bad it is —– it could be worse, and no matter how good it is —– it could be better.
(10) What do these words have in common ? —— Banana, Grammar, Revive, Onion, Dresser, Potato, Assess. —— If you move the first letter, of the word to the end, it forms the same word “backward”.
(11) Spring Rains are “inspiring”, Summer Rains are “invigorating”, Fall Rains are “quiet & restful”, but, November Rains are “nothing”.
(12) What do clouds wear under their shorts ? —- Thunder Pants.
(13) Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder
But may also be in the looking-glass
Vanity thinks it will never grow older
And yet, the judgement will come to pass.
(14) A 600 pound octopus can squeeze through a hole —– the size of a coin.
(15) Einstein, when asked to describe Radio, said, “You see, wire telegraph is like a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New York, and his head is meowing in Los Angeles,  And, Radio, operates exactly the same way : You send signals here —– they receive them there.  The only difference : There is no cat.
(16) In “action”, a “great heart” is the chief qualification .  In “work”, a “great head”.
(17) Don’t gamble, unless you can afford to lose: if you can afford to lose, you don’t have to gamble.
(18) “Sudoku” isn’t a Japanese game.  It’s an American invention.  Howard Garns created it as “Number Place” in 1979, but died in 1989, before Japanese publisher —- Nikoli —- got hold of it.  The game didn’t really take off until 2004, though when Wayne Gould convinced The Times, in London, to publish it.
(19) We have no ‘defect’ that could not become a ‘strength’ ; no ‘strength’ that could not become a ‘defect’.
(20) Commitment, gone mad, is no excuse to get mad at commitment.  We need a “Converted Karl Marx”, a “Healed Hitler” or an “Alexander the Righteous”.


AYURVEDA is a Sanskrit word meaning LIFE KNOWLEDGE.  It is a system of Hindu traditional medicine, native to the Indian sub-continent, and a form of ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
The oldest known Ayurvedic texts are the SUSRATHA SAMITHA and the CHARAKA SAMITHA.  These Classical Sanskrit Texts, are among the foundational and formally compiled works of Ayurveda.  By the Medieval Period. Ayurveda practitioners, developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures, for the treatment of various ailments.  Practices, from Ayurvedic medicine, are regarded as part of complementary and alternative medicine, and, along with, SIDDHA MEDICINE & TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE, forms the basis for SYSTEMS MEDICINE.
Ayurveda is, at present, well-integrated into the Indian National Health Care System, with state hospitals for Ayurveda established across the country.  In the United States, the practice of Ayurveda is licensed in complimentary health care.  In the Classical Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda was called “the science of 8 components”.  The word in Sanskrit is ‘ASTANGA’.
The 8 components are :
(1) (General Medicine) —KAYA CHIKITSA : —Cure of diseases affecting the body.
(2) (Pediatrics) —KAUMARA-BHRTYA : —Treatment of children.  (3) (Surgery) —SHALYA-CHIKITSA : —Removal of any substance which has entered the body.
(4) (Opthalmology / ENT / Dentistry) —SALAKYA-TANTRA : –Cure of diseases of the teeth, eye, nose or ear by sharp instruments.
(5) (Demonology / Exorcism / Psychiatry) —BHOOT-VIDYA : —Treatment of mental diseases.
(6) (Toxicology) —AGADA-TANTRA : ‘GADA’ means poison. : —Doctrine of antidotes.
(7) (Anti-ageing) —RASAYANA-TANTRA : —Doctrine of Rasayana.  (8) (Aphrodisiacs) —VAJIKARANA-TANTRA : — In Sanskrit –PANCHABHUTA.
According to Ayurveda, there are 5 classical elements – earth, water, fire, air, ether.It also names 7 basic tissues (dhatu) —-plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa), fat (meda), bone (asthi), marrow (majja) and semen (shukra).  Ayurveda, further, states that a balance of 3 elemental substances —-DOSHAS —-vatta, pitta and kapha, equals health, while imbalance equals disease.  Emphasis is placed on moderation of food intake, sleep and sexual intercourse.
Ayurveda has 8 ways of DIGNOSIS : nadi (pulse), mootra (urine), mala (stool), jinvha (tongue), shabda (speech), sparsha (touch), druk (vision), aakruti (appearance).  Ayurveda stresses the use of plant-based medicine, derived fro roots, leaves, fruits barks and seeds such as cardamom and cinnamon.  In the last few decades, Ayurveda has spread around the world.

Spring clean your system

Mortar with fresh rosemary and dried spicesThe flavours of spring  stimulate the body’s natural cleansing ability among other health benefits.  Spring, in India, sees an influx of citrus fruits and berries like strawberries, cape gooseberry, amla and grapefruit, which contain large doses of antioxidants and vitamin C.  Veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, spring onions and salad greens are abundantly available.

Light soups, buckwheat preparations, gourd, potatoes, papaya and guavas are recommended in spring, as they detox the digestive system, which were overworked in the winter months.  Herbs like cilantro, parsley, chives and dill are rich sources of folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C, which are essential for good nerve functions and a strong nervous system, suggests food consultant Jia Singh.

Spring is the time of revival, according to Ayurveda.  Ayurveda prescribes intake of hot and dry food items —–gram flour, ragi, millet, buckwheat, pepper, black grams, ginger, lemon and bitter greens.  Also, Ayurveda says that food prepared with awareness serves as medicine.  In spring, it is the herbs that are the most powerful foods, highly potent, loaded with minerals and antioxidants.

Nature bestow what is best for us.  For example, in hot tropical areas, nature provides cooling foods like coconuts, bananas and hot spices to counteract the effects of humidity in the air, says Gaur.  It is advisable to eat in-season fruits, because it is healthier for us and the environment.  Locally grown fruits are often fresher because they spend less time in transit.  So, increase more fresh produce in your spring diet and eliminate mucous-producing foods such as dairy, meat, sweets and refined grains.

WONDER SPRING BASKET :—-(1) STRAWBERRY :—-It improves eye health, helps fight cancer, keeps wrinkles at bay, fights bad cholesterol and regulates blood pressure. 

papayasalad(2) PAPAYA :—-It lowers  cholesterol, boosts immunity, is great for diabetics, protects against arthritis and helps in weight loss. 

(3) SPRING ONIONS :—-They lower the oxidation of cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  They have anti-bacterial properties that help fight against cold and flu. 

(4) CILANTRO:—-It helps in curing anxiety, lowers blood sugar, facilitates good sleep, aids digestion and is a natural deodorant.  (5) CELERY :—-It is extremely low-cal, reduces inflammation, aids digestion, lowers blood pressure and is known to be a stress reliever, since it soothes the nervous system. —

Why the stomach doesn’t catch fire!

This is an interesting article sent to the TOI of 14th, December, 2013, that is today.  The writer is Yogi Protoplasm.———-

Food is not only what is taken through the mouth.  All five senses take in food.

What is HEARD is food for the EAR.  What is TOUCHED is food for the SKIN.  What is SEEN is food for the EYES.  What is SMELT is food for the NOSE. In the Bhagavad Gita–15.14—-There is no escaping Me.  Everywhere you glance you will see the play of maya..  My power…..I am even inside your digestive system.  One interpretation deals with the digestive fire in the stomach being Krishna.  Ayurveda says that all 5 elements—–earth, fire, water, air and space are inside the body just as they exist in the outer world.  In a harmonious body, FIRE DOESN’T BURN, WATER DOES NOT FLOOD IT, the EARTH DOES NOT BECOME BARREN, AIR CANNOT BLOW US AWAY, but any disharmony in the 5 elements indicates that the body needs healing.  In all living organisms, biochemical functions like respiration, nutrition and reproduction occur in cells and protoplasm.

———Swami Pragna Aranya who calls himself Yogi Protoplasm.

Spirit of cleanliness


The sages of the past prescribed a routine for cleaning our teeth.  Accordingly, before cleaning the teeth, one has to hold water in mouth, gargle well and spit it out..  While doing this, bow your head to the left side, for there are RISHIS in front of us and DEVAS on our right side.  As per old beliefs, the left side alone is VACANT.  Then brush with a green twig of NEEM, RED MANDAARAM or MANGO TREE.  However, on certain days like VAVU, PRATHAMA, SHASHTI, NAVAMI, EKADASI, this sort of brushing is not permitted.  On these days, GARGLING TWELVE TIMES with fresh water will do.  Householders should not brush their teeth on Sundays and Tuesdays.  There is also a taboo on brushing one’s teeth on BIRTHDAYS, PRATHIPADAM, CHATURDASI.  However, no such restrictions are binding on Mondays.  It is a MUST-DAY FOR BRUSHING.  Likewise, the texts warn us not to brush our teeth FACING SOUTHWARDS.  You can face EAST or NORTH-EAST—Doctor Venganoor.