Surya Namaskar, otherwise known as Sun Salutations, is the ancient Yoga practice of expressing respect or gratitude to the sun as the key source of energy. So how do you perform Surya Namaskar? Surya Namaskar is an amazing blend of asanas designed to rejuvenate your body. It is basically a cycle of poses where you start and end in the same position, facing the sun. But what are the benefits? Let’s dig into the topic and explore more about this sequence of postures.
BENEFITS OF SURYA NAMASKAR
If performed at a fast pace, Surya Namaskar can help shed extra kilos and tone muscles, helping to aid weight loss. It also calms your body, thus providing you with a good night’s sleep, putting insomnia to rest. Practising your Sun Salutations can help you combat digestive problems like constipation and bloating etc. The rhythmic movements also improve blood circulation in the body, giving your skin a radiant glow. During Surya Namaskar, your body goes through an active inhalation and exhalation process that detoxes your system. The continuous breathing process also soothes the nervous system thereby helping you reduce stress levels and keeping anxiety at bay.
MORE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS
Yes, Surya Namaskar can definitely help you to lose weight as it is a full-body workout and therefore is effective for weight loss. The OFA-style Surya Namaskar is a heavy-duty routine that consists of double push-ups, planks and lunges repeated throughout the class in a heated room, so it is like a typical workout you would get at the gym. Essentially, it has all the movements to work your full body. It’s worth remembering though, that when it comes to changing the shape and overall fat percentage of the body, the contribution of food and nutrition is about 85%, so you will also need to work on a good diet to make it effective.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE AND WHILE YOU DO SURYA NAMASKAR
Like most Yoga asanas, Surya Namaskar should ideally be done in the morning, on an empty stomach. So it’s always good to ensure you haven’t had a meal in the last few hours before you perform your Surya Namaskar. As mentioned earlier, Surya Namaskar is traditionally done facing the sun. There is also a mantra for each posture, which you may wish to familiarize yourself with to help focus your mind as you move through the sequence. Surya Namaskar is a practice of discipline. Following the same pattern day-after-day, practice-after-practice trains the body and mind to work together, becoming a moving meditation. Remember that Yoga is meant to make you feel better and not stressed. You can slow it down if you want and take extra breaths in some of the poses and only do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with. Although Surya Namaskar is a warm-up exercise, you may want to prepare yourself with some limbering and/or breath work beforehand. And even if you’re not following your Surya Namaskar with any more asanas, it’s worth spending a few minutes in Savasana afterwards to allow your body to relax and absorb the practice. It’s not often said, but it’s really important to actually enjoy the postures and have happy thoughts as you practice. Give yourself a push if you’re feeling a bit lazy or floppy in your movements, but otherwise practise at a comfortable pace and intensity to avoid injury.