Celebrated the first International Yoga Day with 12 Prithvi Namaskars (Salutations to Mother Earth.) The feeling is great! The timing of the event as the summer solstice is also very interesting.
Have done Surya Namaskar in the past, but this is the only physical culture in my knowledge which naturally starts the suṣumṇā svara. Guruji, who gave the technique, says the following about Prithvi Namaskar (ref: http://guruji.com.ua/darshan/guruji.html):
“Our body is earthly, it belongs to Earth, it is surviving on Earth. Our food, our shelter, — whatever we have is coming directly from the Earth. So Prithivi Namaskar was given to us. I’ve been noticing it for many years on myself, on my friends and my disciples that whoever I doing Prithivi Namaskar very regularly – his body is becoming very strong, his mind is becoming very stable and focused and his consciousness begins to expand. And also somehow after sometime he also begins to look much younger than his contemporaries. Maybe because Mother Earth is happy with us – I don’t see many people actually offering their respect to the Mother. Everybody just paying respect to some unknown god, who suppose to be living in heaven, but it is the Earth, which is supporting us, providing us with everything we have. And maybe she is on an unknown journey and taking us somewhere. So as a kriya yogi I believe that Prithivi Namaskar is much more important and gives far more better results comparative to surya namaskar. This is what I think.
There are two mantras, connected to Prithivi Namaskar. The first one is “ OM PRITHIVYAEE NAMAHA – ॐ पृथिव्यै नमः” and second one is “OM BHOODEVIYAEE NAMAHA – ॐ भूदेव्यै नमः” – both are directed to the Mother Earth. And in every position of Prithivi Namaskar you will have to say these mantras loudly. And saying these mantras loudly starts reaction in the certain way in your breathing, which has a direct effect on your pranic force and your mentally stability and your mind begins to open up. And I think whoever is doing it within one Prithvi Namaskar his mentally state will become very calm and quiet and very different. And physically he will become very strong.”