Fitness > Surya Namaskar Benefits: How It Improves Health!
18th Jan 2022

Surya Namaskar Benefits: How It Improves Health!

For centuries, the sun has been believed to be the soul of all living and non-living beings. As per ancient texts from India like the Rig Veda, the sun is even believed to be an immortal life source. The Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a yoga exercise that embodies a flow sequence of 12 gracefully linked poses, performed in gratitude & dedication to the sun. Now, science too has rationalized the healing powers of the sun and the health benefits of sun salutation.   

12 Poses of Surya Namaskar 

Surya Namaskar is an extensively popular yoga practice. It is a series of 12 different postures that are performed in a set sequence. Each of these postures is designed to align an individual’s chakras. These chakras are energy centres in the body, and by performing Surya Namaskar an individual can align their chakras, allowing them to feel more balanced and refreshed. It’s a suitable practice for beginners as well as advanced yogis. Most people perform it in the early morning or late evening as it is believed that’s when the body is most in tune with solar energy. 

Although several variations of Surya Namaskar exist today, they usually consist of: 

  1. Pranamasana (prayer pose) 

  1. Hasta Uttanasana (raised arms pose) 
  1. Hasta Padasana (hand to foot pose) 
  1. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (equestrian/high lunge pose) 
  1. Dandasana (stick/plank pose) 
  1. Ashtanga Namaskara (eight limbed pose) 
  1. Bhujangasana (cobra pose) 
  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose) 
  1. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (equestrian/high lunge pose) 
  1. Hasta Padasana (hand to foot pose)  

  1. Hasta Uttanasana (raised arms pose) 
  1. Tadasana (standing mountain pose) 

Importance of Surya Namaskar 

Indian sages used to praise the sun for its great benefits. The solar plexus is a system of radiating nerves that are found in the centre of the abdomen, behind the navel. It deals with different energies that control our physical & mental well-being and plays a vital role in the functioning of the stomach, kidneys, liver, & adrenal glands. Practicing Surya Namaskar can therefore enhance the solar plexus, resulting in a heightened physical & emotional state. Some commonly visible gains are increased confidence, intuition, imagination, decision-making abilities, leadership, and creativity. Also, the practice, if done in the direction of the sunrise, helps maintain optimal Vitamin D in the body. 

Best Time for Surya Namaskar 

There isn’t a precise time of day when yoga should be practiced, but traditionally it is performed first thing in the morning. The early hours are believed to be instrumental in increasing focus and rejuvenating the body as if awakening from a period of slumber. However, it can also be performed at dusk as a way of winding down after a long day. 

Benefits of Surya Namaskar for Seniors 

Surya Namaskar is an essential activity for the improved health of seniors. It is a valuable yoga asana for seniors – especially to ensure strength and endurance of the body. It helps with anti-aging, improved sleep, weight management, strength, and balance among other things. Yogis have found that Surya Namaskar provides an excellent way for seniors to stay active and live a healthy life because, if done regularly, it:   

  • Relieves Stress & Anxiety: Surya Namaskar focuses on steady breathing, which poses as an effective grounding method, helping calm a person. Also, enhances a person’s nervous system, making it easier for an individual to respond to stress. It also works wonders for individuals suffering from hormone-related problems by helping normalize functions of the endocrine glands. 

  • Improves Digestive System: A healthy and proper digestive system is a must for a healthy individual. Surya Namaskar increases the blood flow to your digestive tract, ensuring the better functioning of your intestines. Some poses help in increasing the abdominal space inside by stretching, thus helping release the trapped gas from their system. 

  • Improves Breathing: While performing Surya Namaskar, one’s breath becomes steady and even. This provides greater ventilation of the lungs and sufficiently saturates the red blood cells with oxygen.   

  • Battles Insomnia: Surya Namaskar helps fight insomnia and other sleep conditions by relaxing the mind, helping it get rid of unnecessary burdens and worries, hence improving sleep quality. 

  • Tones Muscles & Improves Flexibility: Surya Namaskar asanas focus on working out various muscle groups and nerve centres (chakras). This helps tone almost all body parts, including arms, abs, thighs, etc. It also gives more flexibility and improves body posture.   

  • Increases Energy & Awareness Levels: Pranayama is also an essential aspect of Surya Namaskar. It helps harness one’s energy and bring about a deep sense of relaxation in both the body and mind. Not only does it enhance a sense of calm, but the practice also sharpens one’s senses and improves self-awareness—which in turn boosts energy levels and enables a happier, healthier life. 

  • Lowers Blood Sugar Level: Many poses in Surya Namaskar aid in twisting and stretching the internal muscles that stimulate the endocrine system and pancreas. As a result, insulin secretion is regulated which helps in keeping the blood sugar levels in check. 

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Frequently Asked Questions on Surya Namaskar 


Can I do Surya Namaskar during periods? 

During periods, it is best not to do Surya Namaskar. This is because the abdominal pressure can press against the uterus, which can cause discomfort in the pelvis and abdomen. If you experience cramps or menstrual-related discomforts, it’s not advised that you perform Surya Namaskar during or after a few days of your period. 

Who should not do the Surya Namaskar? 

While everyone can practice the Surya Namaskar, there are certain conditions under which people need to be careful not to opt for this practice. These include pregnant women, those suffering from a hernia, high blood pressure, and back problems. If you deal with asthma or chronic coughs, you should also avoid Surya Namaskar because its maneuvers may aggravate your condition and cause unwanted side effects. 

Does Surya Namaskar help in weight loss? 

Surya Namaskar can burn down a ton of calories if you do it at a faster pace than usual. This cardio workout works on every part of the body and improves metabolism. Plus, this yoga routine involves different bends and stretches that help tone your physical appearance. 

Can Surya Namaskar help in improving physical fitness? 

Through repeated practice, those who perform this sun salutation will witness noticeable changes in both their body shape and physical stamina within just a few months. 

How many postures are there in Surya Namaskar? How does it benefit the body?

Surya Namaskar is a series of 12 different postures accompanied by specific breathing techniques to stretch, enlighten and strengthen the body. Surya Namaskar Yoga is beneficial for the body as it improves flexibility and helps trim down extra fats stored in various areas, including those around the waist and abdominal circumference. Best of all, it also prepares muscles and joints for more exhaustive yogic practices.