Functional Q&AThe 108 Suryanamaskar Craze and Crash

The 108 Suryanamaskar Craze and Crash

What does repeated practice of a 108 Suryanamaskars or any intense yoga practice do to your body and at what cost?

108 Suryanamskars has become a massive craze! From the Bollywood divas swearing by it for the size zero body, to Yoga Studios creating a 10 day challenge for people to feel accomplished, to those trying for a Guiness record for the fasted 108, let’s face it, it’s there!

In age old lineages of Yoga Ashrams, it is said that an ideal practice is about 3-6 rounds for a Beginner, practiced slowly with breath and awareness, and perhaps 12 rounds for adepts. In some cases a 108 Suryanamaskars are practiced as a kriya, or a form of purification. Clear contraindications are provided that anyone with fever, rashes, inflammation or loose bowels must discontinue such a practice. And yet, when I read about the local Yoga studio having a “Yoga challenge” and people signing up to do a 108 Suryanamaskars everyday for 10 days in a row, I found myself thinking “there begins the decline of Ancient Wisdom once more. 

Another big craze in yoga was the advent of Bikram Choudhury, and the massive craze of hot yoga. In a world where every yoga teacher tries to create brand value by personalising yoga, a science which is age old and without ego, Hot Yoga become such a massive craze that Indians coming back from the West were missing their Hot Yoga sessions! For decades his branded yoga was selling in millions, and no one knew about what was going on beyond his popularity. 15 years ago when someone in my class asked me what I thought about such a practice or doing a 108 Suryanmaskars, my reply was that it must be done with caution, as such unnatural overheating of the body, in both situations, was bound to have it’s harmful effect. My husband, who lived with a Himlayan Guru in a cave for 2 years, also firmly believed in this thought. I felt validated many many years later, as more information came out, and one brilliant man recently who broke apart Bikram Yoga from the science of Ayurveda, Dr John Douillard. 

Coming back to a practice like a 108 Suryanamaskars, from a Functional perspective, exercise is a major mediator, something which can both aggravate and relieve an individual’s symptoms. It’s very important that the form of exercise that you undertake is suitable to you personally. Adrenal function or balance is the backbone of all endocrine function including thyroid function and sex hormone function. In today’s world when most people are overworked, under nourished, and in a constant state of Sympathetic nervous system functioning, the fight or flight response, rather than in a Parasympathetic nervous system functioning, the rest and digest response, Adrenal fatigue is on the rise. What starts as being contantly in stress, with physiological reactions like increased heart rate, high blood sugar, and slowing down of non essential processes like muscular, digestive and reproductive systems, and elevated Cortisol, eventually reaches a state of Adrenal burnout, where Cortisol reserves are depleted. Think that it’s good? Think again. Depleted Cortisol leads to short term memory impairment, low output of most hormones, and not feeling any rejuvenation even with excessive sleep. Here starts the requirement for more and more stimulants! 

So with so many people showing symptoms of Arenal dysfunction, what can a repeated practice of a 108 Suryanamskars do? Exercise itself induces inflammation, which is why it is so important to replenish post exercise. But when we are in a state of Adrenal fatigue, we are unable to recover from such a practice. So we stay in chronic inflammation, which is the root of most disease today. If we continue practicing in this manner, when we do not have the internal resource to recover, it can lead to everything from depletion of adrenal hormones, drop in Vitamin D levels, drop in sex hormones like Progesterone and Testosterone, increased illness and infection, increased irritability and depression, increased body weight, and lack of libido. 

Yes such a practice leaves you feeling like you have achieved something and maybe feeling great that day. But do be aware of what happens when it is practiced often. It really is meant to be just a cleansing practice, rarely, which is why it induces a fever like state to allow for self detoxification. But like most things, moderation is crucial!

16 Comments

  • Purnima Jagannathan

    really good one

    • Deepa Kannan

      Thank you Purnima. So glad you enjoyed it

  • Shyam nair

    Thank you deepa for the insight about 108 surya namskar from a functional perspective. Its high time the world realises the ancient wisdome had a science behind it.

    • Deepa Kannan

      Thank you for the depth of your teaching Shyam

  • indira iyer

    Thanks for raising this important topic Deepa. I have intuitively found Bikram Yoga, 108 Suryanamaskars and other such extreme or repetitive forms of yoga regimens to be harmful. Personally, I have always enjoyed and relished the slow, breath-aware yoga with a still mind and deep stretch. I hope sense prevails and people view their bodies and minds holistically rather than this mechanistic version of Yoga and diet programs we see today. Glad you are bringing this practice back.

    • Deepa Kannan

      You are a yoga student who truly understands the depth and philosophy Indira!

  • Mahati ramya adivishnu

    Very informative post Deepa. I don't know much about yoga but I can understand that it should be learned from a good teacher and exercised with caution depending on our health condition.

    • Deepa Kannan

      Absolutely Mahati Ramya. I'm so glad there are women like you who can understand this!

  • Rajlakshmi

    This is one of the most intelligently written article I have read off late about Yoga. I haven't heard of 108 suryanamaskar before, even though I practice yoga regularly. Is it so important to understand the needs of your body rather than blindly following the trend.

    • Deepa Kannan

      Thank you Rajalakshmi! And you are so right about not blindly following something simply because it is a trend! It might actually be harmful to you personally

  • JayanthyGovindarajan (@JayanthyG)

    Thanks so much Deepa for such an informative article. I used to feel very inadequate that I couldn't do 108 suryanamaskars.. For the first time, I am glad that I didn't do it for the sake of it. I have heard a lot about it and wanted to do it just for the sense of accomplishment. This article just made me feel doing things in our own pace for the wellness of our body is better than to follow the trend.

    • Deepa Kannan

      Am so glad it made sense and made you feel reassured Jayanthy. Many times, we do need that when our intuition is telling us something, but the world is telling us something else

  • nita asher

    Great article, love the way you have explained what over exercising does to the body.

    • Deepa Kannan

      So glad you found it interesting Nita!

  • Crissy Luna

    Great article, Deepa! It's so relevant for us in the US, too. I've been in 108 surya namaskara classes before where the teacher never warned the students of the contraindications as I don't think they understand them themselves.

    • Deepa Kannan

      Thanks Crissy! Yeah it's such a fad these days and everyone is falling for it withour understanding how dangerous it can be. These were kriya practices meant only for cleansing, not for routine practice or to lose weight. The repurcussions are quite severe

Comments are closed.

womens wellness_pricing

Instagram

Book Acquisition by HarperCollins India

Here’s that exciting news I spoke about to coincide with the one year anniversary of The Sleep Whisperer Podcast! Writing a book and becoming part of that magical group of authors is a dream!

Three years ago I wrote a book which I titled Sleep Whisperer, looking at sleep from a very in depth perspective, and tying together the cutting-edge science of functional medicine and eastern ancient wisdom. The story of how I wrote that book is indeed magical and a mixture of spiritual guidance and astrology(by my spiritual guide and mentor Shyam @himalayan.yogi ). It’s also been a lot of sacrifice and hard work during times that were stressful, challenging and testing in all ways.

The journey of the book from concept to acquisition is also a magical path which I will share much later. For now, I’m just humbled, grateful and quite simply excited to announce that the book has been acquired by Sonal Nerurkar @sonal_nerurkar of @harpercollinsin HarperCollins India! Sonal’s faith in the book has been unwavering and I’ll forever be grateful for it. I can’t wait for the final book release next year!

None of this would be possible without the trust, hard work, dedication and patience of my most beautifully warm literary agent Jayapriya Vasudevan @jayapriyavasudevan of Jacaranda Literary Agency. I cannot put into words what her belief in the book and being my warrior for it means to me.

I’m also deeply grateful for the dear colleagues and mentors who have made contributions to the book. That is a surprise for later! You can follow everything about the sleep podcast and book at @mysleepwhisperer

Thank you Universe!❤️ #bookstagram #book #functionalmedicine #functionalnutrition #books #harpercollinsindia #author #authorsofinstagram #authors #writer #writersofinstagram #writing #writerscommunity #nutrition #sleep #sleeplessnights #sleepaid #sleeping #sleepingbeauty #insomniac #insomniaproblems @phytothrive_yogini @himalayan.yogi
...

#testimonial Deepa's detailed approach and calm demeanour makes you feel you are in the hands of a healer. She is extremely knowledgeable and I can lean on her expertise. She answered all my queries. Highly recommend Phytothrive. Deepa has extensive knowledge in functional nutrition and wholistic wellness - her approach is deep rooted and methodical. It was truly life changing for me! I have learned so much from Deepa. I am able to better understand the why's and how's of eating for a healthy mind and body. I had chronic inflammation, insomnia and pain when I started consulting with Deepa. These eight months have been therapeutic in so many ways. I do feel empowered by the knowledge and tools that Deepa has painstakingly explained through her detailed notes and chats. I am really grateful for her guidance.

Sridevi #cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife @himalayan.yogi @mysleepwhisperer
...

#cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife #positiveintentions via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi ...

Truth is tricky. It’s so easy to try a new diet or protocol and slip into denial over symptoms that arise. A classic version of this is missing a period after intermittent fasting but trying to ignore it. For a woman your cycle is as vital in information as a lab test!⁣


💛☸️💮💜💛⚛️💮💜💛⚛️💮💜💛⚛️⁣


Have you tried a new diet or protocol and ever convinced yourself that it’s working for you just because you’ve lost a lot of weight? Weight loss has become the highest parameter of efficacy even when there is chaos happening within which can include and not limited to:⁣

💛Frequent headaches ⁣

☸️Dysfunctional cycle⁣

💮Low iron or B12 within few months⁣

💜Frequent fevers and coughs⁣

💛Bad skin⁣

☸️Poor quality of sleep even if you are sleeping nine hours⁣

💮Mood fluctuation that includes anger, sadness and overwhelm⁣


💛☸️💮💜💛☸️💮💜💛☸️💮💜💛☸️⁣


Weight loss should not be enough if all this is happening as well. Health should come before anything else.⁣

#womenempoweringwomen #womenforwomen #womenoftheworld #womenstrong #empowerher #womenofimpact #sheinspiresme #holistichealing #holistichealth #holisticwellness #naturalhealth #naturalwellness #gutmicrobiome #nourishtoflourish #holisticnutritionist #integrativenutrition #foodasmedicine #foodmedicine #eatwholefoods #hormonebalance #hormonehealth #womenwellness #naturalmedicine #integrativehealth #microbiome #eatforhealth #immunityboost #healthyfoodadvice #healthyfoodguide #goodnutrition via @phytothrive_yogini @himalayan.yogi
...

Logo

The essence of any nutrition is for restoration of balance in your health. Find the right balance with Phytothrive’s unique bioindividual approach to nutrition.

Download The Sleepwhisperer Podcast!

Sleepwhisperer Podcast

Phytothrive by Yogasopanam

Bangalore. India.

[email protected]

Enable Notifications    OK No thanks