Sun salutation or Surya Namaskar Steps and benefits of surya namaskar
Sun salutation or Surya namaskar as it is commonly known has been practiced since ages to provide complete body, mind and soul workout. It compromises both pranayam as well as asanas. Surya namaskar consist of total twelve poses and it is generally said to be practiced in the early hours of morning while sun rises. Each pose has its own benefits and done with a rhythm of breathing accordingly. These asanas are ordered so that they alternately stretch the spine backwards and forwards. When performed in the usual way, each asana is moved into with alternate inhalation and exhalation (except for the sixth asana where the is breath held in external suspension) Breathing is the most important part while practicing any yoga posture as it provides oxygen to the body.
I personally feel surya namasker is the best workout of all as even practicing 10-12 rounds with proper breathing can sweat you like anything and the person who are bit lazy can only rely on this also for their workout session as it calms both mind and body.
Other than its mental and other benefits it is said to be the best and the easiest way for weight loss. This not only helps in weight loss but also helps in toning and shaping your complete body and making it attractive, providing it flexibility when done in proper alignment and deep breathing.
The major cause of disease in the body is due to the imbalance of vaat, kapha and pitta. And the practice of surya namaskar helps in maintaining the state of all these three, which ultimately keeps you healthy.
Surya namaskar charges you for whole day as after practicing it all the body parts comes in an active state keeping you energetic and healthy for the day and keeps your refreshed.
Below letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s discuss the twelve poses of surya namaskar in detail with their benefits. ( please follow the image accordingly):-
Stand erect keep the heels & toes apart. Both hands should remain in close contact with either side of the body. Breath should be normal and the body absolutely erect.
1) Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Joining both the hands together, bring them in front of the chest in the posture of Namaskar (folded hands in the style of Indian salute) and inhale. The elbows shall be straight, parallel to the ground, shoulders tension free . ( pose no.1 in image).
2) Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose) – Crescent moon pose.
Now inhaling deeply stretch hands up towards the sky and extend the spine backwards arching the back from the waist (see the second pose in the image). Arms should remain straight close to the ears and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bend the elbows. Let your eyes follow your hands.
Benefit of the pose – The cervical portion in the spine becomes elastic and free from disorders.
3) Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
while exhaling bend forward from the waist and place the hands on the floor besides each foot. While bending, the arms should remain stretched ,the forehead touching the knees, which should remain straight. If you cannot touch the ground go as far as you can. ( pose no.3 in the image)
Benefit of the pose- The digestive system is set right. The sciatica nerve of the feet is restored to its normal position. As the forehead is bent to touch the knees, the lumber portion of the spine becomes more healthy and elastic. This is also good for removing the fat from stomach area.
4) Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Now inhaling put your weight on the hands stretch the right leg behind. Bend the knee and place it on the floor with your weight on the left foot and arch the spine backward. Lift the head and neck first up and then back. Roll the eyes up. The left foot remains between the hands. ( follow the 4th position from the image).
Benefit of the pose – All the organs of abdominal region – liver, spleen etc. are activated.
5) Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Exhaling bring the left foot back in line with the right. Lift the hips up high like a mountain. Push the heels and head down and look at the toes with the head down between the arms. ( pose no. 5 in the image)
Benefit of the pose- The heels are pressed on the ground. As a result our calves are activated and their defects are set right. Similarly when the chin is pressed into the cavity of the throat, our thyroid glands are activated. As a result of this, hormones get mixed into blood in a natural way.
6) Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Limbs Pose)
In this pose breath to be held in external suspension and bring the body in a triangular pose. First place the knees on the ground, then the chest and thereafter the forehead. Stomach should slightly be raised from the ground. See that other parts of the body are touching the floor including two feet, two knees, two hands, the chest and the chin or forehead. Sashtang means eight limbs and dandawat means paying homage by touching the floor. Make sure the hips are slightly raised above the ground. Keep the feet together. (pose no. 6 from image).
Benefit of this pose- Eight organs of the body are touched on the ground. As a result sufficient quantity of blood is supplied to the brain and the heart is strengthened. It is also helpful in the development of our emotional sensibility, lungs, ankles, and forefeet, arms and wrists – all these parts are duly exercised. Intestines and digestive organs are also activated.
7) Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lower the pelvis and abdomen to the floor. Inhale and stretch the toes on the floor. Raise your head slowly up, arch the spine and neck and look up. Keep your legs together and the elbows alongside the body slightly bent and keep the shoulders down. (pose no.7 from image).
Benefit of the pose – All the disorders of our generative organ, rectum and feet are removed. This also strengthens Apan and Pran and the waste matter is completely excreted by the bowels. Due to its impact on the palms, not only our hands become strong but also the nerve ending centers inside the palms are so well pressed that all the parts of our body are toned up.
8) Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Exhaling bring your toes forward allowing your feet to rest on the soles while your raise the hips same as in the pose no.5 (pose no. 8 in image).
Benefit of the pose same as pose no.5
9) Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhale and bring the right foot forward and assume pose number 4 exactly as before. This is the same as posture number no.4, with the leg positions reversed. ( pose no. 9 in image)
Benefit of the pose same as pose no.4
10) Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
Exhale and bring the right foot forward. This is the same as posture number 3. ( pose no. 10 in image)
Benefit of the pose same as pose no.3
11) Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale and stretch up in a standing pose with your arms up and bend backwards.This is the same as posture number 2. ( pose no.11 in image)
Benefit of the pose same as pose no.2
12) Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Exhale and stand erect bringing the hands back to the center of the chest with palms together. This is the same as posture no. 1. ( pose no. 12 in image)
In this way one round of surya namaskar is complete.
Apart from the above other benefits of surya namaskar are:-
Increases flow of oxygen to lungs, heart keeping you healthy.
A great workout for weight loss.
Improve the flexibility of spine, waist and back.
Provides relaxation to mind, strong body and increases glow.
Tones your each and every body part including chest, thighs, hips.
Clears your elimination channels helping your body rid itself of toxins.
Increases mental focus and concentration.
P.S pregnant ladies and people suffering with certain diseases should first consult their physicians before starting any exercise routine.
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