Surya Namaskar is one of the recommended routines of Yoga for strength and flexibility. The Surya Namaskar come from Sanskrit words Sūrya Namaskāra, which means Sun Salutation.
Surya = Sun and Namaskar = Salutation
In 2015, a study in International Journal of Yoga listed its many health benefits. Another good news is that one need not perform it for hours. A 20-minute Surya Namaskar is one need in order to reap its benefits.
The findings of the study are obtained from 124 college students who have a high-stress level. Then, the researchers divided the students wherein one group practice Surya Namaskar. The other group, which is the control group didn’t do any stress-relieving activities like yoga or exercise.
At the end of 2 weeks, those who performed Sun Salutation experienced a quiet mind, sensations of joy and restfulness, and feeling less worry compared to the control group.
All these benefits were attained through daily Surya Namaskar of just 20 minutes a day. The 20 minutes is comprised of 13 rounds of sun salutation along with breathing and cooling down, which is done while in a seated position.
Surya Namaskar is effective in leading to R-Dispositions like physical relaxation, mental quiet, at ease/peace, rested and refreshed, strength and awareness and joy and reduces sleepiness, somatic stress, worry and negative emotion at a dispositional level.
List of Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar
The Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 yoga asanas. Above is a brief demonstration of sun salutation. In order to achieve up to 20 minutes or more of doing it, the yoga poses sequence is repeated until the desired length of time is achieved.
Of course, along with the 12 yoga asanas, proper breathing is necessary bringing both mind and body together. A morning sun salutation is helpful for refreshing the mind and revitalizing the body. When done regularly, this brings a feeling of higher energy level throughout the day.
On the other hand, when you do sun salutation during the evening, it helps you unwind. This will bring calmness and relieve the stress during the day earlier achieving a good sleep. And, speaking of sleep, it is one of the health benefits you get from doing sun salutations.
1. Beneficial for Losing Weight
Surya Namaskar is an excellent cardiovascular or aerobic workout, which is beneficial for weight loss purposes. The yoga postures stretch the abdominal muscles while at the same time shedding belly fat.
This yoga sequence also helps boosts metabolism.
2. Strengthen Joints and Muscles
Notice how the yoga poses in sun salutation? They’re a series of stretching poses beneficial for strengthening and stretching ligaments, joints and muscles. The benefits also extend to the entire skeletal system.
Surya Namaskar is one of the excellent movements for improving spine flexibility. Regular practice of this yoga routine helps achieve better functions of the various internal organs as the limbs become symmetrical.
In a different study, researchers find that sun salutation can be an ideal exercise in maintaining fitness level.
3. Helps Achieve A Glowing Skin
One of the health benefits of sun salutation is cardiovascular health. When cardiovascular health is pristine, it means a good blood circulation throughout the body bringing up a glowing skin.
Beneath a glowing skin means fewer wrinkles and even a good prevention in the onset of wrinkles. More importantly, it makes the skin looks young and radiant. With this health benefit, we can conclude that Surya Namaskar is one of the natural anti-aging solution, which is natural and healthy.
4. Helps Maintain Regular Menstrual Cycle (In Women)
Women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycle may find sun salutation helpful. In addition, a regular practice of this sequence of poses allows easier child delivery.
5. Helps In Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels
If you have a problem with a high level of blood sugar levels, regular practice of sun salutation might be helpful to you. In one study, those who practice regularly have significant decreased in blood glucose levels.
In a different study, researchers find that Surya Namaskar helps achieve a signficant reduction in fasting serum glucose level and post-prandial serum glucose level in diabetic patients. What’s even more interesting, another study finds that yoga, in general, including surya namaskar is an effective therapy in reducing blood glucose level.
Yoga… an effective therapy in reducing blood glucose level and glycated hemoglobin in diabetics with simultaneous improvement in hemoglobin.
6. Detoxifies The Body
Surya Namaskar is an excellent natural way of detoxification due to the active inhalation and exhalation. When you breathe fully allowing full inhalation and exhalation, it allows refilling the lungs of fresh oxygen while emptying carbon dioxide.
Even the Breath of Fire breathing technique alone can do this. However, why not take advantage of this detoxifying benefits from doing a regular Surya Namaskar practice?
As a matter of fact, one study finds that Surya Namaskar helps improve pulmonary function along with other benefits such as respiratory functions, improves endurance and hand grip strength, and cardiovascular resting parameters.
In the conclusion of the study, the researchers include in their findings that fast Surya Namaskar is similar to aerobic exercises.
How To Do A Sun Salutation?
While the demonstration above seems to be good enough, here are more details and steps in each pose sequence in Surya Namaskar. Going through each pose gives you a sense of confidence in doing the right posture especially if you’re doing it yourself.
More Studies on Surya Namaskar
There are already quite a few studies we’ve mentioned on sun salutation. However, those are not the only studies on this amazing yoga sequence. There are other many studies such as these ones below:
- Comparative Study of effect of Slow and Fast Suryanamaskar on Work Load of Heart in Normal Human Subjects[6[
- A Study on the Effect of Surya Namaskar on Emotional Maturity and Psychological Wellbeing
- The Effect of Surya Namaskara Yoga Practice on Resting Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, Flexibility, Upper Body Muscle Endurance and Perceived Well-Being In Healthy Adults
- Influence of Suryanamaskar on Human Body
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): A Path to Good Health
- The Effect of Suryanamaskar on Static and Dynamic Balance in Young Overweight and Obese Individuals
- Effect of Suryanamaskar on School Children
- Effect of Suryanamaskar on stress level