What is Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation?
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is the practice of paying respect to the sun. The sun is considered the ultimate source of life and energy. For centuries, people across civilizations have been offering prayers to the sun, out of which one practice is called the Surya Namaskar.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation
The routine is characterized by 12 different yoga asana poses that not only pay gratitude to the sun but also bestows the one practicing it with several physical and mental health benefits. It is said that your body has several chakras through which life energy or prana is channelized to nourish you with good health. Practicing Surya Namaskar activates these chakras, enhances the size of it, letting prana flow through freely. Thus, strengthening different parts of your body and improving your mental and cognitive abilities. While one can practice it any time of the day, it is best to practice it during sunrise as this is the time when the sun helps revitalize your body and refresh your mind.
How To Do Surya Namaskar
There are 12 poses of Surya Namaskar. These include:
Align your feet closely and stand upright. Deeply inhale while raising your hands sidewise. Relax the shoulders and expand the chest. Now exhale and join the palms together.
With your palms still together, breathe in and slowly begin to lift your hands upwards. Slightly bend backwards to relax your body. Ensure your biceps and ears are close.
To perform Surya Namaskar step by step, the next thing you must do is to breathe out while slowly bending forward. Only bend the upper portion of the body from your waist. Now slowly exhale and bend down to touch the ground. The spine must remain straight.
Breathe in while stretching the body parallel to the floor. Keeping the arms to your sides, bring the right knee closer to the chest’s right side. Look upwards and stretch the left leg behind.
Inhale and stretch the right leg backwards along with the left leg. Keep your body parallel to the floor.
Bring down the knees gently towards the ground and deeply exhale. Keeping the hips elevated, bring the chin down to the ground.
In this step of Surya Namaskar, you have to align the torso and chest to the floor. Keep your mid-section and legs flat while supporting the body using the hands, but do not put your weight entirely on the arms.
Without changing the position of your feet and palms, raise the mid-section gradually. As you hold the position, slowly breathe out.
Return to this position by bringing the right foot forward and keep the left foot behind you in a resting position.
Now you need to return to your previous Surya Namaskar steps. Begin by bringing the left foot slowly forward while exhaling and holding it next to your right foot. Lift yourself while maintaining your hand position.
Inhale deeply and raise the hands upwards. Carefully bend backwards.
Hold a namaskara mudra while relaxing your body and exhaling. This completes the cycle once. You can follow the above Surya Namaskar images to understand the positions better.
Precautions To take
To enjoy the benefits of Surya Namaskar, you need to be careful. Avoid practising it if you have:
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- History of stroke
How Long Should You Hold Each Pose In Surya Namaskar?
You should hold each pose for 3 to 5 seconds.
How Much Weight Can I Lose By Doing Surya Namaskar?
According to studies, one cycle of 12 poses burns about 13.9 calories. Burning 7700 calories will result in a weight loss of 1 kg, which will require repeating the 12 steps around 550 times.
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