About Surya Namaskar

We have bowed and prayed to the Sun from the beginning of time because it is a component in everything we eat, drink, and relax. Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive physical workout that is regarded as an ancient discipline of giving appreciation to the source of life, the Sun, via the practice of 12 distinct postures. The Surya namaskar's 12 asanas are designed to maintain a state of vibrancy, preparedness, and receptivity, assisting you in manifesting a body and spirit that serve as stepping stones to greater possibilities.

In terms of religion, the Sun is quite important. The healing qualities of the Sun and the medical benefits of Surya Namaskar have been demonstrated and recognised by science. The Surya Namaskar series of 12 postures strengthen the solar plexus (placed behind the navel in the human body), which improves the practitioners' creative, intuitive, and leadership capacities. 

Table Of Contents

  1. 10 Health Benefits Of Surya Namaskar
  2. The Perfect Time To Perform Surya Namaskar 
  3. The Benefits Of Surya Namaskar For Weight Loss 
  4. Surya Namaskar Asanas - A Step By Step Guide
  5. Surya Namaskar Side Effects - Mistakes To Avoid
  6. Frequently Asked Questions 
  7. The Bottom Line

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10 Health Benefits Of Surya Namaskar

According to various yoga experts, the following are the 10 health benefits of Surya Namaskar:

1. Blood Circulation Enhancement

Throughout the Surya Namaskar sequence, the dynamic inhaling and exhalation process keeps the blood oxygenated and the lungs ventilated. The proper flow of fresh blood in the body is an excellent technique to cleanse the body of poisonous substances and carbon dioxide.

2. Improves The Functioning Of The Digestive System

Surya Namaskar improves the function of your digestive system by increasing blood flow to the stomach related tract, allowing the digestive organs to work more efficiently. The forward bend posture helps to expand the space in your abdomen, which aids in the release of trapped gases from your system.

3. Surya Namaskar Benefits In Weight Loss

When you practice the Surya Namaskar Series regularly and at a fast tempo, it strengthens your muscles and helps you lose weight around your stomach. The asanas strengthen the musculoskeletal system while toning the abs. 

4. Helps Detox

The lungs are completely ventilated and the blood is oxygenated due to the active breathing and exhalation process. This also aids in the detoxification of the body by removing carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases.

5. Healthy Lower Body

The pranamasana (petition present) is the first and last posture of Surya Namaskar, and it strengthens the lower body. Legs, lower legs, and feet are successfully reinforced. The position strengthens the hips, relieves sciatica, and helps to prevent flat feet. One of the most important scientific benefits of Surya Namaskar is that it connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

6. Glowing Skin And Luscious Hair

Surya Namaskar combines several yoga asanas to improve blood and oxygen flow, resulting in a youthful glow and a long, healthy mane even in old age. Surya namaskar promotes blood circulation, which helps to restore the glow on your face while also avoiding wrinkles and making your skin look younger and more vibrant.

7. Helps In Muscles And Joints Strength

Surya Namaskar is a great way to stretch and strengthen your muscles, joints, and tendons, as well as your skeletal system. The advancements may also aid in improving your spine's adaptability. Your limbs become symmetrical as you practice the poses, which helps your internal important organs work better.

8. Calming Your Body

Yoga postures have a relaxing impact on the brain when performed. Surya Namaskar poses like downward dog and cobra pose, on the other hand, gently stimulate the nerves, relieve anxiety, and strengthen the nervous system, all of which encourage positivity.

9. Activates The Heart 

In the prayer stance, the hands are clasped together in front of the heart. This mudra activates the heart chakra and encourages the lotus heart to open up with attention, according to Yogic norms.

10. Solves Blood Pressure And Heart Problems

Surya Namaskar is a natural blood pressure treatment. Surya Namaskar strengthens the heart muscles and helps to repair irregular heartbeats. The practice also helps to maintain blood sugar levels under control, which helps to prevent heart problems.

The Perfect Time To Perform Surya Namaskar 

Surya Namaskar should ideally be performed early in the morning, before daylight, on an empty stomach. As a result, you should complete the series of poses facing the Sun in the East within the first hour of the Sun rising, according to tradition. The air is thick with prana shakti, or life energy, every morning at dawn. UV (ultraviolet) rays are also present in the atmosphere, which keep skin and bone issues at bay. Similarly, the sun's early rays produce Vitamin D for your body. As a result, do yoga while facing east during the first rays of the early light, breathing properly, and chanting mantras. You will notice a remarkable change in your mind, body, and spirit.

However, due to the rapid pace of modern life, you may not be able to practice Surya Namaskar first thing in the morning. As a result, you can do sun salutation whenever it is convenient for you. Also, before you begin training, make sure your stomach is empty. Turn your mat towards the east (as if facing the sun) and practice with the proper breathing technique for best results.

Make sure you practice Surya Namaskar on an empty stomach if you're practising it before or after sunset or after 6 p.m. Maintain a 5-hour gap after lunch, assuming no food is consumed within those hours. 

The Benefits  Of Surya Namaskar For Weight Loss 

According to a study, "it has been established that practising Surya Namaskar without changing your diet will help you lose weight." You can use Surya Namaskar to reduce weight by including the following steps into your daily routine:

  • Learn how to properly do Surya Namaskar. To observe visible weight loss success, each of Surya Namaskar's 12 postures must be performed with precision!
  • Do it every day at the same time to lose weight more quickly. If you want to stay inspired during your workout, listen to calming, peaceful, or any other music that keeps you energised.
  • Go slowly and steadily through the steps. Perfecting all 12 poses could take anywhere from 5-7 days. It will also help you gain strength and lose weight faster.
  • Once you've gained enough strength, increase the number of rounds you do! Surya Namaskar should be practised six days a week for a total of 50-100 rounds, depending on your weight loss goals.

According to one study, performing a single round (i.e. a set of 12 postures in order) of Surya Namaskar burns roughly 13.9 calories. As a result, you can start with 10 sets and work your way up to 108 overtime.

TIP: To get the greatest results, hold each stance for at least 5 seconds. Additionally, performing this asana in front of the Sun will improve your health by increasing your Vitamin D3 levels.

Surya Namaskar Asanas - A Step By Step Guide

Here are the 12 asanas of Surya Namaskar:-

1. Prayer Pose - Pranamasana

Stand with your feet together and evenly distribute your weight on both feet. Relax your shoulders and expand your chest. Lift both arms from the sides as you inhale, then bring your hands together in front of your chest in a prayer stance as you exhale.

2. Raised Arms Pose - Hasta Uttanasana

Lift the arms up and back while breathing in, keeping the biceps near to the ears. The goal of this pose is to extend the entire body from the toes to the tips of the fingers. Pull the pelvis forward and reach up with your fingertips rather than going back to gain the most benefits.

3. Hand To Foot Pose - Hasta Padasana

Bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect, while exhaling. Bring your hands down to the floor beside your feet as you exhale.

4. Equestrian Pose - Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Push your right leg back as far as you can while breathing in. Bring your right knee to the floor and raise your head.

5. Stick Pose - Dandasana

Take your left leg back and bring your entire body into a straight line, keeping your arms perpendicular to the floor as you breathe in.

6. Saluting With Eight Parts - Ashtanga Namaskara

Exhale as you gently lower your knees to the floor. Slightly lower your hips, slip forward and lay your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your backside a smidgeon. The floor should be touched by two hands, two feet, two knees, chest, and chin (eight body parts).

7. Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana

As you slide forward, elevate your chest into the cobra position. In this stance, you can keep your elbows bent and your shoulders away from your ears. Take a lookup. Make a delicate effort to push your chest forward as you inhale, and a little effort to push your navel down as you exhale. Tuck your toes in. Make sure you're extending as much as you can without straining.

8. Mountain Pose - Parvatasana

In an 'inverted V' (/\) stance, exhale and lift the hips and tailbone, chest down. Keeping the heels on the ground and making a slight effort to lift the tailbone will allow you to move deeper into the stretch.

9. Equestrian Pose - Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Breathing in, insert the right foot between the two hands, the left knee down to the floor, squeeze the hips down, gaze up, and place the right foot exactly between the two hands with the right calf perpendicular to the floor. To deepen the stretch, gently push the hips down towards the floor while in this position.

10. Hand To Foot Pose - Hasta Padasana

Exhale and step forward with your left foot. Keep your palms flat on the ground. If necessary, you can bend your knees. Straighten your knees gently and, if possible, try to touch your nose to your knees. Continue to breathe normally.

11. Raised Arms Pose - Hasta Uttanasana

Inhale deeply, twist your spine up, raise your hands, and bend backwards a little, pushing your hips slightly outward. Make sure your biceps are parallel to your ears. Rather than stretching backwards, the goal is to stretch up more.

12. Standing Mountain Pose - Tadasana

As you exhale, straighten your torso first, then lower your arms. Relax in this position and pay attention to your body's sensations.

Surya Namaskar Side Effects - Mistakes To Avoid

Every person has a unique lifestyle, which necessitates unique yoga body methods. When practising Surya Namaskar, however, every beginner makes these basic mistakes.

1. Inadequate Warm-Up

Surya Namaskar is a full-body exercise that requires strength and flexibility. Beginners frequently lack both, and leaping immediately into Surya Namaskar poses can result in more serious effects, such as muscle cramps, damage, and so on. Include gentle stretches, head, shoulders, wrists, knees, and hips rotation in your warm-up routine before beginning Surya Namaskar practice.

2. Improper Breath Syncing

Surya Namaskar's 12 positions are performed in a specific order and with a set breathing pattern. Beginners frequently either overlook or ignore the importance of coordinating their breath with their movements to complete the rounds. It will not provide the intended benefits and, as a result, the essence of Surya Namaskar, the King of Yoga Poses, would be lost.

3. Ignoring Spinal Lift

In the Surya Namaskar practice, there are a few transitional positions that novices sometimes overlook or ignore. A typical mistake is skipping over the Ardha Uttanasana while elevating the torso from Uttanasana. This not only prevents the practitioner from fully stretching the spine and receiving all of the advantages, but it also puts tension on the neck due to a lack of oxygen and a quick shift.

4. Losing Spinal Integrity

It is unavoidable to retain spinal integrity if the spine is fully engaged during the Surya Namaskar sequence. Beginners, on the other hand, often achieve poor spinal alignment by sinking their lower spine to the floor in postures like a plank. Lower back pain is caused by poor spine position to achieve the plank.

5. Unable to discriminate between the Cobra and Equestrian Pose

This is a common blunder made by both beginners and advanced practitioners. People frequently mix the cobra and upward dog poses, resulting in something in the middle that is useless.

6. Extending the knees beyond the toes 

It's difficult to move the foot forward between the hands when transitioning from downward-facing dog to low lunge without hyperextending the knees. The hip flexors are the low-target lunge muscles, which do not benefit if the knees are hyperextended. This, on the other hand, will put pressure on the knees and produce pain.

7. Focusing on the number

This golden rule applies here as well: "Quality always rules over quantity." As a result, don't rush to increase the amount of Surya Namaskar cycles in your practice. As a beginner, two rounds of sun salutation practice following good technique is sufficient to reap the benefits.

8. Leaving the cycle incomplete

Surya Namaskar is a cyclic exercise that begins and ends in Prayer. Beginners, on the other hand, may misunderstand its significance and believe that simple postures like practice the Raised arms pose can be skipped. It's critical to finish the first round of Surya Namaskar before moving on to the second; otherwise, an unfinished cycle is seen as meaningless.

9. Going through the 12 sets in one go

Surya Namaskar is traditionally performed in 12 sets, each consisting of 9 rounds. Beginners may view going through all 9 rounds in a flow as a difficulty. Surya Namaskar should not be approached in this manner. It's important to remember that this isn't a competition. It's all about exploring oneself and realising one's potential, just like any other yoga practice.

10. Practicing extensive rounds 

Full mind-body awareness is required for an efficient Surya Namaskar practice. Beginners, on the other hand, may find it difficult to maintain their minds on the postures, breaths, and technique. To avoid making this error, repeat the appropriate mantra for each pose and concentrate on the breath while transitioning between them.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is it good to do Surya Namaskar every day? 

Yes, you can do Surya Namaskar daily because of its numerous benefits like:

  • Strengthens muscles and joints 
  • Aids in weight loss 
  • Improves complexion 
  • Maintains a healthy digestive system 
  • Aids in the treatment of insomnia 
  • Effective in the treatment of frozen shoulders 
  • Ensures a regular menstrual cycle 
  • Internal organs are massaged
  • The spinal cord and abdominal muscles are stretched
  • Stimulates the Manipura Chakra 
  • Increases hip flexibility 
  • Improves nervous system balance 
  • Lowers blood sugar levels 
  • Lowers stress levels 
  • Tone your entire body 
  • Reduces constipation and improves digestion 
  • Gets rid of stomach aches and pains 
  • Ensures that both sides of the body are in equilibrium.
2. Is Surya Namaskar enough exercise? 

Yes, doing Surya Namaskar daily is enough exercise to stay fit and healthy because it is a culmination of various exercises.

3. Can Surya Namaskar reduce belly fat?

Yes, Surya Namaskar helps to reduce belly fat. A detailed explanation about the same is provided above in the article.

The Bottom Line

So, do you want to give Surya Namaskar a try for weight loss? Simply follow the above-mentioned basic steps to perform Surya Namaskar and you will be on a completely different trip. As a result, choosing to do Sun Salutation for weight loss is a good idea.

As you flow gracefully from one pose to the next, your body will transform dramatically. All you have to do now is relax, smile, and take a deep breath of fresh air. Allow your lungs to expand and your body to dance the yogic dance to a healthy body and a peaceful and joyful mind.

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