The benefits of Surya Namaskar are innumerable. If you want to stay healthy and fit and searching for a single Mantra for the same, then Surya Namaskar is the answer. It is also known as Sun Salutation in English. Its origin lies in India. A large population in India worship Surya(Sun), the Hindu Solar Deity. Surya Namaskar means to bow down to the sun in the morning. It started as a prayer to the Sun.
Why start day with Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
The Sun is the life source for planet earth. Every day, whatever you eat, drink and breath there is a component of the Sun. It consists of a set of 12 powerful Yoga Asanas(Yoga Postures). Each of the postures has very different benefits. And Surya Namaskar as a whole gives a phenomenal stretch to the entire body. No other exercise can compare the kind of stretch it gives. It is best done on an empty stomach early morning.
Surya Namaskar focuses on how to digest the Sun better and make it a part of your system. The backward and forward bending postures stretch the spinal column through their maximum range and give a deep stretch to the whole body. If done at a slower pace, these postures help tone the muscles and can be relaxing and meditative. The regular practice of Sun Salutation improves blood circulation.
There are many benefits of Surya Namaskar for every part of the body from head to toe. Postures act as a real link between warm-ups and asanas and can be done any time on an empty stomach. However, morning is considered to be the best time for performing Surya Namaskar.
Also Read: Complete Guide To Hatha Yoga
Learn How to do Surya Namaskar Poses
For all the amazing health benefits of Sun Salutation, it is crucial to learn it’s sequence.
Pose 1: Pranamasana(Prayer Pose)
Join your feet and stand upright balancing your weight equally on both feet. Bring your palms in front and combine so that they touch your chest. Close your eyes. And let your whole body relax.
Pose 2: Hasta Uttanasana(Raised arms pose)
While breathing in; lift up your arms keeping them shoulder width apart. In this posture, the effort is to stretch the whole body from feet to hands. Do not bend backward instead push your pelvis forward a bit.
Pose 3: Hastapaadasana(Hand to foot pose)
While exhaling, bend forward at the waist until your hands touch the floor on both sides of feet. Keep your knees and spine erect and do not strain. Stay in this posture and do not move until you finish the sequence.
Tips for beginners:
If you are unable to touch the floor with your hands, you may bend your knees and then slowly with good efforts straighten your knees.
Pose 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana(Equestrian pose)
While inhaling, push back your right leg as far as comfortable, bring right knee to the floor and look up. Keep your left foot exactly between palms and leave it flat on the floor.
Pose 5: Adho Mukha Svanasana/Parvatasana(Mountain pose)
In this posture while lifting the hip up bring your palms on the floor and bring left foot back beside the right foot.
Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara
Coming onto the toes, gently bring you knees to floor and breath out. Keep you hips and abdomen raised and lower your chin and chest on the floor.
Pose 7: Bhujangasana(Cobra Pose)
Slide forward and raise the chest up keeping your hands and feet in place.You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up at the sky. Unless you are very flexible, don’t try to straighten your arms.
Pose 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana/Parvatasana(Mountain pose)
Keeping your hands and feet in the same position bringing your heels to the ground, lengthening through the spine, bringing the shoulder towards the ankles lift the hips up. Take few breaths here. Breathing out lift you hips toward the sky and press hands into the ground.
Pose 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana(Equestrian pose)
Bring the left foot forward between the hands and push the pelvis forwards. Lift the torso and tilt the head back, arching the back and looking up to the sky.
Pose 10: Utanasana(Hand to foot pose)
Bring the right foot next to to the left, and straighten the knees. Bring the crown of the head towards the floor.
Pose 11: Hasta Uttanasana(Raised arms pose)
Keeping the arms shoulder width apart, lift the torso with the spine as straight as possible. Bring the hands up over the head, and reaching back, bending slightly.
Pose 11: Pranamasana(Prayer Pose)
Bring the palms in front of the chest center and join.
Repeat the cycle, reversing the legs in Steps 4 and 9 (Ashwa Sanchalanasana), to stretch the other side. Rest all the Postures will be the same.
Also Read: Om Chanting for Meditation
Science behind Sun Salutation
Ancient Rishis and Yogis in India have said that the different parts of the human body are governed by various devas(divine light). According to them, the solar plexus (located behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body) is connected with the Sun. The regular Surya Namaskar practice enhances the solar plexus and improves one’s creative and intuitive abilities.
Hatha Yoga Surya Namaskar benefits
Regular practice of Surya Namaskar offers a lot of health benefits for every part of the body. These powerful yoga poses have a great impact on the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs – the whole body from top to bottom.
1. Burn Calories
One round of Surya Namaskar burns up to 13.90 calories for an average weighing person.
2. Improves blood circulation
It purifies the blood and improves blood circulation throughout the body.
3. Improves balance
Practicing Sun Salutation on a regular basis helps balance the three constitutions – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – that the body is made up of.
4. Stretches the whole body
Surya Namaskar serves as an excellent stretching exercise to before the more intense poses of yoga.
5. Reduces weight
Surya Namaskar helps to reduce weight as it improves the functionality oh thyroid gland.
6. Surya Namaskar improves digestion
Practicing Surya Namaskar every day helps you to improve the power of your digestive system.
7. Promotes bone health
The Surya Namaskar has a spiritual significance, and that is why it should be done facing the early morning sun. This helps you absorb Vitamin D so that calcium can be deposited in your bones.
So now when we have learned How to do Surya Namaskar Poses it’s vital to keep one thing in mind. If you have a lower back problem or high blood pressure, please consult your doctor before you start Surya Namaskar.