How To Do Surya Namaskar Poses As Seniors Above 60?
Surya Namaskar, commonly referred to as Sun Salutations, is an ancient yoga exercise that has become increasingly popular today. There are 12 Surya Namaskar poses, to be done cyclically. Yogis believe that this yoga sequence can help the body, mind, and spirit attain a deep sense of relaxation, peace, and calmness. It especially helps seniors improve their health, fitness and activity levels, aiding them to overcome the prominent challenges of aging. The biggest concern that most people have with Surya Namaskar is that the exercise requires a lot of physical energy and is hard to sustain as they get older. So, when practicing Surya Namaskar poses, one needs to be very careful and attentive to our body’s individual capabilities. Let’s learn how to do Surya Namaskar as seniors above the age of 60 so as to reap the maximum benefits of Surya Namaskar poses.
Twelve Surya Namaskar Poses
Surya Namaskar poses have to be performed systematically with a positive mind and laser focus. Here is a step-by-step guide to the Surya Namaskar poses that can be performed even after the age of 60.
1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Pranamasana is accomplished by standing upright on a mat and placing feet close together. Take a deep breath and feel the chest expand; relax the shoulders. While inhaling, raise your hands from your sides and fold them in front of the chest like praying. This is a prayer position.
2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
In Hasta Uttanasana, take a deep breath and join both palms together. Now extend your arms upward while bending backwards in a slight arch. Slightly push the abdomen forward and stretch back. Hold the biceps close to your ears while pushing yourself up from the heels.
3. Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
To accomplish Hasta Padasana, bend forward and touch the toes while exhaling. While exhaling, bend forward to touch the toes with your fingers, try to relax the back of your neck and shoulders. Inhale, and come back up. Though reaching this position will take some practice, you will notice yourself improving in no time.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Lunge Pose)
After returning from Hasta Padasana, you can settle your knees gently and rest the hands facing the ground parallel to your feet. Lift the right knee, bring it towards the right side of your chest, and meanwhile stretch the left leg backwards. Balancing yourself, raise the head towards the sky, but don’t move it too far because that would cause adverse effects on your spine.
5. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)
After performing Ashwa Sanchalanasa, inhale and put the right leg back, next to the left leg. Be sure to place the hands under your shoulders and that your body is parallel to the ground. Your entire body should be balanced.
6. Ashtanga Namaskar (Eight Limbed Pose)
To achieve this pose, put your knees on the floor. Raise your hips slightly from the ground while resting your chin on the floor. Your posterior should be suspended in the air, and both knees, hands, and chest should touch the ground. Relax, breathe and balance.
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
After Ashtanga Namaskar, move forward and rest the abdomen flat on the floor. Lie down with both legs straight and extended on the floor. Place the palms of your hands close to the chest, and push down gently to raise yourself from the ground up. Avoid turning your head to either side and concentrate on keeping your neck area still; keep your face relaxed, looking forward, and avoid jerking or swaying. Expand the chest and practice deep breathing techniques for a while.
8. Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Lie down on the ground, face down, arms at the sides and back facing the ceiling. Gradually lift your hips until you are in a V shape, balancing on your elbows and knees. With every exhale, go deeper into the pose while balancing on your toes and keeping the heels off of the ground. Gaze towards your navel to help align yourself.
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (High Lunge Pose)
Come back from the downward-facing dog position and bring your right foot forward. Keep the left leg stretched back and look forward. Now, deepen the stretch by pushing hips towards the floor.
10. Hasta Padasana (Standing Forwards Bend Inhale)
Bring your left foot to the front while inhaling and place it right next to the right foot. Move your torso and bend it while maintaining the position of your hands, gradually, exhale and touch the ground with your fingers.
11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Breathe deeply, lift your upper body and bring the palms together. Bend backwards with the arms while stretching your spine. Keep breathing steadily.
12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Returning to your initial pose, take notice of the pattern you have devised. As you had explored in the first step, stand straight and exhale while bringing your arms across the chest in Namaste.
Surya Namaskar Mantras
Senior citizens who practice Surya Namaskar poses for spiritual reasons should chant the following mantras with all twelve poses:
- Om Maitreya namah
- Om Ravaye namah
- Om Suryaya namah
- Om Bhanave namah
- Om Khagaya namah
- Om Pushne namah
- Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah
- Om Marichaye namah
- Om Adityaya namah
- Om Savitre namah
- Om Arkaya namah
- Om Bhaskaraya namah
All twelve Surya Namaskar poses, can be practiced at any age. The only thing you need to do is modify the asanas based on your current fitness level. For example, if you’re over the age of 60 and wish to practice Surya Namaskar poses, you should start with a very basic series and do it every day. As you get stronger and more flexible, you can adapt the series and make it more challenging.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Surya Namaskar is a wonderful asana that has a multitude of benefits. These benefits are not limited to the physical health of a person but also touch the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of a person. Some benefits are:
Improves endurance and flexibility
Sharpens brain and improves nervous system
Helps in regulating blood pressure levels
Strengthens the muscles of the body
Maintains cardiovascular health
It depends upon the physical fitness of seniors. A beginner can start by doing five sets daily and then increase with time.
Doing a regular round of Surya Namaskar burns approximately 13.90 calories. One can start with performing five sets of it daily and then increase it up to 12 with time, which will help burn 416 calories.
Morning, right before the sunrise, is the best time to do Surya Namaskar. But it can be performed at any time of the day as per one’s schedule and health