Sun is referred to as the center and biggest source of energy. One of the ancient forms of yoga is surya namaskar (that is also known as Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation). It is a collection of 12 integral poses that are known to improve the strength, flexibility and strength of the spinal column and associated muscles. Besides strengthening the muscles, this exercise is indeed one of the popular source of toning and stabilizing abdominal muscles, warming up the body (and all vital tissues) and improving weight loss by increasing basal metabolism (that can be achieved by flexing and stretching the axial muscular skeleton). Besides physical benefits, Sun Salutation has numerous mental and spiritual benefits as well; for example it is a popular form of meditation (for peace of mind) and spiritual well- being. Read on to learn how to do sun salutation yoga properly so that you can achieve best results.
Here is a step by step approach to learn how to perform Sun Salutation.
It is relatively simple and involves extending your left leg backwards in line with your right leg to assume a posture shown in the figure below.
In this step, you are required to bring your knees down to touch the floor while arching or stabilizing your hip like shown in the figure. Now bring your chest and chin further closer to the ground and push your hips slightly above the ground level.
While exhaling, lift your tail bone and hip above the ground. Maintain a low level for your chest to assume a V- shaped position.
Here is a simple video that can further make it easy for you to learn the yoga sun salutation pose for better understanding:
Here are a few important guidelines to increase your benefits from Sun Salutation.
The ideal time of the day to do Sun Salutation is early in the morning (ideally before the sun-rise or at the time of sun-rise). In addition, you can also do this pose at the time of sun-set (or in front of moon in which case it is referred to as Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation). Perform this yoga pose on empty stomach.
You are free in the choice of location. Although, outdoor location sounds more fascinating, you can perform it in-doors also (in a well-ventilated room).
For beginners, the ideal limit is 2-4 rounds (however, as you become more proficient), you can increase the number to ideally 12 rounds (that includes six rounds from each limb). Experts suggest that there is no upper limit, you can do over a 100 rounds if you want.
The speed at which this yoga activity is performed has a profound effect on the overall health and wellness (and also at the benefits achieved). At a rather slow speed, the muscles can be conditioned and toned, while you can also achieve meditation benefits by aligning your muscles, tissues, mind and soul in the poses. At fast pace, it provides the benefits of warm-up exercise training and weight loss.
Although it is good to allow your body to undergo a little stretch or tension; it is advised to avoid over-stretching or pressurizing your body to undergo severe tension or pressure.
Ideally Sun Salutation should be performed with other yoga poses to enhance the benefits.
Watch a video for more yoga poses for beginners to integrate into your day:
Although, it is highly safe and effective form of yoga, it is still recommended to utilize the services of a trained professional for learning Sun Salutation and other yoga poses.
The benefits of Sun Salutation are achieved mainly if the yoga is performed at regular intervals. Experts indicate that it is better to perform for a shorter duration but regularly than performing infrequently for extended hours.
For all the individuals who experience moderate to severe back-ache, it is highly recommended to consult a healthcare provider before initiating yoga or any other form of physical exercise.