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The Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar

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Salutations to the Sun God Surya

benefits-of-surya-namaskar

Intro

If you're looking for a simple, enjoyable way to start your day that provides a diverse range of health benefits, consider practicing Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar is a special sequence of yoga postures and chants that together comprise the traditional Sun Salutation.

Surya Namaskar has its origins in Hindu worship of the solar deity, and it has been practiced in India for thousands of years. There are twelve poses in the Surya Namaskar series, and a full round consists of performing two sets of this series. During the second set, practitioners move the opposite leg from the one involved in movement during the first set.

Whether you regularly practice yoga or not, you can enjoy the health benefits. Performed correctly, it is a completely safe set of yoga poses that will not cause strain or injury. You will experience health benefits by practicing the Sun Salutation just once daily, but you can also practice the series of poses as often as you like morning, noon or night.

Once you become familiar with Surya Namaskar and how wonderful it makes you feel, you will probably find yourself drawn to performing it multiple times throughout the day, including just before bedtime. When practiced in the morning, it relieves stiffness, energizes the body and refreshes the mind. During the day, it is a rejuvenating alternative to caffeine, and at night, it can help you relax and get a good night's sleep.

Health Benefits

Surya Namaskar provides all of the key health benefits of yoga in a very succinct package. It is a holistic exercise that provides physical health benefits, but also mental or emotional as well as spiritual benefits. The obvious advantage is the workout it provides for the muscles, but it also benefits joints, ligaments and the skeletal system by improving posture, flexibility and balance.

In addition to these physical benefits, this practice stimulates and conditions virtually every system in the body. It is good for the heart and stimulates the cardiovascular system. It oxygenates the blood and helps strengthen the heart. Surya Namaskar is good for the digestive system and the nervous system. It stimulates the lymphatic system and supports respiratory system health, as well.

Practicing Surya Namaskar also benefits the endocrine system and enables the various endocrine glands to function properly. These include the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands as well as the adrenal gland, testes and ovaries.

Like most forms of exercise, Surya Namaskar provides mental benefits to regular practitioners. You will feel wonderful after performing the Sun Salutation. It is relaxing and rejuvenating, and tension, stress and anxiety melt away.

Surya Namaskar is an excellent alternative to caffeine and other stimulants. If you suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances, you will find it aids in helping you fall asleep without the need for depressants.

With regular practice, it is an excellent way to manage stress and alleviate depression. You will expend a tremendous amount of energy as you move through the two sets of poses. Surya Namaskar teaches you to concentrate, and learning to achieve the poses is incredibly gratifying.

12 Positions of Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutations

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Specific Health Benefits

In addition to the general health benefits, each of the yoga poses in the series provides specific health benefits:

  • Pose 1 (and 12): Promotes balance, stimulates the respiratory system, exercises shoulder, back and neck muscles
  • Pose 2 (and 11): Promotes balance, promotes digestion, exercises arms and shoulder muscles, tones the spine, promotes flexibility in back and hips
  • Pose 3 (and 10): Promotes blood circulation, tones abdominal tracts, stretches back and leg muscles, stimulates spinal nerves, stimulates lymphatic system
  • Pose 4 (and 9): Exercises spine, strengthens hand and wrist muscles
  • Pose 5 (and 8): Stimulates blood circulation, strengthens the heart, strengthens wrist and arm muscles, relieves neck and shoulder tension
  • Pose 6: Strengthens leg and arm muscles, increases flexibility in neck and shoulders, stretches arms, shoulder, neck and back muscles, exercises back muscles, releases tension in neck and shoulder
  • Pose 7: Stimulates circulation to abdominal organs, tones digestive tract, stretches upper and lower body, promotes flexibility in the back, stimulates nerves in spine

Poses 8 through 12 are essentially repetitions of poses 5 through 1, respectively. The health benefits of each are similar to their corresponding poses.

Surya Namaskar is an exercise in itself, but it is also sometimes used as a warm up for other, more strenuous workouts. You can also perform Surya Namaskar at the end of other exercise routines as a way to relax and wind down. One of the best things is how flexible and versatile a form of exercise it is for individuals at all fitness levels.

Sun Gazing

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Spirituality

Surya Namaskar will provide health benefits for individuals regardless of their level of interest in its spiritual benefits or their religious beliefs. Whether you consider it of spiritual benefit or not, learning the poses and practicing them regularly is incredibly gratifying and humbling.

Over time, Surya Namaskar will help you achieve a sense of well-being and purpose. It is a spiritually uplifting exercise and promotes a keen awareness of the interconnectedness of your body, mind and breath.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

dprasan on January 28, 2013:

Surya namaskaram is one of the yoga which takes you to higher level in spirituality as well as in health conditions. Greatly explained. Keep it up.

Dr. pankaj on September 05, 2011:

surya namaskar is the best exercise. u just have to take out 15 minutes daily from ur busy life in morning. it also encourages me to wake up early. now i see my patients with more zeal and dedication.

Rishi Baba on August 31, 2011:

Surya Namaskar also leads to healhty sexual life. It helps in spiritual journey - from Sex to Spirituality!!!

naisha raj on August 28, 2011:

if u do 10 sets of surya namaskar daily , u dont need any other physical exercise and diet... it keeps u fit !

satyavani.kurapati. on August 21, 2011:

hey wonderful aasanas ....they give fitness tt body .A good exercise to recommend for weight loss.I feel very light .please girls don't do it in ur menstrual cycles.

varun maurya on August 18, 2011:

it helps maintaining good posture.very effective exercise can be done with less time. 10 to 15 minutes is enough.

m.vino on August 18, 2011:

IT IS REALLY AMAZING.IT IS FULL OF BENEFITS

anon on August 16, 2011:

can we do suryanamaskar during menses?

mayuri ambike on August 05, 2011:

I think this is a very important exersize in daily life & is make body flexible

Chameli Chandrakanth Wasmy on July 25, 2011:

Amazing excellent wonderful. My husband and I do together a lot. Very good.

Anu on July 25, 2011:

It is really very energetic. :)

NS on May 30, 2011:

Yeah, its worth doing it

umesh.R.Shetty on March 12, 2011:

suryanamaskara if done opposite to sungod early in the

morning is more beneficial.

Pravin Marathe on February 27, 2011:

I feel energetic throughout the day. It relieves stress, improves concentration.

pragya on February 18, 2011:

suryanamaskar is a very good exercige our body & mind .our body is comfertabel after doing suryanamaskar.

it's good to controle deep our breath

srinivas on February 14, 2011:

hi friends doing surya namaskara is just like that becoming young. i have gained lots of advantages from this asana.

ashwini sisodiya on February 13, 2011:

i do just 5 rounds of suryanamaskar daily and i feel revitalized.it improves body posture,flexibility,stamina etc.practicing it makes you charming.....thus it also reduces one's makeup cost...:)

Shashank Mulay on February 06, 2011:

I am doing Surayanamaskara daily 10.

My aim is to increase it to 50 per day. Its really amazing.

Jitendra on January 13, 2011:

hi,i do 60 suryanamskar daily and would like to increase a count,i wanted to know the benefits of doing it on the part of organs of r body,believe me guy's once u do this u feel freshing,energetic,and enthusiastic..

it builds ur shoulder,chest,wings,which r very useful in r daily routine..it improves ur body posture no doubt in it,u feel hungry after doing this,so it is also useful for ur appetite as well.keep doing suryanamskar daily keeps the Doctor away.......it's a fact........

eugenio on November 28, 2010:

I do 52 surya namaskar C ,5 surya namaskar A and 5 surya namaskar B everyday !

http://www.yoga-business.net/ on November 19, 2010:

Surya namaskar... one of the best ways for me to start my day...

HARRY on November 10, 2010:

i m new to yoga . i wana start yoga asana . and thinking start from surya namaskar yoga. is it good for thyriod people. i suffering frm thyriod and that's y feeling very dizzyness,my emotionas change very fast . so can i control all these things by doing this surya namaskara??

plz guide me !!

Rahul Misra on October 08, 2010:

Surya Namashkar has incredible benefits.

When done in conjunction with Shirshasana, Halasana and others over time, the benefits can be mind-boggling.

We should all do this and encourage our near and dear ones to do the same. That would tantamount to giving a "real gift" to them -- the gift of a healthy life marked by emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

ramya on September 20, 2010:

can suryanamaskar be done during the mensural cycle. Does it have any side effects. please help

Dubakur.com on September 18, 2010:

I doing 1000 soorya namaskar a day. Because i likes surya acted in the movies likes ghajini and asingam.

Satyendra Chauhan on September 08, 2010:

You can also read Article on "HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUN RAYS" at http://bit.ly/cRVo2i you can get more benefits by doing Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) in Early Morning Sun Light.

tupulrag on September 07, 2010:

I have been doing Sooryanamaskar since 15years, intermittantly. But I have never stoped it. My experience is worth listening. Suryanamaskar can serve as a key to solve all your problems, primarily health oriented ones. I love Sun God. I love doing Suryanamaskar.

dada on August 11, 2010:

Surya Namaskar and Spirituality

Surya Namaskar will provide health benefits for individuals regardless of their level of interest in its spiritual benefits or their religious beliefs. Whether you consider it of spiritual benefit or not, learning the poses and practicing them regularly is incredibly gratifying and humbling.

Over time, Surya Namaskar will help you achieve a sense of well-being and purpose. It is a spiritually uplifting exercise and promotes a keen awareness of the interconnectedness of your body, mind and breath

DADASAHEB E BANDGAR on August 11, 2010:

I do this right from my childhood , really feel energetic , it is best exercise ever did

I used to do regularly various types of surya namaskar and enjoys the real health.

D E BANDGAR on August 09, 2010:

It is one of the best exersise .I am doing and enjoying .

sanal kumar t m on August 03, 2010:

I do this right from my childhood , really feel energetic , it is best exercise ever did

Rajesha P on August 02, 2010:

I used to do other refreshing excises since many years. Now i started Suryanamaskara every morning. It helping me lot both in health and peaceful mind thrughout the day.

rajendran on July 20, 2010:

I used to do regularly various types of surya namaskar and enjoys the real health.

David Mars on July 05, 2010:

I stardted losing weight when i started the suryanamaskar. its really wonderful exercise to be healthy.

dinesh on July 05, 2010:

iam

18 yrs and my height is 5.0

can suryanamaskar help me

Dr.Pawar.Sanjay.R. pune on July 03, 2010:

After doing many yoga positions ,I found Surynamaskar's are very much useful.Mentally, Physically, and spiritually are very Useful. I do 25 Sun Salutatios Per Day In the Morning.Surely I will increase up to 108 in next six months.Then I will comment.

S.Ravi on June 26, 2010:

Hello All,

It is indeed true that Surya Namaskar gives all beneficial effects which are more pronounced if you are new to the yoga. However most of the people leave comment here saying its good after practicisng it for few days or weeks. As any other benefit in this world, nothing comes cheap or easy. onc should pursue this at a ixed time (preferably in early morning or during sun set) to have long term benefit.

Jagadeesan on June 22, 2010:

i do surya namaskar 12 rounds per days it is very useful body and mind,i affected tension and sadness,its now easily removed from my body and mind now i am looking very young and energitic man. thanks for suryanamaskar

vishal sharma on May 23, 2010:

I am doing Surya Namakar since more then six months.It's really a good exercise.

nisha on May 13, 2010:

I do hundred suryanamaskar a day ....

baldev on April 28, 2010:

any age any patient can do suryanamaskaara ,all evils related to disease, mental abberrations and graha baadhas melt away by lord surya narayan's surya namaskaar immediate benefit seen ....

Dinesh M Patel on March 31, 2010:

It is understandable and very nicely articulated. Of very much use to human beings. Regards.

miragerainy on March 25, 2010:

Surya namaskar helps you balance your body, your mind and the way you perceive the world. By improving the overall state of your health, it also helps reducing weight. I think that it's much more effective to regard weight loss as a consequence of a healthy body, not as a singular purpose. Good luck!

sumaira on February 23, 2010:

how many times one can perform suryanamaskar in a day???does it helpful in reducing weight?????

Nandkishor desai on February 21, 2010:

I stardted losing weight when i started the suryanamaskar. its really wonderful exercise to be healthy.

TheresaAnn (author) from South Fallsburg, New York on January 10, 2010:

Surya Namaskar will help improve your posture, which might make a difference in your height.

shree on January 05, 2010:

does suryanamaskar helps in increasing height? I am 16 years old but my height is 4.9 I want to increase my height. does suryanamaskar help me?

raghava on December 21, 2009:

its nothing but gives one more life to us... my request to all is that do surya namaskar .

S Sh on November 09, 2009:

Can Suryanamskar be done by a person with kidney diseaes (stage II) and High BP and of Age 41 years.

SeasonsFit from Denver, CO on September 18, 2009:

108 is also a sacred number related to Surya Namaskar.

askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on August 19, 2009:

Great! I learn good yoga exercise from you Hub...

Thanks a lot!!!

TheresaAnn (author) from South Fallsburg, New York on May 16, 2009:

Jill of alltrades,

Yes you can do Suryanamaskar without a guide or guru. You can follow one the the above videos.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on May 15, 2009:

Can one do suyanamakar without any guide or guru?

debadarshi nayak on April 24, 2009:

I do 12 suyanamaskars daily after I suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and cholestororol. Now the ailments are normalised. I also do 40 yogasanas with surya namaskars. I feel very easy. Still I am in doubt whether I can do sirsana or not. My age is 52 years. If anybody knows that please advise.

Hemang Suthar on April 14, 2009:

I started with 10 and I have reached to 43. It is a very good exercise and I find freshness. I don't feel any need of stimulants like tea, coffee etc. With practice it becomes very easy to do and if one does regulary for min. 10 dasy then one will fall in love with it!

srikanth on April 12, 2009:

I started doing five and now am doing almost 30 every day. It really rejuvenates the body and it helps my mind stay fresh all day.

jayaprakash alathur on March 17, 2009:

suryanamaskaram is mother of yoga, verygood exersise,that is dhana of bharat

easetravels from INDIA,TAMILNADU on January 17, 2009:

suryanamaskar to surya namaskaram.

Very good.

rose on November 15, 2008:

i love surya namskara very good ebourne

Victor Goodman from Pacific Northwest on August 18, 2008:

Wow my body won't do that.

ebourne from Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2008:

I try to do at least seven sun salutations in the morning, and I find that it really makes me feel wonderful and centered and ready to face the day.