Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a popular ancient technique of paying respect or expressing gratitude to the sun which is the source of all forms of life on the planet. However, it may seem meaningless to just practice Surya Namaskar, without understanding the science behind the ancient technique. A deeper understanding will bring-forth the right outlook and approach towards this sacred, yet powerful yogic technique.
Best time to perform Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 postures done during sunrise. These postures act as a link between warm-ups and the asanas, and can be done on empty stomach. Early morning is the most appropriate time to practice Surya Namaskar, as it revitalizes the body and refreshes the mind, making us ready to carry on the tasks of the day. Surya Namaskar can be practised more than once a day. For example, when this is done in the afternoon, it energizes the body instantly, and if done at dusk, it helps to unwind and relax.
General health benefits of Surya Namaskar
The regular practice of Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation within the body, maintains good health, and helps in leading a disease-free life. According to Yoga experts, every part of the body including heart, liver, intestine, stomach, throat, chest, legs, are benefitted by Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar strengthens heart, wrist and arm muscles, and relieves neck and shoulder tension. It is also an excellent cardiovascular work-out and an excellent way to lose weight.
Surya Namaskar offers all the main health benefits of yoga in a succinct package, as it provides not just physical health benefits, but also mental and spiritual benefits. Apart from the muscles, it benefits joints, ligaments the skeletal system by improving flexibility, posture and balance.
Surya Namaskar is good for digestive system, nervous system, stimulates lymphatic system, and supports respiratory system as well. It benefits the endocrine system as well by helping endocrinal glands to function properly, which includes the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands, adrenal gland, testes and ovaries. Surya Namaskar practice is particularly beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression.
Benefits of ‘Surya Namaskar’ for children
Children who perform ‘Surya Namaskar’ regularly will have a calm mind and it helps improve their concentration. In today’s world, children face stiff competition, and therefore, incorporating Surya Namaskar in their daily schedule improves their endurance power, while reducing anxiety, stress and restlessness. With regular practice, Surya Namaskar gives strength and vitality to the body, and it is the best work-out for muscles. It improves flexibility of the spine and limbs for children aspiring to be future athletes. Moreover, Sun Salutation is believed to expand solar plexus (the ability to learn and comprehend), and thereby the intuitive ability which makes them more clear and focused. Children of all age groups can do Surya Namaskar daily.
Benefits of Suray Namaskar for women
Surya Namaskar is excellent to combat obesity, and is therefore a blessing for health-conscious women. It is the most inexpensive way of getting to shape by toning abdominal muscles naturally. The Surya Namaskar postures helps by removing the stubborn belly fat by stimulating sluggish glands like thyroid gland to increase hormonal secretions. This is because Surya Namaskar particularly benefits the proper functioning of the endocrinal glands. With regular practice, Surya Namaskar can regularize menstrual cycles in women, and ensure an easy childbirth. What’s more, it even helps add that glow back to your face, combats onset of wrinkles and makes you look radiant!
The Surya Namaskar – Ayurveda connection
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation helps balance the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha according to Ayurveda. Ayurveda believes that long, systematic, continuous and daily practice of Surya Namaskar, together with the right diet can help in longevity. In Ayurveda, there are specific mantras and they are chanted for each specific posture in Surya Namaskar. With synchronization of the posture, breathing and mantra, Surya Namaskar can be done efficiently. In the Ayurvedic way, physical exercise through the postures, are integrated with Pranayaama and devotional worship, and they together comprise the Surya Namaskar. This, indeed, is an art, to be practiced by one and all for overall body health.