Yoga Benefits of Sun Salutation

How do you start your day?

Often, the tendency is to grab your phone and check the weather, news, and texts before rolling out of bed to grab a cup of coffee (or your caffeine or choice).

Tomorrow morning, instead of starting your day with a screen, roll out your yoga mat and do a few minutes of nature’s energy booster - Sun Salutations!

Sun Salutations are one of the best ways to energize the body, sharpen the mind, and start the day with intention and gratitude. The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is a yogic technique consisting of twelve postures (asanas) practiced in a consecutive sequence. Repeating the sequence several times can serve as an invigorating warm-up prior to starting your yoga routine. However, if you only have a few minutes to spare in the morning, Sun Salutations can be practiced on their own as they are a complete exercise they engages every part of the body. As the name suggests, sunrise is the ideal time for yoga, as it lays a positive foundation for the rest of the day and synchronizes your body with the rhythms of nature.

The benefits of Surya Namaskar are numerous, as the routine engages the core, stretches the hamstrings, and loosens the shoulders. Regular practice improves blood circulation throughout the entire body, massages the internal organs, and promotes overall health. The practice is versatile and can be adapted to your individual needs. When practiced at a fast pace, the technique provides an excellent cardiovascular workout and aids weight loss. When practiced at a slower pace, the routine is calming and grounding.

Why Start the Day With Surya Namaskar?

Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago by the ancient sages, or Rishis, in India who believed that each part of the body was in some way linked to a certain aspect of the natural world. In particular, the solar plexus (located behind the navel at the center of the body) is said to be intimately connected to the sun. The state of one’s solar plexus is said to be linked to emotions and intuition, which is where the term “gut feeling” originated. The Rishis prescribed the practice of Sun Salutations in order to expand the solar plexus and achieve increased mental clarity, heightened intuition, and a tranquil emotional state.

Without the sun, life on Earth would not be possible. All life on the planet requires energy in some form for survival, and all of the energy in the Earth’s biosphere originates from the sun. Sun Salutations provide us with the opportunity to offer our gratitude to the sun for its life giving light. In a broader sense, the practice invites us to recognize that our existence is dependent upon something bigger than ourselves.

Boost your body, mind, and spirit with Sun Salutations, and see the difference a few rounds make in your day!

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at programs@us.artofliving.org to find a a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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