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Spiritual Significance of Winter Solstice  

To enhance your powers, begin with Surya Namaskar which will build your energy. It can be followed by Chandra Namaskar, meditation on moon (Tratak) with Prapthi Mudra. 

Published: 22nd December 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2019 03:25 PM   |  A+A-

Yoga

For representational purposes

The Winter Solstice, which falls on December 22, experiences the longest night and the shortest day of the year. In the realm of yoga and spirituality, it is believed that this is an auspicious time when practitioners can deepen their focus. The human body is divided into two sides: right and left. Each of these sides represents the corresponding nadis of the moon (Chandra) and the sun (Surya). While the sun’s power of luminance is forceful and powerful, the moon’s pearly radiance is subtle and soothing. Here are a few practices that can be done so you can reap the most benefits—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.It is advised to begin with Surya Namaskar in order to build your energy. It can be followed by Chandra Namaskar, meditation on moon (Tratak) with Prapthi Mudra. All these can specifically enhance your powers.

Surya Namaskar
The Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a flow that is made up of eight asanas. The sequence consists of 24 steps in total which makes it one cycle with 12 steps for each side. Start with the right side, and then move on to the left.
Steps
1. Pranam Asana (Prayer Pose)
2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised-arms Pose)
3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
4. Ashwasanchalan Asana (Equestrian Pose)
5. Santolanasana (Plank Pose)
6. Ashtanga Pranamasana 
(Eight-limbed Bow Pose)
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8. Adhomukhi Swanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
9. Ashwasanchalan Asana (Equestrian Pose)
10. Padahastasana (Standing 
Forward Bend Pose)
11. Hastha Utthan Asana 
(Raised-Arms Pose)
12. Pranam Asana (Prayer Pose)

Chandra Namaskar 
The Chandra Namaskar or Moon Salutation is a flow that is made up of nine asanas. The sequence consists of 28 steps in total which makes it one cycle with 14 steps for each side. Start with the left side, and then move on to the right.
Steps:
1. Pranam Asana (Prayer Pose)
2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised-arms Pose)
3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
4. Ashwasanchalan Asana (Equestrian Pose)
5. Ardha Chandrasana (Half-moon Pose)
6. Santolanasana (Plank Pose)
7. Ashtanga Pranamasana (Eight-limbed Bow Pose)
8. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
9. Adhomukhi Swanasana 
(Downward-facing Dog Pose)
10. Ashwasanchalan Asana
11. Ardha Chandrasana (Half-moon Pose)
12. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
13. Hastha Utthan Asana (Raised-Arms Pose)
14. Pranam Asana (Prayer Pose)
Benefits
• Treats depression
• Instills feeling of calmness
• Improves sense of taste
• Strengthens lower back and shoulders
• Opens the hamstrings behind knees
• Asanas, which involve mobilising the knees, lubricate the knee caps and prevent them from turning stiff
• Pelvic region becomes more flexible
• Promotes weight loss
• Opens shoulder blades
• Creates a sense of balance in the body
Tratak on Moon What you need 
• A comfortable mat to sit on
• You are required to sit at a place which is open and from where the moon is visible. 
• This meditation technique needs to be practiced in the night when the moon is visible. Practicing it on a new moon day and a full moon day brings more benefits.
Technique
• Place your mat on a clean surface out in the open
• Face the moon and sit on your mat in a comfortable posture (preferably  Sukhasana or Padmasana) 
• Elongate your spine and place your palms on your knees facing up
• Join your index and thumb fingers and hold Gyaan Mudra 
• Draw your gaze to the moon and direct all of your attention to it 
• Observe how it subtly moves through the sky among the clouds and  the stars
• Try not to blink as much as possible 
• If you catch your thoughts wandering, bring them back to focus on the sun
• Try not to strain your neck while you practice this 
• After your practice, close your eyes for a while and release the strain from your eyes if there is any.
Direction: Face the Moon
Benefits 

• Improves concentration
• Clears mind of unwanted thoughts
• Increases positivity
• Brings your mind to the present and makes you more aware
• Reduces stress
• Calms mind
Duration: A beginner should practice for a minimum of five minutes a day. The duration should gradually increase as the capacity to focus develops. There is no maximum limit to the duration. The more you practice, the more you benefit.

Prapthi Mudra
Mudras influence the ‘Nadi Sthiti’—the energetic circuits within the network of nadis (nerve channels)—and are linked to enhance pranic flow. Thus, the purpose of a mudra is to activate and create a circuit of prana in the body. These circuits channel the prana in a specific way to create subtle effects in different parts of the body system. Prapthi means to receive, and with Prapthi Mudra, the practitioner receives divine energies.

The time of the Winter Solstice is especially useful to invoke your inner energy through the practices of Surya Namaskar, Chandra Namaskar, Mudras and Tratak on moon. You can even practice regular Tratak with a flame of a lamp/candle, or focus on a black dot in the centre of a white board placed eye level and at a distance of three feet away. You can multiply your power and become more dynamic in nature. Your powers of visualisation increase and you become eligible to receive many benefits for the body, mind and soul.
 

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