The benefits of Surya Namaskar
10 minutes of Surya Namaskar daily is highly beneficial for body and mind, here’s how If you find yourself as a part of the same equation, well, fret not! You barely need to take out multiple hours to stay fit. All you need is to look beyond earth to solve your problem. Towards the sun, perhaps?
Sun Salutation: How Surya Namaskar can change various aspects of your life?
Sun has been a source of both spirituality and vitality on the Earth since time immemorial. Its significance can be traced from Mayan, Egyptian, Aztec, Tibetan, and Indian civilizations to the ones that emerged later. Spirituality apart, there is also a logical reason behind the sun’s prominence.
Scientifically, the sun radiates energy to the earth in the form of heat and sunlight – without which life couldn’t have sustained here. Sparing just 10 minutes for yourself every day can have dramatic changes in various aspects of your life. Hence, Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, has a range of effects on the human body.
Primarily, it ingrains discipline within you. Although you might be having an erratic schedule – shifting from board meetings to late-night assignments, brainstorming sessions to business development initiatives, and so on – devoting time to Surya Namaskar every morning ensures that you have a set schedule which cannot be altered. It brings greater stability to your life despite the sheer dynamism prevailing in it.
Secondly, it is a full-body workout. Guess how many calories do you burn after a mix of 30-minute exercises? Weightlifting burns around 199 calories, tennis around 232 calories, football around 298 calories, rock climbing around 364 calories, and running around 414 calories.
Now, guess how much calories does Surya Namaskar burn?
So, technically, 10 minutes of Surya Namaskar translates into burning 139 calories, which is more than what you’d burn even after swimming for 10 minutes. Surya Namaskar, also known as ‘The Ultimate Asana’, strengthens your back as well as your muscles and brings down blood sugar levels. It also improves metabolism and blood circulation (hence, glowing skin) and ensures a regular menstrual cycle for women.
Surya Namaskar consists of 7 asanas that are performed in a cyclic order, thereby creating 12 asanas in total. They are as follows:
- Pranamasana: Surya Namaskar begins by greeting the Sun God in a prayer position while standing upright. It helps in calming down your body and mind.
- Hastauttanasana: In this asana, hands are gradually lifted and the back is bent backward. Slowly inhale air and bring your biceps close to the ears. The asana helps in stretching your chest as well as abdomen and surges the energy flow towards the upper part of your body.
- Padahastasana: After stretching your abdominal region, Padahastasana further massages your belly. Doing so improves digestion while also enhancing your blood flow to the brain. Just exhale, bend, and try touching the floor with your hands while keeping your spine straight. Make sure that you exhale slowly and thoroughly. The asana also plays a role in eliminating female disorders.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana: This asana stretches your spine further along with quadriceps and iliopsoas muscles. It also stimulates your abdominal organs. After Padahastasana, start bending your knees towards the right side of your chest while moving your left leg backward. You can take support from the ground. Raise your head and look forward. Also, inhale throughout.
- Parvatasana: It makes your arms and legs stronger and relieves varicose veins. Parvatasana also stretches calf and spine muscles. Breathe out and lift your waist to make an ‘inverted V’ with your body. Try to keep your heels on the ground.
- Dandasana: The dandasana improves body posture and reinforces your back muscles and spine. It also stretches your shoulder and chest. You have to take your parvatasana pose forward and perform a plank while inhaling. Make sure that both of your hands are just below your shoulders and the body is parallel to the ground.
- Ashtanga Namaskara: Ashtanga Namaskara asana also helps in strengthening your chest, arms, and legs. Exhale and bring your chin down on the ground. Keep your hips up in the air. Your chin, chest, hands, and knees must be on the ground.
- Bhujangasana: Now, slowly bring your hip down and place your legs as well as midsection on the ground while inhaling. Keep your head up and bend your back. Your body posture will resemble a cobra in this asana. It relieves tension from the back and spine.
- Parvatasana: Keeping up with the cyclic order, repeat parvatasana.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Repeat Ashwa Sanchalanasana by lunging with your left leg forward this time.
- Padahastasana: Repeat Padahastasana.
- Hastauttanasana: Repeat Hastauttanasana.
The ideal time to perform Surya Namaskar is during sunrise while facing towards the sun.
But what if you miss your Surya Namaskar at the crack of dawn? Well, you don’t need to worry much, it’s ultimately a workout that has both meditative and physiological benefits. Therefore, even if you miss your Surya Namaskar during sunrise (or even morning), you can also practice it in the evening. Just make sure you do it with an empty stomach.
Remember, Surya Namaskar can be performed with your day-to-day food intake. However, it is always good to embrace a Sattvik diet. If the Satvik diet is a bit too much for you, you can also look towards a Rajasik diet while avoiding Tamsik food and beverages.
Lastly, Surya Namaskar is known to have several psychological benefits as well. Physical exercise has a visible impact on memory retention, anxiety, and even helps in battling insomnia.
Just imagine, all of this happens by merely devoting 10 minutes of your day to Surya Namaskar. After all, the sun is the source and bearer of life on earth. We must all seek good health from the sun.