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Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar): How To Practice, Benefits, Precautions

Yoga Sadhak, Ekta Jain, Founder of Yogsar, shares the benefits and contraindications of Surya Namaskar.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : September 10, 2022 8:35 AM IST

After work, we soon want to rest when our body gets exhausted. When you go off to bed at night and wake up in the morning after sleeping in a position for a longer time, especially in the position you are comfortable in, a few sets of muscles start contracting and stay for an extended time. Hence, causing morning stiffness. To deal with morning stiffness, open up all the muscles, and feel fresh and light, Surya namaskar is one of the best sets of asanas you can opt-in. Surya Namaskar is a tradition of bowing down to the Sun (life) in respect. As the name suggests, Surya - sun, and Namaskar - To Bow. Surya Namaskar, known as Sun Salutation, comprises 12 poses that help you stretch long, bend forward, and bend backwards. These movements stretch the muscles in various directions to strengthen the digestive system, build immunity, uplift concentration, foster lung capacity, relieve stress, and, most importantly, strengthen your back. Yoga Sadhak, Ekta Jain, Founder of Yogsar, shares the benefits and contradictions of Surya Namaskar.

Things To Be Done Before The Practice:

  1. Sushma Vyayama:Surya Namaskar is also considered a warm-up, but it is essential to practice light movements before starting with Surya namaskar to avoid bodily injury.
  2. Bath before practice: Take a tap water bath without heating water before practice. Bathing before doing Surya namaskar uplifts body energy.
  3. Allow your skin to breathe: Always Wear cotton clothes. If you are at home, try to expose the

    body as much as possible.

  4. Morning time: It is best to practice in the morning in front of the Sun.
  5. Empty Stomach; Don't forget to breathe; No overdoing; know your limits.

Please Note-Always work on the alignment and practice under the guidance. This is for your understanding of how these poses can change your life. Wish you a Healthy lifestyle !

Contraindications

- One with knee, wrist, and shoulder ankle injury will not do.

- Suffering from High blood pressure will do under guidance.

- A person with Hernia, Heart problems will not do

- One with back pain can do it under guidance.

- In periods can do with chair support.

- Pregnant women will take special care and avoid a few steps

- People who have severe arthritis and severe Back pain will avoid it

- Do not practice it if you've had any recent surgery.

Steps To Practice Surya Namaskar:

1. Pranamasana/ Prayer Pose: The first standing pose of Surya Namaskar. Stand Tadasana position, feet parallel to each other. Hands by your side, inhale at the place and exhale. Then, raise your arm from the side and bring it in front of the chest to form Namaste. This is the prayer position.

2. Hasta Uttanasana / Raised Arms Pose: Palms together, feet strong Inhale, lift your arms slightly, bending backwards without arching your lower back. Hands close to your ears and not touching the ears. Shoulders rolled back, and leaned backwards.

3. Hasta Padasana / Standing Forward Bend Pose: Arms raised, exhale, bend forward with a straight spine towards the toes. If you can't touch your toes, bend your knees to touch the floor. Palms on the floor align with your feet to transit in the next pose.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana / Equestrian pose: Moving from Hasta Padasana, take your left leg straight back and hook your left toes on the floor. Keep your right leg in front, forming a 90-degree angle. Keep your knee and ankle in one line palm in line with the front foot. Lift your head, keeping the spine long.

5. Phalakasana / Plank Pose: From the Ashwa Sanchalanasana, bring your right leg back to the left leg. Hold with your arms and core strength to maintain the pose. Draw a slant line with your body. Please don't drop the heap towards the floor nor raise it too high. If difficult to perform, modify the pose where you can keep your knees down instead of straight.. Breath normal and do as per your capacity.

6. Ashtanga Namaskar/ Eight Limbed Pose: Hook your toes, exhale first bring your knees down to the floor. Next, rest your chest and chin on the floor hips slightly up in the air. Next, palms under the shoulder, bend the elbow to bring your chest to the floor. Beginners can master cat pose before moving to classical Ashtanga Namaskar.

7. Bhujangasana/ Cobra Pose: Gently slide forward and rest your legs, abdomen, and chest flat on the ground. At the same time, inhaling uses core strength and gentle pressure on the hand. As a result, inhaling raises the upper body and the pelvic region on the ground.

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana/ the Downward Facing Dog: Released from the Bhujangasana, lie down entirely on the mat. Create a vertical line with the lower body. Palm on its place, straighten your elbows, chest moving into the body while simultaneously trying to keep your heels on the ground. Beginners can raise their heels and stay in the pose. Look towards your navel and breath usually.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana/ Equestrian pose: Keep your right leg in front, forming a 90-degree angle. Keep your knee and ankle in one line palm in line with the front foot. Lift your head, keeping the spine long.

10. Hasta Padasana/ Standing Forward Bend: Keep your hands on the floor beside the palm. Straight your knees if possible. Stay for 15 seconds.

11. Hasta Uttanasana/ Raised Arms Pose: Inhale, raise your upper body, join the palms and raise your hands upwards. Then, bend backwards and stretch your spine, pushing your hips a little ahead.

12. Pranamasana/ the Prayer Pose 1st and the 12th pose in Surya Namaskar.

After completing the 12 cycles of Surya Namaskar, repeat with the left leg and then rest in the Tadasana pose. You can hold each pose for 15 seconds. Beginners can go for three sets. Experts can go to 10 sets. Then, take Savasana of 3 minutes to resume your day.

Benefits Of Surya Namaskar:

- Relaxes the nervous system

- Improves Confidence and Memory.

- It helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

- Strengthen Spine, Muscles, and Joints

- Good for heart health

- Improving strength and flexibility

- Improve vital capacity

- Boost the Immune system.

- Helps to balance hormones

- Helps in losing weight

- Stimulates Internal organs

- Helps cure insomnia naturally

- Good for skin and hair

- Prevent Osteoporosis

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