Surya Namaskar is one of the practices in yoga. It is a set consisting of 12 poses. In Sanskrit, Surya Namaskar means salutations to the sun. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar improves the circulation of blood throughout the body and maintains proper health. Every posture of Surya Namaskar helps in controlling weight, various breathing issues. It also benefits our heart, liver, stomach, chest, throat, intestine, and legs. We can do Surya Namaskar either in the morning or in the evening. But it is preferable, to do it in the morning and that too facing the sun as the sun rays emit positive energy.
Surya Namaskar can be performed by different age groups starting from 5 years to 90 years if they have flexibility. Many studies have proven that one minute of Surya Namaskar can burn 3.79 calories. Upon completing one full set of Surya Namaskar, we can burn 13.91 calories. If we complete 12 full sets of Surya Namaskar, we burn almost 160 calories. Hence, Surya Namaskar helps to reduce weight.
Various Postures Of Surya Namaskar and Their Benefits
Here we discuss every posture of Surya Namaskar and their benefits in detail
Pranamasana: Posture 1
Stand on the yoga mat, making sure that your feet are perfectly straight. Bring your palms together parallel to the chest in Namaskar posture. Take a deep breath, to calm your body. Close your eyes and focus on the central part of your brain.
Benefits of Pranamasana
- Reduces stress and anxiety in the body
- Nourishes leg muscles and bones
- Provides mental calmness
- Stabilizes the mind and body
- Improves body posture
- Injects spiritual energy
Hastauttanasana: Posture 2
This posture of Surya Namaskar supports your health in a balanced way. For the Hastauttanasana, stand straight on the mat. Take a deep breathe and raise both hands above head. The length between the two shoulders and arms should be the same. Now end the trunk of your body and head backward, wait for a few seconds.
Benefits of Hastauttanasana
- Improves digestion
- Helps in proper intake of oxygen
- Calms the brain
- Strengthens the back muscles
Hastapadasana: Posture 3
Stand stiff on the mat. Balance your weight on both feet, making sure your feet touch each other. Inhale and bring both your hands above your head. Exhale and bend front from your waist to touch your toes with your hands. Note that your knees should not be bent and be in the position for 10 seconds. Inhale and come back. This posture of Surya Namaskar should be avoided by people who suffer from heart problems, high blood pressure, back pain.
Benefits of Hastapadasana
- Reduces belly fat, hair fall, and menstrual problems
- Stimulates nervous system
- Cures constipation
- Improves blood circulation in the brain
- Effective to increase height
Ashwa sanchalanasana: Posture 4
Take a deep breath, push your left leg back as much as you can. Place your right knee in between both your palms. Make sure that your left knee should touch the ground along with your foot bend down. Look up and stay in the position for 20-30 seconds. Now straighten your foot by balancing it on the floor. Avoid this posture of Surya Namaskar if you have severe knee pain.
Benefits of Ashwa sanchalanasana
- Strengthens kidney, liver and improves their functionality
- Stretches spine, improves the flexibility
- Strengthens muscles
Dandasna: Posture 5
Sit and stretch your legs forward. Keep the spine straight. Try to balance your upper body on both your palms and make sure that your palms are on the floor.
Benefits of Dandasna
- Strengthens legs and muscles
- Improves body posture
- Stretches hamstrings
Ashtanga Namaskar: Posture 6
Place your knees down onto the floor. Now move your hip backward and bend forward to rest your chin and chest down onto the floor. Remain in this pose for a few seconds. Now your 8 body parts palms, feet, knees, chest, and chin are touching the floor. Hence it is known as Ashtanga namaskar. Avoid this posture of Surya Namaskar if you have any spine or back injury.
Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskar
- Strengthens the chest
- Strengthens the muscles of hands and legs
- Reduces anxiety and tension
- Improves the flexibility of back muscles
Bhujangasna: Posture 7
Lie flat on your belly and hands on your side. Make sure that your toes touch each other and the forehead is placed on the yoga mat. Move your hands forward to shoulder level and place your palms on the floor. Now placing your body weight on the palms, raise your head, trunk and bend your neck backward. Be careful that your arms should not be bent and shoulders are away from each other.
Benefits of Bhujangasna :
- This posture of Surya Namaskar activates the digestive, reproductive and urinary system
- Relieves asthma
- Works as a great stress release
- Regulates metabolism thus, balancing the weight
- Strengthens the organs that lie in the lower abdomen
Adho Mukha Savana: Posture 8
Firstly balance your body weight on wrists and knees. Now lift your waist and hips up keeping your hands and legs on the floor. Make sure that your body is in an ‘inverted V shape’ position. Placing your hands in the same position move your feet forward and get deeper into the pose. People suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder injury should avoid this posture of Surya Namaskar.
Benefits of Adho Mukha Savana
- Improves blood circulation to the brain
- Reduces depression
- Restores the body energy
- Relieves the pain in middle and lower back
Ashwa sanchalanasana: Posture 9
From Adho Mukha Savana, we return again to Ashwa sanchalanasana (posture 4) but now we do with the left leg. Procedure- Bring your left foot forward, while resting the right foot behind, at its original position. The benefits are also the same.
Hastapadasana: Posture 10
Exhale slowly, bend down and place your feet close to each other. Touch your feet with your fingers. Go to 3 posture of Surya Namaskar for benefits.
Hastauttanasana: Posture 11
Keep your body straight. Inhale and stretch your body from your toes to tips of your finger. Look up while stretching your body. Again after 10 seconds come to your original position. Refer to posture 2 for benefits.
Tadasana: Posture 12
Stand stiff with your feet together and leave your hands relaxed. Now balance your body weight on heels and raise your toes. Hold this position for about 10 seconds. Now place the toes back on the mat.
Benefits of Tadasana
- This posture of Surya Namaskar reduces indigestion problem
- Activates the nerves
- Regulates menstrual cycle in women
- The best exercise to increase height