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Tremendous benefits of Surya Namaskar Yoga

benefits of surya namaskar yoga

If you ask me if there is any one yoga routine that is complete in itself and can be performed every day – it is the Surya Namaskar. The Surya Namaskar is a yoga routine that includes a total number of 8 asanas woven into a sequence of 12 steps for each side, right and left. Also called sun salutations, this routine has tremendous physical and mental benefits. 

Surya Namaskar is also called ‘The Ultimate Asana’. It exercises the entire body in 12 movements.  It improves metabolism and blood circulation (hence, glowing skin) and ensures regular menstrual cycle for women among many other benefits.

Performing the Surya Namaskar Yoga

International Yoga Day 2020: Reasons Why You Should Perform Surya Namaskar Daily

When you start doing the sun salutations, you must begin with the right side. Do one cycle of 12 steps. Then do the second cycle with the left leg. These two sequences of the left and right sides (12 each) will complete one set of Surya Namaskar. Each asana has a specific breath assigned to it( inhale, exhale or hold), and this must be followed through the 24 steps of SN.

In the practice of yoga, Surya Namaskar is a salutation performed to the planet Sun offering gratitude for the life-giving energy that it provides. The sun represents energy, power, and vitality. The Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation should be practised on an empty stomach. One can experience many benefits (starting from day 1), such as physical and mental strength, better command over your body, calmness of the mind, balanced energies, and inner peace. The entire routine of SN is a powerful technique to make energy flow freely through the nadis, making you more mindful. With regular practice, it increases awareness forming a deeper connection between the body, breath and consciousness. As a beginner, you can start with 5 sets a day, and slowly increase it to 15 sets per day.

Surya Namaskar steps

All the postures in the SN are the right blend of warm-ups and asanas

Steps to perform Surya Namaskar

  1. Pranam Asana (The Prayer pose)
  2. Hastha Utanasana (Raised arms pose)
  3. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  5. Santholanasana (Plank Pose)
  6. Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Eight limbed salutation)
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana or Parvat Asana (Downward dog pose)
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  10. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
  11. Hastha Uthanasana
  12. Pranam Asana
The tremendous benefits of surya namaskar yoga are due to the fact that it balances the chakras and allows prana to flow making the body conducive to the higher energies of the universe

Repeat the above steps to the other side to complete one full set.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar Yoga

There are seven chakras within our body. The chakras are aligned from root to crown along the spine. There is energy or “prana” flowing through these chakras. When the prana flows smoothly through our body, the chakras spin faster and brighter, and the mind and body are in perfect harmony.

When there are blockages or chakras are closed down, prana cannot flow and “disease” of the body, mind or spirit happens.

Surya Namaskar helps distribute prana flow through the whole body. The series of 12 postures of Surya namaskar is one of the most unifying and balancing sequences in yoga that can bring your chakras into complete alignment. it brings about tremendous change- some subtle and some gross. Anyway, the benefits are humongous:-

  1. Surya Namaskar balances the endocrine glands’ activity and induces complete calmness & tranquillity. It relaxes the nervous system and relieves stress, depression & anxiety.  
  1. The Surya Namaskar tones the entire body helps with weight loss, and strengthens muscles and joints. 
  2. Improve your sleep as it helps combat insomnia and reduces stress levels. 
  3. Especially beneficial for women as it ensures regular menstrual cycles.
  4. The sun salutation is also helpful in the treatment of frozen shoulders. 
  5. It helps in weight loss, improves balance in the nervous system, reduces blood sugar levels and stimulates the Manipura chakra.
  6. It helps to keep you disease-free and healthy
  7. Regular practice promotes balance in the body
  8. Improves blood circulation, solves skin and hair problems
  9. Strengthens the heart
  10. Tones the digestive tract
  11. Stimulates abdominal muscles, opens up hips, helps the respiratory system, lymphatic system, spinal nerves and other internal organs
  12. Tones the spine, neck, shoulder, arms, hands, wrist, back and leg muscles, thereby promoting overall flexibility
  13. Maintains chakra balance and makes the free flow of prana possible.
  14. Promotes balance between both sides of the body

Precautions

Do the Surya namaskar yoga on an empty stomach. Your last meal should be 3 hours prior to the asana practice.

Keep the body hydrated. It is very important to hydrate your body. Proper hydration prevents cramps and helps retain necessary salts in the body. Have a couple of glasses of water 15-30 mins before the session. It is advisable to not consume water during the session or immediately after it. It results in an immediate fall in body temperature, which is not recommended.

Also, sufficient sleep is necessary for the mind and body to process such yoga sessions.

Final word

Adding Surya namaskar to your daily exercise or yoga regime is very important. It will balance your entire workout as well as make it complete. It works categorically on each muscle and chakra of your body. It is not just a physical exercise but a practice that balances the chakras and allows prana to flow. Hence, it provides tremendous benefits to overall health.

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