I have always loved waking up with (preferably before) the sun. Not because of ‘early to bed, early to rise…’ quote but because there is something about the air, the freshness which gulps you in its aura. I vividly remember when we used to go to grandparents’ home on vacations and how I used to get up in the morning just to perform some asanas along with my grandfather, since I used to find them so fascinating. After so many years what do I remember you ask? Well, a sequence of twelve powerful yoga asanas- Surya Namaskar. I could not revive the experience until I took yoga sessions in my school and college years (again).
Surya Namaskar in English is called ‘Sun Salutation’. This is done to express our gratitude towards the sun- around which all the planets in our solar system revolves and so does our life.
Both the sun and the moon are significant in the way they affect life, but the sun is the source of all energy and if someone is in tune with the solar cycle then their physical and mental health is in tune. It is not by chance but by design that Sun Salutation has twelve postures or twelve asanas in it which coincides with the sun’s cycles of twelve-and-a-quarter years. As fascinating as it sounds, its even more fun to do. The recommended time to perform these asanas is in the early morning on an empty stomach. However, I have tried this salutation in the evenings and also in those times when I was in the doldrums. Undoubtedly, always lift my mood up!
One need to know that there are different variations of Surya Namaskar and is mainly done to warm up the body before starting other asanas.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Improves the digestive system
With alternate stretching and compression of the abdominal muscles which takes place during the Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose, helps in secretion of the digestive juices. It also increases blood flow to digestive organs. If you are suffering from gastric problems, do give this asana a try! Those suffering from indigestion or constipation must try Surya Namasakar every morning on an empty stomach.
Helps lose weight
One doesn’t need to go under rigorous dieting to lose weight; sun salutation can do it without you going through starvation. Though there are various ways to perform but when done in fast pace it gives an excellent cardiovascular workout and hence, one sheds extra calories. It improves the metabolism of the body. One Surya Namaskar burns approximately 14 calories. Practicing Surya Namaskar daily will surely help you in loosing those extra inches and get that toned body you always wanted. Specially good for those who don’t have much time for rigorous workout session.
Curbs irregular menstrual cycle
There are various glands which important for a woman’s health. Glands like Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenals, and Ovaries etc. play important role in their reproductive cycle. Regularly practicing of these asanas can regulate irregular menstrual cycles among women and also ensure an easy childbirth. It helps in maintaining the hormonal balance of body. It really eases the cramps during menstruation cycle.
Solution to hair fall and skin radiance
These asanas enhances the blood circulation which prevents the loss of hair and also prevent them from turning grey. Also, it brings back the glow on ones face; preventing the onset of wrinkles, making skin looks ageless and radiant. Sweating due to this practice removes all the waste from our skin and toxins from our body giving us a radiant glow. Padhastasana improves blood flow to our head and leading to reduced hair fall and dandruff. It also boosts hair growth and its texture.
Anti-anxiety and Calms the body
Surya Namaskar helps to improve memory and the nervous system. It also stabilizes the activity of the endocrine and thyroid glands, thereby reducing anxiety and inducing the sensation of complete calmness. Sleeping patterns are also improved by regular practice. It helps in building stamina and mental capacity of body and brain.
Brings down blood sugar levels
Regular practice of Surya namaskar helps in regulating blood sugar level. With our heart functioning well and low cholesterol, sugar level automatically comes to a normal point. Stress is one of the major causes of diabetes and as mentioned above, Surya Namaskar reduces stress and therefore helping us with sugar levels in our blood.
Helps with Back-pain
All the poses of Surya Namaskar sequence involves stretching back and this relieves acute back pains. It also helps in maintaining posture as well. few rounds of Surya Namaskar leads to better flexibility.
Check this video out to learn how to do Surya Namaskar.
After reading all of the above benefits one can kick start to perform this routine right away. But hold on, there are certain terms and condition applied!
Points to bear in mind
- Women should refrain from regular yoga practice during their menses or pregnancy.
- If you have back problems, consult your doctor before going ahead with these asanas.
- During illness and after operations, even in sprains or fractures, one should refrain from Yoga Practice.
- One should not practice yoga in unclean/smoky place and in areas with foul smell.
- As a beginner do 5-7 cycles and take it slow.
Keeping the above mentioned points in mind, rejuvenate your mind and body. As it is said if you take care of your body now, it will care of you in the coming times.
By the way my grandfather goes for a walk in the evening and I do practice Surya Namaskar in the morning.
Stay Healthy! Stay Fit!
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