In today’s contemporary world, maintaining a balanced lifestyle is everything people aim towards, and a healthy body and sound mind are central to it. Surya namaskar, also known as sun salutation, is one of the most widely practiced forms of yoga. For centuries, Surya Namaskar is known for its pacifying effects on the mental health and revamping effects on physical health.
Even if you have never tried it, it’s hard to hear about yoga without getting to know a thing or two about Surya Namaskar. So, what is Surya Namaskar? Why is it so talked about? What are the health benefits of Surya namaskar? How to perform it and what are the Surya Namaskar poses?
Did these questions ever pop in your mind but, you didn’t get an all-inclusive answer? Don’t worry because we are here to answer all your questions, in this explicit article!
What is Surya Namaskar?
Surya namaskar is a twelve step cardiovascular yoga that is usually performed in the morning when the weather is very tranquil and the sunlight is minimal. Surya namaskar is a form of yoga that teaches people gratitude and has a very calming effect on the mind. For best results, it is performed on an empty stomach and contrary to popular belief, it can be performed in many ways but, it is recommended by instructors to find the set that suits you the best, and stick to it.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Surya namaskar has a good deal of mental and physical benefits attached to it that help in making you a healthier, fitter and better version of yourself.
There are various old sayings that consider those who perform Surya Namaskar to be untouched by almost every ailment. It is not unknown that Surya Namaskar makes you healthier overall. But how? Let’s find out.
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Health benefits of Surya Namaskar
- Being a cardiovascular exercise, it improves the health of your heart.
- It helps to regulate breathing and increases lung capacity.
- It tones the body muscles and strengthens them.
- It improves blood circulation.
- Makes the skin tight and radiant.
- Regular practice of Surya Namaskar makes you look younger.
- It enhances the metabolism and improves digestion.
- It strengthens the spinal cord.
- It helps in reducing unhealthy weight.
- Very helpful in treating postural problems.
- It strengthens the immune system.
Mental health benefits of Surya Namaskar
- It helps people concentrate better by making you attentive.
- Widely recommended by psychologists to patients for relieving depression and anxiety.
- It acts as a stimulator for the nervous system.
- It is used as a tool in psychotherapy.
- It enhances body awareness.
- It helps patients with insomnia and improves sleep quality
- Performing it daily in the morning keeps you active and more productive throughout the day.
How to perform Surya Namaskar?
This detailed guide on how to do Surya namaskar will help you to get started on your journey towards a healthy you!
These are the 12 poses or asanas of Surya Namaskar
- Stand absolutely straight with your feet touching.
- Don’t put more weight on one feet than the other.
- Join both the palms while inhaling and relax your whole body.
- Make sure your chest is out and your shoulders are not tense.
- Slowly exhale
- Inhale and lift your arms up
- Keep the arms close to your ears and bend backwards as much as you can
- Push your lower body forward so that you can bend properly
- Slowly exhale while bringing yourself back to pranamasana
- Slowly bring your hands down to your feet while exhaling
- Bring the tip of your fingers as close to your feet as you can, while you exhale completely
- Maintain the position for a few seconds. Initially it is okay to bend the knees while doing this.
4. Ashwa Sanchalasana
- Come to a prone position
- Bring your left knee towards the chest and bend the right leg behind you.
- Touch the floor with your palms and stretch your body as much as you can.
- Lie in the prone position and align your body in a straight line,
- Push your body up, using your palms and hold the position.
6. Ashtanga Namaskara
- Bring the body back to supine position.
- Raise your hips while slowly breathing out.
- Your whole body, except hips, should be touching the floor.
- Raise the upper body and stretch backwards as much as possible
- Whole body, except the upper body, should be touching the floor.
8. Adho Mukha Suvasana
- Raise your hips and bring your body to an ‘A’ shape
- Make sure that your feet and palm are at a distance and are touching the floor completely.
9. Ashwa Sanchalasana
- Repeat this step by bringing you right knee up to your chest and bending your left leg backwards and stretching as much as possible.
- Repeat this step and bring your fingers as close to the feet or floor as possible.
- Repeat this step and try to push your body more than you did last time.
- This step requires you to bring your body slowly to an absolutely erect position while exhaling
- Relax your shoulders
- Relax your body
- Stand like this for a few seconds and let your body calm down
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General tips and tricks of Surya Namaskar
It is advisable that all the steps of surya namaskar are performed consecutively without taking a break. If you are performing surya namaskar for the first time, don’t push yourself too hard or you might end up getting cramps! If you have not been leading an active life, then it is very normal to experience fatigue after just the first round. But, after regular practice, the body gets used to the process, and you will end up doing more sets.
The whole point of yoga is making you feel better about yourself and regular practice of Surya namaskar is bound to do that! So go ahead and get started on your journey of rediscovering yourself!
Try Surya Namaskar on a regular basis and feel yourself being rejuvenated!