Connection between Alaripu (Bharatanatyam composition) and Surya Namaskar (Yoga)

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So far, most of my articles are related to dance and yoga. I have written various facts about the connection between dance and yoga, now I would like to introduce a dance composition called Alaripu and also I would like to compare the benefits of Surya Namaskar. Being a classical dancer and yoga trainer I have been practising both Alaripu and Surya Namaskar and literally experienced the connections between them. Having said that, I strongly recommend each one of us should practise some physical activity to bring energy and positivity in their day-to-day life. Everyone aspires for a healthy and stress-free life but we are unable to set a routine for physical activity. So it’s better to have a continuous fitness related program to stay healthy and find inner peace.

What is Surya Namaskar?

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       A set 12 postures in yoga which activates all of our body parts and it gives energy, stamina, concentration, physical and mental health. The word itself says Surya (Sun) Namaskar (Salutation). In olden days, our ancestor worships the sun as a God.

Procedure for Surya Namaskar:

  • Stand straight and close your hands together breathe in and out
  • Raise both hands and bend back and breathe in
  • Slowly bend down and touch the ground without bending the knees and breathe out
  • Bend one knee and stretch the other leg and keep your hands on the floor(Pigeon pose) breathe in
  • Place only the hands and toes on the ground and lift the body like a mountain (Mountain Pose)breathe out
  • Lying down position. All the body parts should touch the ground and breathe in
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – lift the upper body along with the support of the two hands and breathe out
  • Again do mountain pose (breath in), pigeon pose (breathe out), touch the ground (breathe in), backbend (breath out) and Namaskar position (breathe in).

Here I have mentioned the cycle of Surya Namaskar and breathing patterns.

What is Alaripu?

ALARIPU - Kalyani Kala Mandir

  A classical dancer can easily understand what Alaripu is because it is the first dance piece of Bharatanatyam repertoire (Margam), it includes three speeds of same jathi(Rhythm) pattern and it consists of a theermanam (ending part) in it. The word Alaripu means blooming. The steps and the speed will bloom slowly like a flower. The dance movement will start step by step from the eyes, neck, shoulder, hands, and legs and to the whole body.  So here the whole body will get activated by the movements. Hence a dancer will get the energy flow to each and every cell of the body.  It is a complete Nirtta(only steps without Abinaya (expression)) dance piece. Standing, Half Sitting (Aramandi) and Full Sitting (Muzhumandi) are the three positions used to dance in this piece.  We can call it a complete exercise dance piece for a dancer. Alaripu helps to warm-up the body and slowly brings the whole benefits of physical fitness. It is very difficult to bring the perfect body line for Alaripu but continuous practice can change anything likewise this will bring out great effects in our body.

The relation between Surya Namaskar and Alaripu:

  • Both Surya Namaskar and Alaripu activate all the parts in our body.
  • Both bring extraordinary stamina into us
  • Both create fine body line
  • Both help to improve body balance, concentration, physical and mental health.
  • Regulates all the elements
  • Gives perfect shape to our body

Vidyalakshmi Vidyanath