Every one of us must do a little bit of yoga on a daily basis. And guess which is the best yoga practice? Undoubtedly, Surya Namaskar!
Many of us know it by the term ‘Surya Namskar,’ Several others know it by the word ‘Sun Salutation.’
Though this is the era of Fitbit and Fitness trackers but the old yoga practice of Surya namaskar will never go out of fashion. Not only is it beneficial for health, but it also impacts our minds.
So, today you will know every little detail about Surya namaskar or sun salutation. We will be talking about its meaning, Surya Namaskar benefits, how to do it, and much more.
So keep reading!
Sun Salutation- Meaning and Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar!
We all have must (at least once in our life) heard the name ‘Surya namaskar.’
And in case you have not heard of it, then I have only one question for you!
Are you guys even real?
Surya namaskar is a 12 step yoga asan that we used to do in our Physical education classes in schools. Our teachers always lectured us about the health benefits of Surya Namaskar, but you what, they were absolutely right.
If you dive deep into the Surya namaskar benefits, you wiill be shocked to the core.
This simple yoga asan has tons of health benefits for us.
Let’s start from the meaning and then go to the Surya namaskar benefits.
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation!
Surya Namaskar, or as we know it in English, Sun salutation is a 12 step yoga asan that helps us in achieving a sound mind and body.
Surya namaskar is an ancient ritual that includes prostrating towards the rising sun.
In ancient times, it was a belief that nothing (no asan) is complete without worshipping the Sun god.
And that is how Surya namaskar gained its importance.
The asan might look simple, but deep down, it has thousands of benefits for us.
Surya Namaskar Benefits!
Surya Namaskar is right for your body and the proper growth and development of your mind. It has tons of hidden benefits for us. Some of the Surya Namaskar benefits (benefits of Surya namaskar) are as follows:
- It helps in reducing tension.
- Surya Namaskar improves overall body circulation.
- It regulates your breathing.
- Your entire body is stretched in Surya Namaskar, and thus it helps you to stretch, flex, and tone your muscles.
- It helps in maintaining excellent cardiovascular health.
- Surya Namaskar helps in stimulating our nervous system.
- It is an outstanding yoga asan for weight loss.
- Surya Namaskar strengthens our immune system.
- It gives an overall healthy and sound mind and body.
How to do Surya Namaskar? – A Step by Step Guide!
Surya namaskar has 12 steps. According to the health experts, doing one full round of Surya Namaskar burns 13.90 calories.
Thus, you can make a rough estimate of how much beneficial is this asan for us. But it will only benefit you if you do it properly.
Thus, let us know more about the 12 positions of Surya namaskar!
1) Pranamasana ( The Prayer Pose)
- Stand straight with your feet together.
- Expand your shoulder area and relax your chest area.
- While breathing in, slowly lift both of your arms from the sides, and while exhaling, bring back your palms together.
- Stand in the prayer position.
2) Hastauttanasana (The Raised arms pose)
- While breathing in lift your hands up.
- Keep your biceps closer to the ears and stretch backward.
- Stretch your whole body from toes to the fingers of your hands.
NOTE: Too strong this position. You can even try to push your butt area forward.
3) Hastapadasana (The Standing forward bend)
- While breathing out, come back forward from the raised arm pose.
- Do not forget to keep your spine erect.
- Exhale completely, and bring your hands down.
- Touch your hands to the floor or your feet.
NOTE: To make this position more intense, you can bend your knees, try touching your palms to the floor and try to straighten your knees. Make sure to keep your hands in a fixed position and not move then here and there.
4) Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian pose)
- While breathing in, take your right leg back (as far as possible).
- Then, bring your right knee to the floor and lock up this position.
NOTE: To make this pose intense, make sure that your left foot is between your palms.
5) Dandasana (The Stick pose)
- While breathing in, take your left foot backward.
- Stay still and keep your entire body in a straight line.
NOTE: Too intense this pose, place your arms perpendicular to the floor.
6) Ashtanga Namaskara (The Salute with eight parts or points)
- Slowly bring your knees down to the yoga mat/floor while breathing out.
- Take your hips swiftly away from the ground.
- Slide forward and gently rest your chest and chin on the floor.
- Raise our whole posture a little bit.
7) Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
- Gently slide forward and raise your chest into the cobra pose.
- Keep your elbows bent and your shoulders away from the ears.
- Loom up towards the ceiling.
NOTE: To make this pose intense, gently push the chest forward while breathing in and naval downwards while breathing out.
Make sure to stretch your body as soon as possible.
8) Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward facing dog pose)
- While breathing in, lift your hips in the air.
- Make an inverted ‘V’ position with your body.
NOTE: To make this pose intense, try keeping your heels the ground and go for a deeper stretch.
9) Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian pose)
- While breathing in get your right foot forward and place it between your palms.
- Bend down your left knee and lock the position.
- Stretch the body as much as possible.
NOTE: Place your right foot precisely between your palms to get the maximum stretch. Pull your hips down and stretch the body.
10) Hastapadasana (The Standing forward bend)
- While breathing out, bring the left foot forward and place your feet together.
- Place the palms on the ground. You can either bend the knees or keep them straight (according to your comfort).
11) Hastauttanasana (The Raised arms pose)
- While breathing in, pull your spine up.
- Raise your hands and bend them backward.
- Push your hips outward.
- Stretch as much as possible.
12) Tadasana (The Mountain Pose)
- While breathing out, slowly straighten your body.
- Bring your arms down and relax.
With this last step, we finish one full cycle of the Surya Namaskar.
Most Frequently Asked Questions about Surya Namaskar Benefits!
1) How many times should we do Surya namaskar in a day?
To get all the benefits of Surya namaskar, you must do it 12 times a day.
In case you are a beginner, you can initially do 4-5 rounds and gradually increase the number of rounds.
2) Is it food to do Surya namaskar daily for Surya namaskar benefits?
There is no harm in doing Surya Namaskar daily. If you inculcate the habit of regularly doing it, you will, without a doubt, get all the benefits of Surya namaskar and even notice the changes in your body after some time.
3) Can Surya namaskar reduce belly fat?
One of the essential benefits of Surya namaskar is that it reduces overall body fat. Thus, doing Surya namaskar regularly will reduce your fat because every round of Surya Namaskar burns 13.90 calories.
4) Can you perform Surya Namaskar in periods?
There is no harm in performing Surya namaskar in periods (1). But you must do fast, especially during heavy bleeding.
5) Can Surya namaskar reduce breast size?
Yes, Surya namaskar can reduce the flab around your chest and firm your breasts. But it will only happen if you perform it correctly. To reduce breasts, you must do Surya namaskar 10-15 times a day.