Sunrise is a beautiful phenomenon that happens in a day. Sunrise time has its own charm with vibrant colors of red, gold, yellow, orange dancing in the sky. Sky looks like some magnificent painting at this time, and Sunrise time has peace, softness and freshness not seen at any other times of the day.
Sunrise is a sacred moment where Sun’s gentle rays start nurturing all life-forms around. Flowers blossom. Birds keep chirping. Human beings start their day. Sunrise brings light all around and joy to the person watching it. The first few rays of Sunrise are highly beneficial and therapeutic. This sacred moment of the day is honored with Surya Namaskar in the tradition of Yoga. Watching Sunrise has many benefits for physical, emotional, and mental health, and performing Surya Namaskar at Sunrise time is a powerful way to magnify these benefits.
Surya Namaskar means greetings or salutations to Sun God. Sun God is considered as the soul and source of life on planet Earth. Without the Sun, life cannot sustain on Earth. Surya Namaskar is a way of expressing gratitude and devotion to Sun God for sustaining life and many blessings showered on Earth.
Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 asanas offering several benefits to the practitioner. Benefits are not only on a physical level but also on emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Below are the benefits of practicing Surya Namaskar regularly.
10 benefits of Surya Namaskar :
1. Improved gut health: Proper digestion is very important for nutrient absorption and healthy life. Surya Namaskar improves digestion and thereby promotes nutrient absorption and assimilation from the food eaten.
2. Fitness: When multiple rounds of Surya Namaskar are performed, it helps in maintaining healthy body weight and fitness.
3. Improved flexibility: Surya Namaskar gives flexibility to the body. This flexibility helps in getting rid of muscle imbalances and gives the ability to withstand greater levels of physical stress.
4. Better body posture: It improves body posture. A good body posture helps in better health and higher levels of confidence.
5. Blood circulation: It enhances blood circulation. This enhanced blood circulation expels toxic elements from the body and improves skin health making skin glow.
6. Mood enhancer: Surya Namaskar reduces anxiety and fills a person with positivity and a better mood.
7. Mental clarity: Mental clarity is important for shaping one’s life. Surya Namaskar bestows the practitioner with mental clarity.
8. Improved Respiratory health: It improves the health of the lungs and the entire respiratory system.
9. Youthfulness: It reduces the rate of aging and promotes youthfulness and vigor.
10. Good sleep: It helps to get a good night sleep and acts as a great tool to overcome insomnia. A good night’s sleep is very important for good health.
These are some benefits of practicing Surya Namaskar every day. Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 asanas performed in a sequence with awareness. These 12 asanas and their benefits are as below
12 asanas in Surya Namaskar:
1. Pranamasana: Prayer pose – This asana helps the practitioner establish a state of concentration, calmness, and awareness while performing Surya Namaskar.
2. Hastha Utthanasana: Raised arms pose – This asana opens up the lungs. It stretches all the abdominal organs fully. It exercises the arms and shoulders. It tones the spinal cord.
3. Padahastasana: Hand to foot pose – This asana helps in preventing, relieving and eliminating stomach ailments. It improves digestion and blood circulation. It keeps the spine supple. It reduces excess abdominal fat.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Equestrian pose – This asana strengthens the muscles of the thighs and legs. It brings balance in the nervous system. It tones the abdominal muscles.
5. Parvatasana: Mountain pose – This asana strengthens the muscles of the arms and legs. It exercises the spine. It stimulates blood circulation and strengthens the nerves.
6. Ashtanga Namaskara: salute with eight parts or points – This asana strengthens the leg and arm muscles. It tones the shoulders and neck muscles.
7. Bhujangasana: Cobra pose – This asana improves blood circulation. It promotes hormonal balance in the body. It helps to relieve various stomach ailments, including indigestion and constipation. It keeps the spine supple.
8. Parvatasana: mountain pose – Benefits are the same as mentioned in point #5
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Equestrian pose – Benefits are the same as mentioned in point #4
10. Padahastasana: Hand to foot pose – Benefits are the same as mentioned in point #3
11. Hastha Utthanasana: Raised arms pose – Benefits are the same as mentioned in point #2
12. Pranamasana: Prayer pose – Same as in point #1
Below are 12 pointers regarding the practice of Surya Namaskar.
1. The ideal time to practice Surya Namaskar is Sunrise time. It can be practiced at Sunset time, too, or any other time provided the stomach is empty.
2. Synchronize the breath with physical movements while performing Surya Namaskar for greater benefits. When this synchronization is done, it helps in calming down thoughts and emotions and results in inner peace.
3. You can add a mantra, too, for each asana for gaining spiritual benefits.
4. People with back pain, slipped disc or sciatica or any other major health problems should consult a doctor before practicing Surya Namaskar.
5. Surya Namaskar can be practiced in any place. For greater benefits, practice in the open air, facing the rising Sun.
6. For physical benefits like weight loss or improvement in body posture, perform Surya Namaskar quickly.
7. For spiritual and mental benefits like inner calmness and stillness of the mind, perform Surya Namaskar slowly.
8. One can practice 3 to 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar every day. End Surya Namaskar practice with Shavasana to relax the body.
9. Beginners should start with 2 or 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar and gradually add more rounds.
10. Only under the guidance of a competent yoga teacher, special practice of 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar may be done.
11. Use an eco-friendly yoga mat for a healthy environment around you.
12. Wear clothes suitable for doing yoga asanas.
Surya Namaskar is an excellent tool to protect your health. If you have limited time to practice Yoga, choose Surya Namaskar out of all the asanas. Practicing Surya Namaskar alone every day will give you several benefits. It’s a complete package of practices that can positively impact your entire system.
Express your gratitude to Sun God every day through Surya Namaskar and stay strong physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.