Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is an Ancient Indian Yoga ritual followed by millions across the world today. I read and watch questions and myths floating around on the internet about this most healthy practice. Thus, I sat down to collect facts on them by consulting International Certified Yoga Trainer and Guru Denzil Oconnell.
10 Questions about Sun Salutation asked by Beginners – Answered
Myths about Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar
Let’s Answer and clarify these Questions About Sun Salutation based on myths about the practice.
Question 1 – Since I cannot touch my toes – thus, I am not flexible enough to do Sun Salutation?
It is one of the biggest Questions about Surya Namaskar! I am not thin enough. My body is not flexible enough! There is stiffness in my joints. These are the kind of thoughts or beliefs you may have been harbouring in your heart.
Yoga poses are suitable for all body types and weight. As long as you do not have any illness where your doctor has restricted movement – Surya Namaskar can be tailor-made or customized as per each individual’s ability and requirement. There is special Sun Salutation for kids, for ailments, for pregnant women, for senior citizens.
By practising Yoga your muscles become strong and your joints become more flexible as they stretch your body without the use of any equipment. The strength you use to hold the postures is what gives you the flexibility in the long run.
Question 2 – Is Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation just an exercise?
Well, you are wrong my friend!
You do not realize that it is a complete workout for your body. The one workout that needs no equipment. It is friendly for practising at any age.
It is not just and exercise, but also a full-body workout where you stretch your body as well as your cardiovascular system, improving the blood circulation.
As per health and Yoga Gurus if you do 12 sets of Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) – they get converted into 288 powerful yoga poses just in a span 10-15 minutes. What else do you want!
For those of you who cannot step out to walk or run due to extreme climatic conditions – the answer is Sun Salutation.
Question 3 – Do you need to worship the Sun God while performing Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar in its literal meaning is also known as ‘Sun Salutation’. Bowing down to the Sun or Saluting the Sun!
It is an ancient technique of expressing gratitude to the sun, a source to all forms of life on the planet. Symbolically, the sun is our source of energy as well. The sages believe and it is true that without the sun, there will be no life on earth. Therefore, the practice of this asana has a great energizing effect on the body, prana, and mind.
Yes, in the Vedic tradition, the sun is symbolic of consciousness and, therefore, Sun is worshipped daily in the Indian culture. However, it is not required of you to worship the sun while you do your Yoga Poses.
Question 4 – Can Surya Namaskar be done without Chanting?
Can Surya Namaskar be done without Chanting – is one of the biggest Questions about Sun Salutation?
Not at all.
You do not need to chant while practising Sun Salutation. Yes, there are mantras for each of the 12 steps of Surya Namaskar – however, you need not chant them.
You must try doing 6 rounds of Surya Namaskar without chanting daily, for four weeks continuously. Then, you will observe and feel the changes in the energies of your body-mind-soul.
Question 5 – Do you Benefit from Short Sessions of Surya Namaskar?
There is no exercise or workout in the world packed with so many benefits all in one short session.
Surya Namaskar, also known as ‘The Ultimate Asana’ has innumerable benefits.
It helps to bring down your blood sugar levels, makes your back stronger. Not only this, but it also boosts blood circulation (glowing skin and hair), improves metabolism and regulates women’s menstrual cycle. Moreover, 10 minutes of yoga can significantly increase your brain function by improving focus and memory.
Yes, you will certainly benefit immensely even if you practice just a 10-15 minute short session of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) each morning or evening.
Isn’t it quite a lot for giving just 10-15 minutes!
Question 6 – Can we do Surya Namaskar during Periods?
Yes, you can perform Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) during periods/menstrual cycle. It can be done when there are no cramps or no heavy bleeding. But, to be done gently and slowly.
The gentle forward bending postures gently massage the pelvic area and the abdomen – giving relief to heavy bleeding, cramps, heaviness and congestion.
Sun Salutation has great benefits for women. It restores hormonal balance plus speeds up weight loss. Moreover, it acts as a remedy for your menstrual cramps and helps you experience normal periods.
Hope this clarifies the biggest question women ask about Surya Namaskar!
Question 7 – Is Surya Namaskar a Religious Practice?
No, it is not related to religion.
The benefits of Sun Salutation are mostly physical, mental and spiritual. Watch out Video and a separate detailed article on the Benefits of Surya Namaskar to further break your myth and asker your questions about Surya namaskar.
Question 8 – Is Surya Namaskar only for flexibility? It doesn’t help you lose weight!
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is a complete body workout and will greatly help you lose the extra pounds. Sun Salutation is all about a slow-paced peaceful set of 12 Poses combined in one round. It has it’s physical, mental and spiritual benefits like each Yoga pose. Each Pose/Asana challenges your body and it’s repetitive practise over the months moulds your body to the perfect shape and size.
Remember, Surya namaskar is something to include in your lifestyle – not a diet, fad, or a gym membership – that you take on for six months and then gain all the weight back.
Question 9 – Can Sun Salutation be practised only during sunrise or early morning? Can I do it in the evening?
What time of the day can it be done – is one of the most commonly asked questions about Sun Salutation in modern times!
Yoga is about discipline and no restrictions on time, place or routine. Remember, as long as your stomach is empty and you have a flat surface to spread your yoga mat on – you can practise Sun Salutation anytime anywhere. Remember to face the east or face the sun rising in the morning and face the setting sun if you do it in the evening.
Why I say – Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is all about discipline – because it brings your attention to each and every part of the body. It helps your mind to become still and soothes your soul due to its meditative state.
Question 10 – Since I have chronic pains and body aches – I am scared of practising Surya Namaskar or Yoga!
As per recent studies, people who suffer from chronic lower back pain can adapt themselves to variations of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)or Yoga poses to reduce the pain. It will also aid them to be able to move and walk more freely. However, in case of chronic pain – please consult your doctor before you start Yoga.
Not only this, but Surya Namaskar also helps fight depression, reduces anxiety levels and blood pressure.
Yes, there could be many questions about Surya Namaskar in Yoga based on myths – by people who have failed at their attempt to practise it, but that should not stop you on your journey of self-discovery.
Questions or Myths are best to be answered by gaining knowledge about the truth behind the Myth.
Hope the above points helped in answering your questions about Sun Salutation in Yoga. In case you require any further clarifications – please feel free to write to me on [email protected]
Happy Sun Saluting!