People in today’s world crave for a healthy lifestyle and hitting the gym every day becomes exhausting for most. In such a lifestyle, Yoga is an excellent way to keep your mind, body and soul fit. Surya Namaskar is a process which includes 12 asanas in total, it is easy and very effective. It has a long lasting result and doesn’t take much of your time. Surya Namaskar is practiced to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on earth, it originates from the Vedas, oldest texts of Hindu literature.
How to do:
- Pranamasana (Salutation posture) In this asana, you have to stand straight with your hands joined in front of your chest. Make sure you are standing erect with your feet joined.
- Hastauttanasana (Raised arm posture) Inhale and stretch both arms above the head, keep your arms close to your ears and stretch your body from your heels to fingertips.
- Padahastasana (Hand to foot posture) Exhaling, bend the body forward and bring down your body from your waist, then keep your hands on the floor beside your feet. Make sure you keep your spine straight.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian posture) In this asana you have to extend the left leg backwards and drop the knee to the ground. The right knee is bent and kept between the hands, Lift your spine and look up with your chest open.
- Dandasana (Stick pose) as the name suggests, in this asana you have to bring your body in a stick pose, breathing in, bring your right leg backwards and bring your body in a straight line and don’t forget to keep your arms erect.
- Ashtanga Namaskara (Salutation with eight limbs): Exhaling gently drop both knees to the ground and slowly slide the body down and touch your chin and chest on the ground. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and elbows bent. All eight limbs should touch the floor. The buttocks are kept up. Hold the breath.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra posture): On the inhalation, lower the hips and push your chest upward with the help of your hands and stretch until the spine is fully stretched. The knees and lower abdomen do not touch the floor. It is very useful for the people suffering from Asthma.make sure you are stretching as much as you can and not forcing it.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana(Downward facing dog pose): Breathing out, lift the hips and the tailbone up and keep your chest downward and create an inverted ‘V’ pose. Try to keep your heels on the ground and stretch as much as you can.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian posture): Inhale and place your right leg forward between the hands. The left leg remains at the back. Then go back to posture 4.
- Padahastasana (Hand to foot posture): Exhaling, bring the left foot forward. Join both legs and go back to posture 3.
- Hastauttanasana (Raised arm posture): Inhale, then join your hands and raise them upward and bend backward. Then go back to posture 2.
- Pranamasana (Salutation posture): Straighten the body and bring the hands in front of the chest. Go back to posture 1.
One full round consists of the exercises done twice by switching the legs. It should be practiced empty stomach. Ideally, you should try to complete up to 6 rounds in the morning and 6 in the evening.
Breathing plays a very important role – make sure you practice Surya Namaskar slowly and not in a hurry.
Some of the benefits of Suryanamaskar:
Helps in digestion.
Regular menstrual cycle.
Ventilates the lungs.
Acts as a detoxifying agent.
Betters the nervous system.
Makes the skin better.
In the below video, Baba Ramdev teaches easy Surya Namaskar for beginners.
Here is another great video by Adrienne, that would help you understand Surya Namaskar better.