What are the Benefits of Surya Namaskar?
Before we answer this question, we should learn what Surya Namaskar is. It is a conglomeration of 12 Surya namaskar mantras performed cyclically. The 12 Surya Namaskar benefits to follow will be across the concerns of mental and physical health among men. Emerging research studies have emphasized that psychological and physical health share a close relationship. Keeping a check on both is necessary to put a balanced foot forward in life.
Physical Health Advantages of Surya Namaskar
- LBP or lower back pain affected 25% of the adult male population participating in a 2020 study. Doing Surya Namaskar helps enhance flexibility with its combination of forward and backward stretches.
- Studies have proven that healthy blood flow dynamics are affected by physiological efforts like a proper breathing technique. Blood circulation can be regulated with the Surya Namaskar breathing regime followed with each asana.
- Practicing Surya Namaskar decreases blood sugar levels by stimulating pancreatic cells.
- Surya Namaskar asana improves the functions of internal organs. This is critical as every single organ is responsible for a healthy body.
- Benefits of doing Surya Namaskar help your body detox.
- Surya Namaskar asana helps to attain glowing skin goals, steady, full breathing, and balanced blood circulation. Other vitamins for glowing skin can also be tried and tested along with Surya Namaskar performance.
- Surya namaskar mantras help you achieve better digestion. It helps stretch the overall abdominal cavity and ensures smoother functioning of your digestive tract. Feel free to try other Yoga asanas for digestion as well, to keep your intestines healthy.
- Assists in your weight monitoring journey. The Surya Namaskar asanas pose as subtle fat burners, in contrast to zealous activities such as male aerobics. Teas for weight loss can also help speed up your weight-balancing process.
Mental Health Advantages of Surya Namaskar
- Performing Surya Namaskar keeps insomnia at bay and ensures a better sleep cycle.
- It helps tackle anxiety. Try incorporating Chamomile tea for anxiety into your regime as well.
- It relaxes your mind, body, and senses, strengthening your concentration.
Also Read: Yoga Asanas for Diabetes
Surya Namaskar Step by Step: 12 Poses of Surya Namaskar
Devoting 10 minutes, preferably at dawn, to these 12 poses of Surya Namaskar can make an enormous difference to your daily life.
Simply follow the sequence mentioned below. Breathe in positivity and breathe out stress with every move. Concentrating on your breathing also helps relieve you, bringing a sense of calm over your body.
Pose 1: Prayer Pose (Pranamasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Stand upright, with your feet close to each other, and your shoulders relaxed.
- Take a deep breath
- Lift your arms from the side and join your hands in a namaskar pose as you exhale
- Greet the sun and invite its energy into your soul.
Pose 2: Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Gradually lift your arms and inhale.
- Bend backward according to your capacity.
- This asana will help you stretch and warm up those tired back muscles.
Pose 3: Standing Forward-Bend Pose (Hasta Padasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Exhale and bend forward.
- Aim to touch the floor with both palms.
- Make sure your back is erect while beginners may bend their knees slightly.
Pose 4: Lunge Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Inhale to come back from Pose 3 and move into Pose 4 by bending your right knee towards your chest.
- The left leg stretches straight backward, with the head facing forward
Maintaining balance is the key.
Pose 5: Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Inhale and bring back the right leg to join the left leg and hold a plank
- Keep your back straight and body parallel to the ground.
- Maintain your balance by breathing steadily
Pose 6: Eight Limbed Pose (Ashtanga Namaskar) of Surya Namaskar
- From the plank pose, bring your knees down to the floor with raised hips and the upper body bent.
- Make sure your chest, hands, and chin are touching the floor.
Pose 7: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Slide your upper body forward like a rising cobra with support of palms face down near your chest.
- The abdomen and pelvic region should touch the ground.
- Shoulders should be slightly pushed back and head straight, looking forward.
Pose 8: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Release Pose 7 by pushing your hips backward and maintaining support with your palms face down.
- Form an inverted V.
- Try to keep your heels touched to the ground.
- Keep your knees and elbows straight.
- Look towards your navel to feel a great stretch.
Pose 9: High Lunge Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) of Surya Namaskar
This pose marks the beginning of one cyclic completion.
- Do the reverse of Pose-4.
- Bend your left knee towards your chest this time.
- The right leg stretches straight backward, and the head should be facing forward.
Pose 10: Standing Forward-Bend Pose (Hasta Padasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Repeat Pose 3.
Remember to maintain balance
Pose 11: Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Repeat Pose 2
Pose 12: Prayer Pose (Pranamasana) of Surya Namaskar
- Repeat Pose 1.
With your breathing cycle steady, greet the sun and embrace its energy flowing through you. Surya Namaskar benefits are also best availed in an open, airy place where the sun is shining bright. It is not called the Sun Salutation for no reason at all.
Also read: 5 simple yoga exercises to stop snoring
Are There Any Side Effects of Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar's side effects can only crop up if you perform postures improperly or don't maintain a steady breathing pattern. It may also reverse all the good Surya Namaskar has done. We suggest the following tips and tricks that do not inconvenience you when they are actually meant to benefit you:
- Always warm up and stretch beforehand.
- Avoid swift neck movements.
- Do not stretch beyond your capacity or limit while performing any pose.
- If you are a beginner, stick to fewer repetitions and slower movements.
- Aim to build stamina and expertise with regular practice.
- Be perceptive and aware of your mind and body's needs throughout the Surya Namaskar.
- Branko PRPA, Jul 23, 2020; Back Pain Statistics 2020- https://www.prpaspinesurgery.com/articles/back-pain-statistics-2020
- Marc A. Russo, M. Santarelli, and Dean O’Rourke, December 2017; The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5709795/
- Julius Ohrnberger, Eleonora Fichera, and Matt Sutton; December 2017; The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953617306639