Many people think that the ‘Surya Namaskar’, or the sun salutation as it is called in English, is just an exercise that strengthens your back and your muscles. But people often fail to realize that it is a complete workout for your entire physical system, one that does not require the use of any equipment. It also aids us in breaking free from the exhaustive and dull routines of our lives.
When done in the right way and at the right time, Surya Namaskar can totally change your life. It may take a little extra time to show results, but you’ll soon find your skin detoxed like never before. Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar enhances the size of your solar plexus, thereby increasing your creativity, intuitive abilities, decision-making, leadership skills and confidence.
Though Surya Namaskar can be done at any time of the day, the most appropriate and beneficial time is at sunrise since that is when the sun rays revitalize your body and freshen up your mind. Practicing it in the afternoon energizes your body instantly while performing it at dusk helps you unwind.
- Benefits of Surya Namaskar
- Helps lose weight
- Glowing skin
- Better digestive system
- Ensures regular menstrual cycle
- Brings down blood sugar level
- Improves anxiety
- Helps your body detox
- Battles insomnia
- Surya Namaskar asanas: Step-by-step
- Dos and Don'ts of Surya Namaskar
- FAQs about Surya Namaskar Benefits
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Sparing just 10 minutes every morning to do Surya Namaskar can bring about a lot of changes (1) in almost every aspect of your life. Below are some of the best benefits of this exercise.
Helps lose weight
Doing the Surya Namaskar at a faster pace than usual is a good cardio exercise that can help in losing weight. Its postures help in stretching your abdominal muscles causing you to shed pounds around the belly. It also helps in improving your metabolism.
It may look like a simple exercise but did you know Surya Namaskar is a full-body workout (2) that helps burn a lot of calories. 30 minutes of Surya Namaskar can help burn 416 calories, whereas running around 414 calories, weightlifting burns around 199 calories, tennis around 232 calories, rock climbing around 364 calories, and football around 298 calories.
Surya Namaskar boosts your blood circulation, giving your skin and your face its radiant glow back. It also helps in preventing wrinkles and early aging. Perform this asana everyday to get better results.
Better digestive system
Surya Namaskar helps in the smooth running of your digestive system. It increases the blood flow to your digestive tract, ensuring the better functioning of your intestines. The forward pose especially helps in increasing the abdominal space on the inside by stretching, thus helping release the trapped gas from your system.
Ensures regular menstrual cycle
Surya Namaskar also helps in better regulation of the menstrual cycle. Regularly practicing the movements of the asana also helps in easing the process of childbirth. Perform the asana everyday for getting stronger abdominal muscles and for a less-painful experience of the menstrual cycle.
Brings down blood sugar level
Regular practice of the Surya Namaskar helps keep your blood sugar in check. It also helps in keeping numerous heart diseases at bay.
If you perform the Surya Namaskar regularly, you will notice a difference not only in your physical self but also in your mental one. It helps improve memory and the functioning of the nervous system. It also helps you calm down and get rid of anxiety. It normalizes the activity of the endocrine glands and is especially beneficial to people with thyroid problems.
Helps your body detox
Surya Namaskar helps you maintain an efficient inhalation and exhalation process, with the lungs getting properly ventilated and the blood getting fresh oxygen to remain sufficiently oxygenated. This helps in detoxifying the body by getting rid of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.
Surya Namaskar is known to improve your sleeping pattern. It helps calm your mind, giving you better and more peaceful sleep at night. This means that you can finally say goodbye to those sleeping pills once and for all.
Surya Namaskar asanas: Step-by-step
Asana 1: Pranamasana
Stand straight, broaden your shoulders by placing hands by your side and relax. Take a deep inhale while lifting both your hands up and exhale when you bring them together in a namaskar mudra pose.
Asana 2: Hastauttanasana
Continue the prayer pose from the previous asana and raise your hands up and back. Slowly inhale and bring your biceps close to the ears, it should stretch the whole body.
Asana 3: Padahastasana
Exhale and bend forward to touch the floor with your hands, while keeping the back erect. Beginners can bend their knees to touch their palm on the floor.
Asana 4: Ashwa sanchalanasana
Bend your right knee towards the chest and take your left leg backward raise your head and take a deep inhale.
Asana 5: Parvatasana
Lie flat on the mat with your stomach facing the ground, inhale and lift your waist up to form an inverted 'V' while you exhale. If possible keep the heels on the ground.
Asana 6: Dandasana
Now bring your right leg backwards and balance your upper body on your palms. Place your toes firmly on the mat, your arms should be perpendicular to the floor.
Asana 7: Ashtanga Namaskara
Bring your knees down to the floor, push your hips backwards and sliding forward rest your chin and chest down on the floor.
Asana 8: Bhujangasana
Now raise your chest and bring your hips down, place the lower body on the ground while bending your hands and looking towards the ceiling. Your upper body will be raised in the air while lower relaxes on the ground.
Asana 9: Parvatasana
Keeping up with the cyclic order, repeat parvatasana.
Asana 10: Ashwa Sanchalanasana:
Repeat Ashwa Sanchalanasana by lunging with your left leg forward this time.
Asana 11: Padahastasana:
Asana 12: Hastauttanasana
Dos and Don'ts of Surya Namaskar
- Do follow the instructions properly to maintain the correct body posture while holding the asanas.
- Do practice proper and rhythmic breathing in order to enhance the benefits of the experience.
- Do follow the steps in order as they are designed to work in a flow, breaking which may cause delayed results.
- Do practice on a daily basis in order to make your body get used to the process and in turn, get better at it.
- Do drink lots of water in order to keep you hydrated and energised through the process.
- Don't try to hold complicated postures for too long as it can cause injury.
- Don't jump to repetitions too quickly, gradually increase the number of cycles depending on how comfortable your body gets with the asanas.
- Don't get distracted while holding the postures as it can hinder in getting the proper results.
- Don't wear really tight or really baggy clothing that comes in the way of holding the postures. Wear comfortable outfit while practising Surya Namaskar.
FAQs about Surya Namaskar Benefits
1) How many calories does Surya Namaskar burn?
A. Surya Namaskar is a full-body workout, one set of this exercise burns about 13.90 calories whereas doing it for 30 minutes can burn up to 416 calories!
2) How many rounds of Surya Namaskar should be done in a day?
A. Beginners can start with 2-4 rounds and then gradually increase the rounds with as many as you are comfortable with. Some people go up to 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar each day.
3) Can we do Surya namaskar in periods?
A. If there is no heavy bleeding or cramping you can do Surya Namaskar even during your periods, but be gentle and slow.