Surya Namaskar: Steps and Benefits

Hello lovely people! We are back with a new post to tell you what we have been upto! So many of us, around the world have spent our time in complete lockdown. Just been at home, unable to step out, even for a short walk. A major part of our days (and a lot of time, nights) have been spent in front of our laptops, working from home. Needless to say, we would be inching towards a “new normal” as the lockdowns start easing. The past few months have also led to many new habits and breaking out of the old ones.
We have learnt that we have to wash our hands for 20 seconds frequently, eat healthy, sleep well, and also keep ourselves fit via exercise! The focus on our health has become the top-most priority for all. But how do we workout when going out of our homes has a certain risk element to it? Well, one does not necessarily have to step out to work out. The trick is to find the right kind of workout plan.For us, personally, yoga has been a huge saviour. An ancient practice, it is definitely one of the best forms of full body exercise out there. And the cherry on top? You don’t necessarily need to step out, or need extra equipment nor too much space. All you need is just a yoga mat! There are many Yoga gurus online or around you who would suggest how to practice yoga and which exercises to do. But what would be common among all of them is the practice of Surya Namaskar. Want to know more about the steps and benefits of Surya Namaskar? Then keep on reading.
Surya Namaskar Steps Benefits 01

What is Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is one of the basic yoga practices, but is very significant. It is done as a prelude to  every yoga session because it stimulates the whole body. These aasanas are  a prayer of gratitude towards the sun. It is believed that the Sun is the highest and most potent source of energy, thus helping one absorb the energy of the sun to lead a healthy life. For getting the maximum benefit, we suggest you understand and follow the steps below to gain maximum benefit.

Surya Namaskar Steps and Benefits

How to do Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar is composed of 12 different postures or steps. In the correct order, they are:

1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Stand upright on your mat and ensure that your feet are placed close to each other. Taking a deep breath, expand your chest and relax your shoulders. Inhale and raise your arms from the side and exhale when you join both your palms together as if you are praying. The prayer posture or first salutation is complete.

2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

Continuing from the previous pose, keep your palms joined together. Take a deep breath, lift your arms all the way up and slightly bend backwards. Your biceps must stay close to your ears.

Surya namaskar Step 1

3. Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Exhale and bend forward from your waist. Try to touch the floor with your hands. However, ensure that your spine remains straight. While performing this pose, you should exhale slowly and thoroughly.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Lunge Pose)

Bend your knees slightly, so that the palms can rest on the floor beside your feet. Inhale deeply while stretching your left leg backwards in a deep lunge. Raise your head and look forward. Exhale slowly.

5. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)

Supporting your bodyweight with both your hand on the floor, inhale and bring your right leg back as well. Now both your hands will be right under your shoulders. Ensure that your body is parallel to the ground.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Caterpillar Pose)

After performing the previous pose, exhale and slowly bring your knees down to the floor. Rest your chin on the floor and keep your hips suspended in the air. If done correctly, both your hands, knees, chin, and chest will rest on the ground while your hips will remain suspended in the air.

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Now, rest your legs and midsection flat on the ground. Position your palms beside your chest. Inhale and apply pressure on the hands to raise your upper body. At this point, your head and torso will resemble a cobra with a raised hood. (This pose gives that extra stretch to the back which feels sooo good after a full day of sitting in front of your laptop and working.)

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana
(Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Keep your palms and feet where they are. Exhale and gently lift your hips, so that the body forms an inverted ‘V’. Straighten your elbows and knees. Look towards your navel.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana
(High Lunge Pose)

After performing the previous pose, inhale and come back to the high lunge pose again (step 4) by bringing your right foot forward. Keep your left leg stretched behind you and look forward and exhale.

10. Hasta Padasana
(Standing Forward Bend)

Now inhale deeply and bring your left foot forward, such that it is next to your right foot. Keeping the position of your hands intact, exhale and slowly bend your torso to enter into this pose again (remember step number 3!).

11. Hasta Uttanasana
(Raised Arms Pose)

Inhale and lift your upper body. Join the palms and raise your arms above your head. Then bend backwards as you did in step 2.

12. Pranamasana
(Prayer Pose)

Breathe out and stand straight in a relaxed manner. Lower the arms and hold your palms in front of your chest. This marks the end of the first set of Surya Namaskar.

To begin with, try to do 6 sets of Surya Namaskar everyday, gradually increasing it to 12 sets for maximum benefit. Try to hold each pose as long as you can. (maybe start with holding it to 1-2 seconds extra and keep building on it).

To make things better, we have a visual guide of Surya Namaskar steps to help you perfect the poses! You can also download it from my Etsy shop and practice anytime, anywhere!

Surya Namaskar Steps and Benefits 1

Why should you practice Surya Namaskar?

Perhaps the most significant reason for practicing Surya Namaskar is the fact that it is an intensive full body workout, which is not very time consuming. It is equivalent to doing 288 powerful yoga postures.Now that we have gone over the steps, here are some benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  1. The various poses in Surya Namaskar engage the different parts of your body,  thus resulting in a toned and flexible body.
  2. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar boosts your metabolism and aids in weight loss.
  3. It enhances your blood circulation to restore the natural glow of your skin and prevent hair loss.
  4. A natural remedy for blood pressure fluctuations and strengthening heart muscles.
  5. Improves energy and awareness levels by focusing on breathing exercises.
  6. Enhances digestion and helps in absorbing nutrients
  7. Deep breathing along with specific poses helps in increasing emotional stability. It has an overall impact on calming your nerves.
  8. Helps regulate menstrual cycle and alleviate period pain.
  9. Breathing is an important aspect of Surya Namaskar. If done correctly, it can help release stress, tension and aid in a better sleep cycle.
  10. As Surya Namaskar is traditionally performed facing the sun, it helps the body absorb the required amount of Vitamin D.

Surya Namaskar Benefits

Remember: Breathing exercises with Surya Namaskar is equally important so it is imperative to focus your breathing according to the poses.

Now, now, now, since we have explained the steps and benefits of Surya Namaskar, we hope you will start building a habit towards leading a healthy lifestyle. With the amount of time taken to complete the sets, it is definitely a must-do when you are working from home! If you want some tips on how to cope with working from home physically and mentally, check out our Yoga and Work from home blog 🙂

Until next time, stay healthy, stay happy!

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