For centuries, people from all civilizations have offered prayers to the sun – the ultimate source of life and energy. One such practice is the yogic sequence of Surya Namaskar. Let’s get to know this unique practice better and understand its multifaceted benefits:
What is Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is an ancient technique of paying respects to the sun. Constituting of 12 different postures, it is a form of expressing gratitude to this source of all life on earth.
Does it have any base in science?
Yes, it does. In fact, it is essential to understand the science behind this ancient technique. This will help you approach this powerful yoga practice with the right outlook. Ancient Indian sages have said different energies govern different parts of the body. For instance, the solar plexus that is located behind the navel is connected to the Sun. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar enhances the size of the solar plexus. This, in turn, increases your creativity, intuitive abilities, decision-making, confidence and leadership skills. This is why the practice of Surya Namaskar is highly recommended.
When can I do these asanas?
You can do Surya Namaskar at any time of the day. However, it is best to do it at sunrise. This is when the sun rays help revitalize the body and refresh the mind. There are benefits of doing Surya Namaskar at other times of the day too. If you practice it in the afternoon, it energizes your body instantly whereas when done at dusk, it helps you unwind.
Can you practice it at any pace?
These 3-speed variations can help you get optimum benefits of Surya Namaskar:
Slow pace: This will help make your body flexible
Medium pace: This is useful for toning your muscles
Fast pace: This acts as an excellent cardiovascular workout and aids in weight loss
What are the benefits of Surya Namaskar?
The benefits of Surya Namaskar are manifold. It helps in better functioning of the body and mental faculties. Here are a few benefits of Surya Namaskar:
- The postures are a right blend of warm-ups and asanas
- It helps to keep you disease-free and healthy
- Regular practice promotes balance in the body
- Improves blood circulation
- Strengthens the heart
- Tones the digestive tract
- Stimulates abdominal muscles, respiratory system, lymphatic system, spinal nerves and other internal organs
- Tones the spine, neck, shoulder, arms, hands, wrist, back and leg muscles, thereby promoting overall flexibility
- Psychologically, it regulates the interconnectedness of body, breath, and mind, thus making you calmer and boosting the energy levels with sharpened awareness
Surya Namaskar is also immensely beneficial for losing weight, skincare and hair care.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar for weight loss
- It is an intensive physical exercise that works on every part of the body
- You can increase the number of rounds slowly and watch the pounds start to disappear. The bends and stretches help you lose flab evenly
Benefits of Surya Namaskar for hair
- Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation to the scalp, thereby preventing hair loss
- The increased blood circulation nourishes the head and enables a healthy hair growth
- Different poses help prevent graying of hair
Benefits of Surya Namaskar for glowing skin
- Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation to all parts of the body, thus keeping the skin young
- It increases energy and vitality, thereby making your face glow with radiance. This helps the skin retain its firmness
- Surya Namaskar prevents the onset of wrinkles by relieving the body and mind of stress
How can children benefit of Surya Namaskar?
With cut-throat competition everywhere, children are exposed to stress and anxiety at an early age. Surya Namaskar helps children calm their mind, improve concentration, and build endurance. It reduces the feeling of anxiety and restlessness, especially during exams. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar also gives strength and vitality to the body. It also aids in muscle growth and making the body more flexible. Children as young as five-year-old can also practice Surya Namaskar daily.
Why should women do Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar is a boon for any health-conscious person. Some of the Sun Salutation poses help lose extra fat around the belly and let you stay in shape, naturally. These poses stimulate sluggish glands like the thyroid gland and induce it to increase hormonal secretions. A regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps women regulate irregular menstrual cycles and assist in childbirth. Further, it helps the face glow and also prevents wrinkles.
Surya Namaskar enhances intuition
A regular practice of Surya Namaskar and meditation helps the almond-sized solar plexus grow and become as big as one’s palm. This expansion of the solar plexus helps develops your intuitive ability and bring more focus. On the other hand, contraction of the solar plexus can lead to depression and other negative tendencies.
So, it's highly recommended to practice Surya Namaskar regularly and experience its manifold benefits.
Practicing Yoga helps develop the body and mind, yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is essential to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga only after consulting your doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.
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