“Surya Namaskar”: Health Benefits of Sun Salutation
Posted on: April 30, 2019.

The legacy of offering prayers to the sun originates from time immemorable, followed by the people of most civilizations. The energy that nurtures and sustains life on Earth is sunlight—the quintessential source of all food for both plants and animals; from smallest to largest, both terrestrial and marine. Furthermore, different energies are associated with different parts of the body, a fact endorsed by ancient Indian sages.

The yogic sequence of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, constituting of 12 different postures, is an ancient technique of paying respects to the sun—an expression of gratitude to this source of all life on earth. Before mentioning the health benefits of Surya Namaskar, there is an essential science—a medical aspect—behind this ancient technique that needs to be understood.

Sunlight has a connection to our body’s “solar plexus”—a system of radiating nerves located in the upper abdomen, behind the stomach. The size of the solar plexus can be enhanced with the regular practice of Surya Namaskar—the almond-sized solar plexus expands to the size of your palm!—and subsequently increases a person’s creativity, intuitive abilities, decision-making, confidence, and leadership skills.

The 12 different postures are a right blend of warm-ups and asanas that,

    ✔ Promotes balance in the body with regular practice

    ✔ Improves blood circulation, especially to the scalp, thereby preventing hair loss and greying of hair; strengthens the heart; increases energy and vitality, makes face glow with radiance, and also retain its firmness; prevents wrinkles by relieving the body and mind of stress and keeps skin young

    ✔ Works on every part of the body—an intensive physical exercise that reduces belly fat; the bends and stretches helps lose flab evenly

    ✔ Enhances the digestive tract

    ✔ Stimulate sluggish glands like the thyroid gland and induce it to increase hormonal secretions

    ✔ Regulates irregular menstrual cycles in women and assist in childbirth

    ✔ Stimulates the respiratory system, immune system, spinal nerves, muscles of the abdomen, and other internal organs

    ✔ Tones the spine, neck, shoulder, arms, hands, wrist, back and leg muscles, thereby promoting overall flexibility

    ✔ Psychologically regulates the interconnectedness of body, breath, and mind, thus calming tensions, boosting energy levels, and heightening awareness

Why should children do Surya Namaskar?

Amidst much competition, children are exposed to stress and anxiety at an early age. Surya Namaskar helps children calm their mind, improve concentration, and build endurance. Especially while preparing for and writing exams, it reduces the feeling of anxiety and restlessness. Strength and vitality are virtues of regular practice, which also aids in muscle growth and making the body more flexible.

Children as young as five-year-old can also practice Surya Namaskar daily.

Which is the right time of the day to do Surya Namaskar?

Though Surya Namaskar can be done at any time of the day, it is best to do it at sunrise, when the sun rays help revitalize the body and refresh the mind. Doing it in the afternoon energizes the body instantly. At dusk, it helps you unwind.

These 3-speed variations can help you get optimum benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  • Slow pace: Makes body flexible
  • Medium pace: Tones muscles
  • Fast pace: Excellent cardiovascular workout. Aids in weight loss

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