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All You Need To Know About Surya Namaskar And Its Health Benefits

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

Yoga has been part of our ancient culture. It means “to unite with the self” or “become one.” Yoga helps to unite the body, mind, and breathe synchronously. Surya Namaskar is an important aspect of the practice of yoga.

What is Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar, also called Sun Salutation is an ancient yogic practice of paying respects to the sun. Seven different postures or Asana are done cyclically into a specific 12 steps pattern in a Surya Namaskar. It is known to be an effective cardiovascular workout and has a greatly positive impact on the human body and mind.  

Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar

This routine is generally considered to be a morning practice which is to be performed at dawn. The sequence of asanas or poses stimulates all organs, systems, muscles, and chakras. Among other health benefits of Surya Namaskar, it is also said to cultivate stillness and concentration of the mind.

What are the different poses or steps in Surya Namaskar?

Studies suggest that regular Surya namaskar helps in decreasing cortisol levels in the body, it also inhibits the limbic system which may eventually help people with depression.

Dr. Nikhil Yadav, MBBS MD, CCEBDM

Surya Namaskar is done in 12 steps or poses in a sequential manner as mentioned below:

Pranamasana (1st & 12th pose), Hasta Uttanasana (2nd 7 11th pose), Hastapaadasana (3rd &10th pose), Ashwa Sanchalanasana (4th and 9th pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (parvatasana (5th and 8th pose)), Ashtanga Namaskara (6th pose), Bhujangasana (7th pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana/ Parvatasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Hastapaadasana, Hasta Uttanasana, and   Pranamasana.

What are the general health benefits of Surya Namaskar?

Regular practice of Surya Namaskar offers a number of health benefits:

  1. The general posture of the body is improved with the creation of a strong and flexible spine.
  2. Improvement of blood circulation to the whole spinal and paraspinal area.
  3. Enhancement of musculoskeletal functions of the upper and lower limbs.
  4. Cardio-respiratory functions are improved.
  5. Metabolism of the body is improved.
  6. Activation of the sluggish neuroendocrine system.
  7. Boosts immune system.
  8. Digestion is improved.
  9. Helps combat insomnia.
  10. Reduces blood sugar.
  11. Reduces stress levels.
  12. Improves balance in the nervous system.  
  13. Regulates hormones
  14. Enhances cognitive activities.
  15. Tones the spine, neck, arms, and more.
  16. Promotes flexibility.

What is the best time to do Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar can be done at any time of the day. However, the best time to do Surya Namaskar is at sunrise as exposure to the sun activates our solar plexus.  

What precautions should be taken before practicing Surya Namaskar?

  1. Don’t eat or drink immediately before and after doing Surya Namaskar.  
  2. Before practicing Surya Namaskar, an adequate warm-up should be done.
  3. It should be properly synchronized with breathing.  
  4. If you have any medical problem, please consult your doctor.      
  5. Surya Namaskara should be avoided during the menstrual period and pregnancy.  
  6. It should be performed in a peaceful place with fresh air.
  7. Do practice on a daily basis to help your body get used to the process.
  8. Do follow the instructions properly to maintain the correct body posture.
  9. Don’t try to hold complicated postures for too long as it could result in an injury.
  10. Try not to get distracted while doing the Surya Namaskar as it can hinder the results.
  11. Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to perform the Surya Namaskar comfortably and without getting in the way.

Surya Namaskar and weight loss

As Surya Namaskar involves full-body movements and stretching, it helps to shed the extra fat from your body. Some clinical studies have shown that Surya Namaskar is effective in weight loss.

Is Surya Namaskar helpful for healthy skin and hair?

Surya Namaskar improves the blood supply to the scalp that provides adequate nutrition to our hair. This ultimately prevents hair loss. Increased blood circulation to the skin has anti-ageing effects and helps to maintain healthy and young skin.

Take home message

We should practice Surya Namaskar regularly to experience its amazing health benefits. It is advised to do it under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher or consult your doctor if you have any medical condition. There are several benefits of Surya Namaskar that can affect an individual physically and psychologically.


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