8 Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar That Can’t Be Overlooked

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a great way to exercise daily. Not only it helps you with your flexibility but also strengthens your back. You do not need any special types of equipment to perform it, too.

But what if you are told that there is more to Surya Namaskar and its health benefits more than just physical gains? Yes, today we are discussing 8 benefits of Surya Namaskar and why you should not miss them.

How Surya Namaskar Helps

To understand the benefits, we first need to understand why it works. Surya Namaskar is believed to strengthen your back and other muscles. As it involves almost every part of your body, it is also named the ‘ultimate asana’ by many. Surya Namaskar helps you bring down your sugar levels. It also aids your metabolism and blood circulation. These are the factors that will help in weight loss, glowing skin, regular menstrual cycle, and many benefits listed below.

Without further ado, let’s have a look.

8 Benefits of Surya Namaskar

1. Weight Loss

It is proven that Surya Namaskar is an effective cardio exercise that ultimately helps in losing weight. The asanas in Surya Namaskar will stretch your abdominal muscles, which will lead to a loss in belly fat. Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that is the hardest area to work around when trying to lose weight.

One of the most important benefits of Surya Namaskar is that it looks like a simple routing of exercise, however, at the same time, it is a full-body workout. Doing one set of Surya Namaskar approximately burns 13.9 calories. If you do it for 30 minutes a day, it will help you burn more than 415 calories.

2. Glowing Skin

Surya Namaskar helps you with improved blood circulation throughout the body, as it is a full-body workout. It also prompts good digestion, a relaxed mood, and a good sleep cycle. All of this will lead to one of the most visible benefits of Surya Namaskar, the glowing skin! Not only that, but it can also fight wrinkles and other signs of early aging.

3. Improved Digestion

As mentioned above, Sun Salutation can ensure that your digestion system is running like a well-oiled machine. It will increase the blood flow to your digestive tract and lead to better functioning of the intestines. The poses of Surya Namaskar where you are leaning forward helps stretch the abdominal muscles and releases the trapped gases from your body if there are any.

4. Regular Menstrual Cycle

Women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycles can also benefit from Surya Namaskar. It helps in better regulation of the cycle. Regularly doing Surya Namaskar can help you strengthen the abdominal muscles which will help you with cramps and a less-painful cycle. It can also ease the process of regular childbirth when the asanas are done regularly.

5. Lowered Blood Sugar

Regularly doing Surya Namaskar will help you keep your blood sugar at an adequate level. Surya Namaskar also aids in keeping several heart diseases away from you.

6. Lowered Anxiety Levels

As mentioned above, Surya Namaskar will not only help you with your physical being, it also helps your mental being. It will lower your anxiety levels and aid you in keeping a relaxed mind. It also improves the functioning of your nervous system and memory. People with thyroid problems can also benefit as Surya Namaskar regularizes the activity of endocrine glands.

7. Detoxification

Just like meditation, Surya Namaskar is also a process of rhythmic inhalation and exhalation. With an efficient pattern, you get enough oxygen and it will be passed on to your blood. This will help in getting rid of carbon dioxide and other toxic elements from your system.

Moreover, it will promote better absorption of nutrients. This will help you fight PCOD, PCOS, thyroid, and obesity. Not only it will get rid of toxins from your body, but it will also help you absorb the useful elements from what you eat, keeping the diseases at bay.

8. Improved Sleep

Surya Namaskar can help you calm your mind with reduced stress and anxiety. This will help you improve your sleeping patterns with a more peaceful sleep at night. Surya Namaskar helps a lot of people with insomnia.

Each Pose of Surya Namaskar & Its Benefits

1. Pranamasana – Prayer Pose

How it’s done:

Stand up with your palms in the prayer pose.

Keep your neck upright and shoulders wide, do not strain any part of your body. However, you should keep your thighs and core tight.

How it helps:

It will release tension from the muscles in your upper body, especially the shoulders. Pranamasana can also help in strengthening your thighs and upper body. The pose of prayer will help you relax your mind. It is also said to improve your creativity.

2. Urdhva Hastasana – Raised Hands Pose

How it’s done:

Raise your hands above your hands. Keep them parallel from each other. You can arch your spine and neck as much as you feel comfortable. You should keep your shoulders far from your ears. Keep your thigh muscles engaged and strengthen your legs.

How it helps:

Helps with the relaxation of the spine, neck, and core. As the core is engaged, it will help you energize the whole body. Raised hands pose also helps in increasing your lung capacity.

3. Uttanasana – Standing Forward

How it’s done:

For Uttanasana, you need to lean forward and take your hands as far down as you can. It can be your shins, knees, ankles, feet, or the floor. You exhale as your belly goes and remember to keep your knees straight.

How it helps:

This will help you lose pounds from your belly and make your thighs strong. You will feel relaxed muscles in your spine, calves, hamstrings, and hips. It also helps in improved digestion. Mentally, it will reduce anxiety and calm your mind.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana – Equestrian Pose

How it’s done:

You take your right leg as far back as it can go and place the knee on the floor. Place your left knee bent with your arms framing it. Tilt your head back a bit and try to look forward at the same time.

How it helps:

Ashwa Sanchalanasana will tone your abdominal muscles and will help those who are trying to get abs. It will tone your leg muscles and stretch them. This pose also helps in soothing your thoughts and creating mental balance.

5. Phalakasana – Plank

How it’s done:

Nowadays, everybody knows how to plank. Keep the balls of your feet with straight legs. Keep your arms straight. Your body should form a straight line here. Keep your arms strong and hold them firmly on the floor or mat. Your core should be engaged, and your spine should be extended.

How it helps:

Phalakasana or plank will strengthen your whole body, elongate the spine and your posture. This can also help you increase your energy and relieve stress.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara – Eight Angle Pose

How it’s done

In this pose, as the name suggests, your body will touch the floor or the mat at eight points. Two feet, two hands, two knees, chest, and the chin. Keep your palms shoulder-wide on the floor.

How it helps

It will help you strengthen your back and increase flexibility in the neck. Ashtanga Namaskara is also believed to help in settling your mind and decreasing your anxiety levels.

7. Bhujangasana – The Cobra Pose

How it’s done

Keep your palms shoulder-wide and on the floor. Slowly lift your body using your hands. Arch your back as much as you can, keeping your head towards the sky.

How it helps

Bhujangasana will help you stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors. It can also help you strengthen your core muscles. Improved mental focus and better attention abilities are also a few of the benefits of this Surya Namaskar asana.

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

How it’s done

Put your weight on the arms and feet and push against the floor. Try to maintain your back as straight as possible. Your heels do not have to touch the ground completely, it will take time for you to get there. You can stretch your spine as long as you feel comfortable.

How it helps

It will stretch your hamstrings and calves. It can also help you relieve tension from your spine and elongate it. Moreover, Adho Mukha Svanasana will help you make your arms strong. It can fill your brain with oxygen, relieve stress and anxiety from your mind.

From steps 9 to 12, the same steps are 4,3,2, and 1 are to be followed respectively. They will help you the same way as mentioned above. This time around, you will change your sides. For example, if you did Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Step 4) with a left knee bent, you will do the same with the right one.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Surya Namaskar

Do’s

  • Maintain Correct Body Posture
  • Breathe Properly
  • Follow the Steps in the Given Order
  • Increase the Number of Sets Gradually
  • Follow a Healthy and Vegetarian Diet
  • Take the Time Out to Do it Regularly
  • Pay Attention and Be Aware on Every Step
  • Wear Comfortable Clothes
  • Keep Yourself Hydrated
  • Start Slow and Build Your Strength Gradually

Don’ts

  • Do Not Start Surya Namaskar in random order
  • Do not hurry the process, any asanas, or the number of repetitions you can do
  • Don’t Hold Complicated Poses for too long, especially if you are uncomfortable with them
  • Don’t get distracted while holding postures

Conclusion

Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation is a process of bowing your head down to the Sun. The Sun is considered a direct or an indirect source of life to all living organisms. The physiological benefits of Surya Namaskar are many, and it can very well be your first step to the fitness of your body and mind. All the best!