"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Get,

Free Doctor Tips

to manage your symptom

Get your,

FREE Doctor Tips Now!!

4 Cr+ families

benefitted

Enter your Phone Number

+91

|

Enter a valid mobile number

Send OTP

Verify your mobile number

OTP sent to 9988776655

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

You’ve successfully subscribed to receive

doctor-approved tips on Whatsapp


Get ready to feel your best.

Hi There,

Download the PharmEasy App now!!

AND AVAIL

AD FREE reading experience
Get 25% OFF on medicines
Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

Verify your mobile number

OTP sent to 9988776655

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave your comment here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

25% OFF on medicines

Collect your coupon before the offer ends!!!

COLLECT

Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Although modern medicine has progressed a lot and can heal and alleviate many diseases, it is still argued that it is a purely medical approach and may be less effective in healing intellectual, emotional and personality issues. Yoga involves the practice of muscular exercises and breathing techniques, called asanas and pranayamas, respectively or the building blocks of yoga. The practice of Yogasanas is a holistic model of healing which may help us live better and suffer less.  

There are no concrete recommendations on the frequency of practice; the more you practice, the more benefits you will enjoy. Let us explore the health benefits of one such yoga asana called ashtanga namaskara. 

ashtanga namaskara

What is Ashtanga Namaskara? 

Ashtanga namaskara is an asana practiced as part of surya namaskara. Surya namaskara is a complete sadhana or spiritual practice, as it includes different asanas, pranayamas etc. Ashtanga namaskar appears as the sixth pose of surya namaskara. The name has Sanskrit origin, “ashtanga” means eight limbs (ashta, anga) and “namaskara” means salutation. This, therefore, translates to a salutation to the sun with eight limbs.2 

How to do it? 

Ashtanga namaskara must be done correctly for maximum health benefits. Let us roll out our mats and learn how to perform ashtanga namaskara: 

  • First, lie down on the mat in a prone position, i.e. sleep on your stomach. Next, take a deep breath and raise your body upwards in a plank position. Your elbows will be near the ribs below the shoulders. 
  • Next, lift your hips, buttocks and abdomen upwards, pull your stomach in, and slightly arch your back, as shown in the picture above.   
  • The toes, knees, chin and chest will be on the floor.  
  • While holding your breath, maintain this position as long as you are comfortable.                                  
  • Breathe out and slowly lower your buttocks and abdomen, place your arms sideways and relax. 

Note-Any asana should be practised on an empty stomach or at least four hours after consuming a heavy meal. Also, the best time to practice yogasanas is early morning, when your body is fresh and active.2 

From my knowledge, Ashtanga Namaskara, when done along with other yogasanas, may help in reducing pre and post-menopausal complications such as mood swings, insomnia, osteoporosis, and cancer. By directly massaging the glands and increasing blood flow, it may regulate the entire endocrine system. The regular practice of these series of yogasanas may promote mental clarity and lessen emotional tension. It may also calm the mind and promote letting go of tension. It may help with sleeplessness and cool down the entire body.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Do you know? 

  • “Om Pushne Namaha” is the mantra chanted while practising ashtanga namaskara. 
  • The practice of this asana helps in activating the Manipura chakra. 
  • A yoga researcher Mark Singleton argues that ashtanga namaskara is a part of Pant Pratinidhi’s surya namaskara sequence that was not considered a part of yoga back in 1929. 

Benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara:  

As ashtanga namaskara is practised as a part of surya namaskar; there need to be more studies focusing on ashtanga namaskara individually. The benefits of surya namaskar will also apply to the practice of ashtanga namaskara. Keeping this in mind, let us now discuss some benefits of ashtanga namaskara, which will make this asana worth trying. Enlisted below are a few health benefits of ashtanga namaskara. 

Benefit of Ashtanga Namaskara in Type-II Diabetes 

Unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles have increased the risk of Type II diabetes. Type II Diabetes is a highly prevalent chronic disease characterized by deficiency or insulin (a hormone that regulates blood glucose) resistance. Vandhana et al. conducted a review in 2022 to assess the effect of different postures of surya namaskar on diabetes. The findings of this review state that surya namaskar may help in toning and massaging the endocrine glands and, thus, help in managing diabetes.  Another study conducted by Nidhi et al. in 2012 stated that surya namaskara may help in insulin secretion and reduce resistance to insulin. Therefore, yoga asanas like ashtanga namaskara, which is a part of surya namaskara, may potentially impact blood glucose levels in Type II Diabetes positively. However, it is recommended not to consider this asana as an alternative to modern medicine. It is recommended to consult a doctor for proper management of diabetes. Additionally, it is best to practice this asana under the supervision of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of Ashtanga Namaskara for Blood Pressure 

Literature has supported that the practice of yoga may help in managing high blood pressure. A review by Khandekar et al. in 2021 stated that the surya namaskara practice might help reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure. However, the exact mechanism behind this still needs to be fully understood. Thus, the practice of ashtanga namaskara, part of surya namaskara, may positively influence systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, it is advised not to consider this asana as an alternative to modern medicine. You should consult your doctor for proper treatment of any health issue. It is best to perform ashtanga namaskara under the supervision of a qualified trainer.4 

Benefit of Ashtanga Namaskara for the Lipid Profile 

A lipid profile is a blood test that measures the number of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. Literature studies have stated that yoga may exert a favourable outcome on lipid levels. Deep et al. conducted a study in 2021 to assess the effect of surya namaskara on health. This study showed that the practice of surya namaskara resulted in a reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides and an increase in high-density lipoprotein. Thus, a daily practice of ashtanga namaskara, a part of Surya namaskara, may positively impact lipid profile. Despite the benefits, you should rely on more than this asana and consult your doctor for the proper treatment. Also, it is advised to practice this asana under the guidance of a qualified trainer.5 

Benefit of Ashtanga Namaskara for Obesity 

Obesity and overweight are common health conditions with ever-increasing occurrence. Different yoga asanas and pranayamas are effective in managing obesity. Jakhotia et al. conducted a study in 2015 on women to assess the effect of surya namaskara intervention on health. It was concluded that the daily practice of surya namaskara, which includes ashtanga namaskara, might help reduce body weight and manage obesity. Thus, the practice of this asana may positively impact obesity.  However, more studies are needed to assess its effect on men. Therefore, you should not consider it an alternative to modern medicine. It is best to consult your doctor to manage obesity and not rely on this asana alone. Additionally, the practitioner should perform this asana under the supervision of a qualified trainer.6 

In my experience, Ashtanga Namaskara, when done along with other yogasanas such as Surya Namaskara, may help in regulating menstrual periods in females and aid in labour and delivery as well. I strongly recommend the regular practice of Ashtanga Namaskara under the expert’s guidance and supervision.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

 Other benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara: 

  • The practice of this asana helps strengthen the leg and arm muscles.2 
  • The practice of surya namaskara helps strengthen the back and aids metabolism. 
  • Surya namaskara may help improve brain function by supplying fresh oxygenated blood to the brain. 
  • Additionally, the practice of surya namaskara may help balance and stimulate different body systems like the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems.2 

Note- The benefits of ashtanga namaskara are studied in a limited human population. As Ashtanga namaskara is practiced as part of Surya namaskar, the benefits mentioned above of surya namaskar may also apply to ashtanga namaskar. However, to ascertain these claims, more studies are required. 

Although the practice of Yoga may help in the development of the mind and body, Yoga should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. It is advised not to rely on Yoga alone to treat any condition. Kindly consult a qualified doctor for proper treatment. Additionally, any asana practice should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer. 

Risks of Ashtanga Namaskara: 

As already discussed, since ashtanga namaskara is practised as a sequence of surya namaskara, the precautions and contraindications of surya namaskara are enlisted below. It should be noted that these precautions will apply to all the sequences of surya namaskara, including ashtanga namaskara. 

Conditions where ashtanga namaskara should be performed with caution are: 

  • In any Injury, pain and dizziness, appropriate precaution needs to be taken while practising ashtanga namaskara. 

Conditions where ashtanga namaskara is contraindicated include:  

  • In acute inflammation, fever or rashes, you must not perform ashtanga namaskara in these conditions. The exact scientific logic behind this is not clear but is based on the recommendations of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a yoga guru and sanyasi. 
  • In slip disc or sciatica, the practice of Surya Namaskara, and thus ashtanga namaskara is contraindicated. 
  • You should refrain from practising it if you are pregnant or menstruating. 

Conclusion

Ashtanga namaskar appears as the sixth pose of Surya namaskara. The name has Sanskrit origin, “Ashtanga” means eight limbs (ashta, anga) and “namaskara” means salutation. This, therefore, translates to a salutation with eight limbs. The practice of this asana may positively impact obesity, lipid profile, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.2 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is Ashtanga Namaskara?

Ashtanga namaskara is an asana practised as part of surya namaskara. Ashtanga namaskar appears as the sixth pose of surya namaskara. The name has Sanskrit origin, where “Ashtanga” means eight limbs (ashta, anga) and “namaskara” means salutation. This, therefore, translates to a salutation to the sun with eight limbs.2 

2) Which chakra is activated by Ashtanga Namaskara? 

The practice of this asana helps in activating the manipura chakra.2 

3) How to do Ashtanga Namaskara? 

Ashtanga Namaskara must be done correctly for maximum health benefits. Let us roll out our mats and learn how to perform Ashtanga Namaskara: First, lie down on the mat in a prone position, i.e. sleep on your stomach. Next, take a deep breath and raise your body upwards in a plank position. Your elbows will be near the ribs below the shoulders. Ensure you lift your hips, buttocks and abdomen upwards, your stomach is pulled in, and the back is slightly arched, as shown in the picture above. The toes, knees, chin and chest will be on the floor. While holding your breath, maintain this position as long as you are comfortable. Breathe out and slowly lower your buttocks and abdomen, place your arms sideways and relax. 

4) Does the practice of Ashtanga Namaskara benefit obesity? 

Yes, the practice of Ashtanga Namaskara, a part of surya namaskara may help in managing obesity by reducing body weight.6 

5) Which mantra is enchanted during the practice of Ashtanga Namaskara? 

“Om Pushne Namaha” is the mantra chanted while practising Ashtanga Namaskara.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

References: 

  1. Catherine et al. “Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life.” International journal of yoga vol. 4,2 (2011): 49-54. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.85485. available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/ 
  1. Satyananda Saraswati. Asana, pranayama, mudra bandha. Yoga Publications Trust, 2013.  Available at: https://thelonerider.com/pdf/asana_pranayama_mudra_bandha.pdf  
  1. Vandhana et al. “Insights on Surya namaskar from its origin to application towards health.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine vol. 13, 2 (2022): 100530. doi:10.1016/j.jaim.2021.10.002. available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8814407/#!po=14.5833 
  1.  Khandekar et al. “Effect of Yoga on Blood Pressure in Pre hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” The Scientific World Journal vol. 2021 4039364. 13 Sep. 2021, doi:10.1155/2021/4039364. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8452415/ 
  1. Deep et al. “Effect of yoga on glycemia and lipid parameters in type-2 diabetes: a meta-analysis.” Journal of diabetes and metabolic disorders vol. 20, 1 349-367. 1 Feb. 2021, doi: 10.1007/s40200-021-00751-0. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8212260/ 
  1. Jakhotia, et al. “Suryanamaskar: An equivalent approach towards management of physical fitness in obese females.” International journal of yoga vol. 8, 1 (2015): 27-36. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.146053. available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4278132/ 

Comments

Leave your comment...



You may also like