The Sun Salutation or “Surya Namaskar” is a set of 12 powerful yoga poses introduced and practised by yogis (sages) of ancient India.
Ancient sages did Sun Salutation as a prayer, offering their gratitude to the Sun that gives energy to all life forms. Today it’s widely practised across the world for its benefits ranging from mental peace to physical health to weight loss.
In this yogic technique the 12 postures are practised in consecutive sequence, mostly in the morning and on an empty stomach. However, those who are unable to take time out in the morning can practise it in the evening as well; But care must be taken to do so on an empty stomach.
The Sun Salutation is an excellent cardiovascular exercise when done at a fast pace. And if it’s done at a slow to medium pace it helps to tone muscles and relaxes your body. Additionally, it stretches your muscles and makes your body flexible.
People who have a hectic schedule and do not find time to exercise can adopt Sun Salutation to stay fit and energised. Yoga experts suggest that performing 12 sets of Sun Salutation is equivalent to 288 yoga poses in a short time span of 12-15 minutes.
Sun Salutation Postures
1. Start in Mountain Pose
2. Arch Back
3. Forward Fold
6. Chin & Chest Lower
7. Upward Dog
8. Down Dog
10. Forward Fold
11. Arch Back
12. End with Mountain Pose
Benefits of Sun Salutation
The Sun Salutation is a great way to start your day on a positive note – energising your body, refreshing your mind, and offering gratitude to the sun.
These yogic poses benefit your entire body by stretching and toning the muscle in your body. People who practise at least 12 sets of Sun Salutations regularly find it an easy way to manage a healthy weight.
Performing Sun Salutation has various health benefits like relaxing your body and mind, boosting immunity, improving blood circulation, regulating respiration and stimulating the nervous system.
According to ancient yogis, these yoga postures also increase creativity and intuition among practitioners. Besides, Sun Salutation also improves cognitive and memory functions.
According to yoga experts, performing Sun Salutation regularly helps to calm the mind and think more clearly. It’s beneficial for overall wellbeing as it helps to counter depression, stress and other mental disorders.
Studies have shown that regular practice of Sun Salutation postures by both men and women helped them in developing strong upper body. Even the body’s lower muscles and back muscles are strengthened by regular practice of these yoga poses.
Word of Caution
Regular Sun Salutation practice has great potential to improve your health, but it is not a substitute for medical treatment. Most importantly, always learn and practice Sun Salutation or other forms of yoga under the supervision of an expert yoga teacher. In case you have a medical condition, consult a medical practitioner before practising Sun Salutation or any form of yoga.
Sun Salutation is a safe form of yoga with multiple benefits. So, go ahead, adopt the Sun Salutation