Sun Salutation – An Amazing Way to Wake up Your Mind and body

With lots of surprising benefits, sun salutation is an ancient way to keep your mind and body in perfect balance. The people from ancient times practised this to greet the sun at the break of dawn and welcome the new day.

The logical reason behind doing or practising sun salutation is that the sun is known to be the greatest source of energy and life to the planet earth and is a building block in everything that we eat, drink or breathe. Imagining life without sun is just not possible as sun plays vital role in maintaining your physical health, energy and well-being.

Knowing what is Sun Salutation?

The sun salutation, generally known by its Sanskrit name  ‘Surya Namaskar’ is an ancient practise of saluting to the sun that comprises of various physical activities to achieve proper health and well being. It is a physical exercise that helps in harnessing and drawing in the sun’s energy into your body – thus rising up your energy and vitality levels. While doing it, a series of different asanas or postures is performed that energizes and revitalises each and every part of your body. There are 12 poses in sun salutation, combination of which forms an elegant and refreshing cycle that is also practised as a part of warm-up in yoga classes.

Why is Sun Salutation done?

This is the most common question that arises in everybody’s mind when we think or talk about Sun salutation. There are two main reasons behind practising this.

  1. With number of health benefits like better physical health, relaxed mind and it is meditative. It can be an excellent workout for the complete body that includes various exercises like stretching, flexing, toning the muscles etc. It is a great exercise for weight loss.
  2. Moreover, it provides us an opportunity to express our gratitude towards the sun that is the ultimate source of life on earth.

Benefits of Practising Sun Salutation:

There are immeasurable benefits of practising sun Salutation or “Surya Namaskar’s that can be achieved by doing it regularly. Few of the benefits are mentioned below: 

  1. Improves overall functioning of the body: Perks up the overall functioning of heart, stomach, intestine, throat, chest and basically the complete body.
  2. Purifies the Blood: Purifies the blood and also improves the circulation of blood of the body that ensures perfect functioning of stomach, intestine and bowel.
  3. Augments the Physical Strength: If practised regularly, Surya Namaskar balances the three natures of human body – vata, Pitha and cough.
  4. Removes Body Toxins: It clears ups the elimination channels of the body thus removing the toxins from the body.
  5. Tones the Endocrine System: Stimulates your endocrine system. Specially tones the thyroid gland which is the master gland and that controls all the other glands.
  6. Increases the blood oxygenation: regularly practising sun salutation increases the blood oxygenation by a number of lung ventilation, which in turn is beneficial for your heart.
  7. Intensifies the digestive system: It strengthens and improves the overall functioning of digestive system (that includes stomach, pancreas, liver, intestines, etc.) and is also beneficial in curing and preventing the problem of constipation
  8. Revitalises the nervous System: Energizes the operation of the nervous system that includes the functioning of brain and spinal cord. It is also beneficial in curing brain fag, depression, forgetfulness, tensions, worries and other mental disorders.
  9. Helpful in lung development:  It is helpful in Development of the lungs, also gives you wind and provide prevention from tuberculosis.
  10. Clearer skin: Provides beautiful and glowing skin
  11. Resolves Kidney problem: Keeps the functioning of kidneys right and removes all the kidney related troubles.

Few more benefits of sun salutation:

  1. Make you feel relaxed
  2. Stops hair fall
  3. Reduces hair graying
  4. Improves immunity
  5. Makes you resistant to various illnesses
  6. Improves your connectivity
  7. Reconnects with your natural sense of inner power and strength.
  8. fat reduction
  9. Lung Expansion

How and when to do Sun Salutation

Initially the process may appear to be a bit difficult and complicated, but once you start doing it regularly you will find this experience to be beautiful and rewarding. The best way to start it is to learn all the postures or the entire cycle from a qualified and professional yoga teacher. By doing so, you will get a proper guidance of the sequence and learn the techniques in the right way. Various yoga schools or other yoga teaching institutions may have their own style of sun salutation but usually most styles are similar.

12 Poses of Sun salutation (Surya Namaskar)

  1. Pranamasana (Salutation Pose)
  2. Hastha Uttanasana (Raised arm pose)
  3. Padahastasana (Hand to foot posture)
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian posture)
  5. Parvatasana (Mountain posture)
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salutation with eight limbs)
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra posture)
  8. Parvatasana (Mountain posture)
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian posture)
  10. Padahastasana (Hand to foot posture)
  11. Hastauttanasana (Raised arm posture)
  12. Pranamasana (Salutation Pose)

4

The completion of all the above mentioned 12 poses makes a half cycle of Sun Salutation. To finish up the cycle you are required to repeat step number 4 and number 9 but with other leg. For example, if you have used your right leg initially, you will now use your left leg. By doing all the 24 poses, you finish the complete one cycle of Surya Namaskar.

If while doing the asanas you feel tired, you can relax yourself by inhaling and exhaling process. You should stay active while doing each pose. You can start with single cycle but as you start doing it regularly you should try to finish up to 2 or 3 cycles of Surya Namaskar.  Early morning is the perfect time to practise sun salutation however, if it is difficult for you to do at morning you can do it in the evening time. We would still suggest that practising sun salutation in the morning is most beneficial but if you are still doing it in the evening time you should be sure that you do it empty stomach.

Anyone whose age is more than 8 years can practise Sun Salutation but people suffering from high blood pressure, hernia, backbone problem or hearth problem should avoid doing Surya Namaskar. When this process or the exercises are done fast they are helpful for physical gain but when the exercises are done slowly following the steps and breathing techniques properly, it enhances your mental and spiritual level.

Few guidelines that must be followed before doing Surya Namaskar:

  1. It must be done facing the east direction.
  2. There must be at least 2 hours of difference between Surya Namaskar and your meal.
  3. You must use a proper yoga mat for Sun Salutation and should not do it on floor.
  4. You should do the Shavasana or Corpse pose at the end of all poses.
  5. The process of Surya Namaskar should be completed in one round.

Sun Salutation is the excellent way to give a beautiful and healthy start to your day. The 10-15 minutes practise in the morning can make you feel calm all day.

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