Yoga – All about surya namaskar

Surya namaskar or sun salutation is one of the most talked about yoga postures. Find out more about its numerous health benefits.

Suryanamaskar - BenefitsSurya namaskar

Surya namaskar has been around for centuries, but only recently have its health benefits resurfaced in a big way, causing a whole new generation to wake up to it!

Surya namaskar is like worshipping the sun – it’s wisdom and its vitality. By doing sun salutations you strengthen the sun within you and try to absorb the energy of the sun.

It can be performed at any time of the day, although early mornings on an empty stomach are considered ideal. Each of the twelve steps involved in this yogic exercise, comes with its own breathing pattern. It is important for a beginner not to exert himself/herself too much. 10 minutes of surya namaskar, where 3 minutes are allocated for rest is perfect for a daily workout.

The 12 steps of surya namaskar, explained in detail in this video

What are the benefits of surya namaskar?

  • Unlike other workouts, surya namaskar is a complete form of exercise for the body and mind. Usual day-to-day activities exercise only 40 to 45 per cent of our muscle groups, whereas the sun salutation exercises almost 97 per cent of the body’s muscle groups.
  • It improves blood circulation, burns excess fat and increases metabolism, all resulting in weight loss.
  • It refreshes your mind, promotes clarity of thought and consciousness. Additionally, it helps the mind rid itself of negative energy.
  • It is especially beneficial for youngsters as it affects muscular structure and growth.
  • It is also extremely effective in relieving stress and anxiety.
  • As with any asana in yoga, surya namaskar improves flexibility and balance.
  • It promotes a feeling of wellbeing and is an excellent way to prepare yourself for a brand new day, both mentally and physically.
  • Surya namaskar has been known to alleviate problems like depression and insomnia.

What are the precautions one must take while doing surya namaskar?

  • It is important that you relax after surya namaskar. Moving on to another asana too quickly will only harm your body.
  • People with severe back problems related to spinal cord or have high blood pressure should not attempt surya namaskar without expert guidance.
  • Surya namaskars should be effortless. The aim of a surya namaskar is not to exhaust your body.
  • It’s important not to do too many too soon. Yoga can be damaging to your system if you are not careful enough
  • Pregnant women should not attempt surya namaskar without their doctors and yoga trainer’s approval.

To do a surya namaskars you require no investment and minimal space. Just load up on the right attitude and a desire to lead a holistic life and reap the many benefits of this asana.

Inputs from Dr K.J.Johnson who has been working in the field of Holistic healing for the last 20 years.

 Photograph by Pedro Moura Pinheiro via Creative Commons

  • Sush

    Beautiful. Very interesting post. You know, these days westerners [ as per my experience while I was in the U.S.] have begun to believe in yoga and surya namaskar while many Indians love to jog with some having absolutely no clue of how and when to jog!!
    cheers
    Sushma