Yoga was one of those things, which later became an integral of our lives. And while every yoga pose has its own set of benefits, one of the versatile, all-round set of poses ever to exist is Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations. Whoever practices yoga regularly are quick to claim that doing Surya Namaskar – especially early morning – is enough exercise for your body as well as your mind to start your day with.
Also called as ‘The Ultimate Asana’, Surya Namaskar’s origin is not only an interesting one but is also immensely logical. Surya Namaskar means ‘paying respect to the sun’. It is essential, as the Sun is the sole source of energy on earth; without solar energy, there is no way living beings would be able to survive. Through this asana, therefore, you can pay homage to this supreme energy, with an additional bonus of making your body and mind sound, healthy and happy.
Surya Namaskar is not just one asana, but a set of eight poses carried out in a cyclic order, which makes it 12 asanas in total. The set consists of Pranamasana, Hastha Utanasana, Padahastasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Santholanasana, Ashtanga Namaskar Asana, Bhujangasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana, performed in a sequence. If this asana is carried out correctly, people can reap the endless benefits of Surya Namaskar, five of which are mentioned below.
1. Full-body workout:
People strive to exercise every part of their body to promote a well-developed physique. However, most of them fail to notice that something as simple as Surya Namaskar poses can do that for them. The asana is designed in such a way to stretch every muscle in your body, without making you feel burned out or exhausted. This full-body stretch helps make your body healthy and flexible. It can either be used as a warm-up for more rigorous workouts or a complete exercise in itself. Whatever your choice, the effects will be the pleasantly same.
2. Improves digestion:
In this fast-food world, keeping your body clean and healthy seems like a herculean task. One of the common problems people have to face is chronic indigestion. A perfect solution to solve this problem does exist, and it is nothing but Surya Namaskar. The sequence has been designed in such a way to regularize bowel movements, thus staving off constipation from your body gradually. The stretches release all of the trapped gases from your stomach while developing digestive enzymes in your bloodstream. If you are facing any digestive ailments, then practising Surya Namaskar poses every morning promises to work wonders on your body.
3. Relives stress and anxiety:
Haven’t you heard how everyone – even psychologists – recommends doing yoga when you’re stressed and anxious? Doing yoga, especially Surya Namaskar, in early mornings dramatically improves your mental health. Deep breathing, which is an integral part of this asana, is well-known to relax your nerve cells and calm your heart rate. This, in turn, has a positive effect on the functioning of your brain, thus introducing balance and calmness in the body. Along with this, the asana also gets your creative juices flowing as well as improves your memory. If doing Surya Namaskar poses sparsely can have such tremendous changes, think of how peaceful your body, soul and mind will be, if practised regularly. Just think!
4. Spiritual balance:
Now that we’ve shed light on the physical and mindful benefits of Surya Namaskar, it is time to explore its spiritual advantages. Surya Namaskar is well-known to spread balance all along the body. This balance also reaches the three main elements of the human body, namely, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are tied to any human’s spirituality, making a person feel lucid, well-rested and mindful. Surya Namaskar helps you attain this balance, along with helping the cosmic energy (Prana) flow through your body. However, you can live a stress-free and spiritual life if and only if Surya Namaskar is performed regularly every morning.
5. Radiant Skin:
Many people – especially women – use heaps of makeup and skincare products to make their skin flawless. However, this kind of flawlessness can be attained by regular practice of Surya Namaskar poses every morning. The asana can help make your skin glow, quite literally. This happy change is induced by the improved digestion system and blood circulation. Regular Surya Namaskar can also prevent early ageing and wrinkles – they will become just one of the many myths of life. Say goodbye to the expensive skincare products, because this ultimate asana has got you covered!
With benefits for entire human body rolled in one, doing Surya Namaskar every morning is one of the essential factors to lead a sound and sustainable life.
Also published on Medium.