Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is the ‘Ultimate Asana’, ‘King of all Poses’ and an ancient discipline known to express gratitude to the Sun – our source of life. The practice of 12 different poses combined in one, Surya Namaskar benefits your body and mind internally and externally. It is a complete workout that helps you reap all Sun Salutation benefits.
The 12 asanas of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) work in such a way that helps to maintain a level of vibrancy, readiness, and breaking free from a dull and exhaustive daily routine. Surya Namaskar benefits are not limited to the physical body but also change the course of your life.
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10 Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation
1. Sun salutation Helps in Weight Loss
This is an excellent exercise for weight loss management, burning extra fat in the body. Practising Surya Namaskar for weight loss regularly and at a fast pace will show you great results. It stretches your abdominal muscles to lose belly fat but it also stretches every muscle in the body targeting fat deposits in every part of the body. This asana also tones your abs and strengthens your musculoskeletal system. Raised Arms Pose and Forward Bending Pose first stretch your abdominal muscles and then as you bend it compresses and stimulates the fat cells helping them to burn faster.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar for weight loss helps to boost and improve your metabolism, which further helps to reduce overall weight.
2. Sun Salutation Improves Cardiovascular health
This yoga asana (pose) is a natural remedy for blood pressure fluctuations and heart problems. It helps in stimulating irregular heart rate and prevents palpitations. Surya Namaskar benefits the heart muscles and reduces the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
The practice of Sun Salutation also keeps sugar levels in control thus keeping the heart problems at bay and keeping your eyes, kidneys, and nerves healthy. Moreover, practising Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) regularly activates and opens up your Heart Chakra especially while performing the Cobra Pose. To keep your heart healthy and strong, the stretch from your chin to your toes opens up your heart. This further regulates the blood flow directly to the heart.
3. Boosts digestive system
Surya Namaskar benefits in the smooth running of your digestive system. This is because of all the alternate stretching of the abdominal organs performed during the asanas. It activates the digestive fire or juices that help to get rid of all stomach related problems such as constipation.
Furthermore, increases the blood flow to your digestive tract, to ensure better functioning of the intestines. The Forward Bending Stretch Pose increases the abdominal space, thus, helping in releasing the trapped gas from your system. A healthy gut is one of the most prevalent health benefits of Surya Namaskar.
4. Bone and Joint Health
Lack of movement and Vitamin D makes the joints brittle and stiff and the bones weak. This sometimes causes skeletal deformities. Also, those suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin D have a high risk of heart diseases and premature death.
Since Surya Namaskar is performed facing the sun, it helps your body to absorb all the nutrients from the sun and the required amount of Vitamin D. Also, Surya Namaskar benefits in helping to move the joints and build the muscles around them. Cobra Pose tones and strengthen your spine, gluteal muscles, thighs, arms and shoulders providing you with a perky bottom.
As you lunge into the Equestrian Pose (low lunge), your knees feel mild stress and this gives a signal to the cells in your bones to increase cell production. Thus, increasing bone and joint density making your knees and ankles stronger and healthier. This ensures that your bones are healthy and strong and your ligaments are stretched to an extent to keep them in good condition.
5. 12 Yoga poses of Sun Salutation improves flexibility
Since Surya Namaskar consists of 12 yoga poses, it is bound to focus on different muscle groups in the body. It stretches and tones every muscle in the body. Surya Namaskar activates the Chakras in your body that help to tone the arms, abs, thighs, hips, glutes, and legs.
It also increases flexibility especially in people whose bodies are not very flexible in nature. For example, Back-bending asanas such as Cobra Pose and Equestrian (Low Lunge) Pose influence your frontal and posterior planes from your toes to your chin. It stretches your spine and back muscles increasing your flexibility.
Thus, resulting in improving your overall posture and makes it easier to balance your body. Those struggling with a bad posture can practice Surya Namaskar to correct their posture.
6. Helps regulate the menstrual cycle
One of the poses that are part of Surya Namaskar – Cobra Pose helps to open up and stimulate the reproductive system. As you stretch your upper torso looking upwards, your lower torso internally is getting stretched as well. The reproductive organs are stimulated and massaged in this pose. Hence, women suffering from irregular periods must practice Surya Namaskar to regulate their menstrual cycle.
Furthermore, Surya Namaskar benefits and balances the hormones in a woman’s body by stimulating the under-active or over-active thyroid glands. Hence, regular practice of this pose gives women abdominal strength that eases childbirth in the future. It also lets women experience less painful in the menstrual cycle.
7. Radiant Skin and Healthy Hair
The diverse yoga poses of Sun Salutation enhance the supply of oxygen and blood throughout the body. Surya Namaskar benefits both skin and hair incorporating a youthful and radiant glow and long-healthy tresses. As you transition into Downward Facing Dog Pose, the supply of blood gushes to your face and head, stimulating your hair follicles and increasing glow on your face.
It also helps in preventing wrinkles and early aging, keeping the skin young and retaining its elasticity and firmness. Benefits of Surya Namaskar for a glowing skin prevents the onset of wrinkles by relieving the mind and body from worry, and stress.
Moreover, the benefits of Surya Namaskar for hair prevents hair loss by improving blood circulation to the scalp. Thus, nourishing the scalp, preventing graying of hair, and enabling a healthy growth.
8. Surya Namaskar Improves Anxiety
Practicing Surya Namaskar has a calming effect on the brain and mind. Specific poses of Surya Namaskar such as the Downward Facing Dog Pose and Cobra Pose stimulate the nerves and help to reduce anxiety and promote positivity. It also strengthens the nervous system. Furthermore, deep breathing exercises along with other poses create a sense of balance between the left and right sides of the brain.
Surya Namaskar benefits the functioning of the nervous system that helps in reducing anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Also, it further enhances your mental balance and capabilities. It regulates the interconnectedness between body, breath, and mind psychologically. Thus, relaxing the mind and boosting energy levels with sharpened awareness.
9. Surya Namaskar improves sleeping cycle
Since Surya Namaskar is known to calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety, it helps in improving your sleep cycle. Surya Namaskar particularly helps insomnia patients and those who sleep at odd hours. It releases stress, tension, relaxes the mind and induces sleep. This happens because practicing the poses tire the body and keep your mind and running thoughts at ease.
10. Benefits of Surya Namaskar on Kids
With a competitive environment and exposure to stress and anxiety, children go through a lot. Practising Surya Namaskar benefits the kids in multiple ways. It builds confidence, calms their mind, improves their focus and concentration levels and also builds endurance within them. It reduces the feeling of anxiety and restlessness, especially during exams.
Moreover, it strengthens their body, increases muscle growth and flexibility, and also helps in height increase. Kids as young as 5-year olds can also practice Surya Namaskar daily.
Best Time to do Sun Salutation