Do you want to turn your life around for the better? Do you want to enjoy good health, good looks, and good mental balance? Then surya namaskars are your mantra to all of these.
All you need is a 6X2 space, 12 minutes of time, and a good yoga mat.
The surya namaskar is a series of 12 poses or yogasanas. It is usually done at the crack of dawn, on an empty stomach. Each pose is accompanied by a set rhythm of breathing. It is a holistic package of physical exercise, pranayama, and mental relaxation. Read on to know more about the benefits of this age-old exercise.
Looking for more quick exercise tips? Read our article about 20-minute workouts here.
Versatility and flexibility
Surya namaskar is a very versatile form of exercise. A blistering run through of 12 surya namaskars can be a complete cardio workout. If you want to relax, then you can take your own sweet time in gliding from one asana to the next. Holding certain postures for a long time can also enhance your strength.
Fight the flab
Do you pile on the pounds fast? Do you have a problem keeping your weight in check? Then surya namaskars can go a long way in getting you back into shape. Each surya namaskar burns approximately 13 calories! So if you do surya namaskars for half an hour, you burn 417 calories! You can lose 1kg in about two weeks. In addition, all these poses work wonders for your metabolism.
Stretch it like a gymnast
Have you ever envied the effortless ease with which gymnasts do full splits? Do you dream of doing headstands and handstands? If you do, then you can inch your way to greater flexibility by doing surya namaskars. It is said that the spine is the seat of good health. Surya namaskars stretch your spine in almost all directions, except sideways. They also stretch almost all the major muscle groups in your body.
Better blood circulation
When you do surya namaskars, due to the poses and movements, blood flows to many parts of your body, especially your head. As mentioned earlier, surya namaskars are also a good cardio exercise when done fast. So send the blood rushing to flush out those toxins!
Surya namaskars help women in so many ways. For one, doing them frequently greatly relieves premenstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhea. They help regulate menstrual cycles. They also balance the levels of female hormones. Sustained practice eases the experience of childbirth. However, you must refrain from doing them if you’re on your period. You should also avoid doing them after the third trimester of pregnancy.
If you suffer from frequent bloating and indigestion, surya namaskars will make life easier for you. All those poses stretch and compress your digestive organs. They stimulate glands and release pent up gas.
What’s better than greeting the sun outdoors? Just go to your terrace and unroll your mat. Exposure to the sun’s rays before 8 in the morning works wonders for your health. So you have every reason to get out of bed and onto your mat.
For glowing skin
All the blood goes rushing to your face every time you bend forward. The blood circulation in your face gets boosted, and all the toxins get flushed out. So you’ll be relatively free from those pesky blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and other blemishes. Your skin will become smooth, flawless and shining. It will glow as strongly as the light that falls upon it.
Yes, surya namaskars also include pranayama. Each surya namaskar starts with an inhalation and ends with an exhalation. Inhalations and exhalations alternate. Be sure to breathe in slowly and deeply. Breathe out smoothly. You’ll feel calm and blissful at the end of your session.
Madhu is an army brat who has attended 9 schools in 12 years. She has lived and grown up all over the country. She's currently doing her B.Sc. She has a healthy appetite for books as well as good food. She's also a crazy badminton fan. Read more