Surya namaskar is a popular yoga exercise. Even though you will now find several health bloggers, celebrities, and YouTubers talk about its benefits, the essence dates back centuries. Indians are known for being the ultimate yogis and experimenting with postures that benefit overall health. Here, we will discuss greatly how Surya namaskar for weight loss really works!
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According to many articles, King of Aundh, Bhawanrao Shriniwasrao Pant Pratinidhi, first introduced and popularized Surya namaskar. He was the ruler of Maharashtra in the 19th century.
Under his reign, you asked everyone to do Surya Namaskar every day. There are no definitive records to state if this is true. However, the posture did develop from that region. Many schools and institutions currently teach yoga to the students and start their day with a sun salutation or Surya namaskar.
Meaning of Surya Namaskar
The accurate translation of the term Surya Namaskar is greetings to the sun or salutations to the sun. But, it has a deeper meaning if you look at it mythologically.
The word “Surya” means “someone or something that lightens and illuminates the universe.” The word “Namaskar” means “a person will bow their head with gratitude and appreciation and will offer themselves to the sun wholeheartedly and will not be biased and unfair.” That’s why when we practice this yoga, we are basically bowing our heads to the sun who lights up our universe.
In Hindu tradition, the sun is worshipped as the foundation of all the life in the universe. All the things that we eat or drink and even while breathing have a part of the sun in them. Moreover, it was a way to pay honor and acknowledgment to the sun in the old days, which is the ultimate foundation of every energy in this universe.
Other than all the mythological beliefs, it is great for a workout. Doing Surya namaskar for weight loss has actually works well and shown results. It is done by 12 sets of this yoga which equals 288 poses.
Thus, it is advised to do Surya namaskar before starting exercising as it will remove all the stiffness from the body. If it is possible for you to do this in front of the sun, it will have more health benefits.
When someone is doing yoga at a fast pace, Surya namaskar for weight loss works better for heart health. Whereas if someone does it slowly, it will help meditate and relax the muscles.
Kapha, Vata, and Pitta are the 3 things that our body forms of, and practicing Surya namaskar every day will keep them balanced and stable. The imbalance of any of these might cause health issues.
How to Do the 12 types Surya Namaskar
Surya namaskar is a set of 12 yoga asanas and has an excellent effect on physical health and mental health. It is a full-body exercise, and Surya namaskar for weight loss is great. There are numerous Surya Namaskar asanas. However, doing only one type every day will show results.
Asana One: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose
The first one is to greet the sun in a prayer position. First, you need to stand straight on the yoga mat, broaden the shoulders, and join the palm.
While lifting the hand, inhale deeply and exhale once you touch both of your palms together. However, when you do it, keep the back straight, else you will put pressure on the lower back.
Asana Two: Hastauttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
The next one is to do a back arch pose. First, inhale and raise the hands upward and bend the body backward.
You will feel the stretch once you push the heels down the floor and reach for the ceiling with the arms.
Asana Three: Hastapadasana or Hand to Foot Pose
Exhale and bend to touch your toes; your back and legs have to be straight while doing this. However, if you are a beginner, then it can be difficult for you. In that case, you can slightly bend your knees and keep your hand on the yoga mat for some support.
Once you master this, do not touch the floor with the hands, the goal is to keep your back straight while doing this asana.
Asana Four: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Lunge Pose
Inhale when you move your right leg back, and your left leg will be in between your hands.
Try to touch the right knee on the floor and push the pelvis muscle towards the ground. Make sure you keep your back straight and look up.
Breathe from your stomach as it will be activating the core, which helps in weight loss. Focusing on your breathing is extremely important for this asana.
Asana Five: Dandasna or Stick Pose
Dandasna is the same as a plank. Since you are going from lunge pose to plank pose, exhale and take your left leg back. Make sure that both legs are a few centimeters apart.
Keep the hands vertical to the ground and use the hands to balance the weight. Deep breathe while doing this asana.
Your chest and hips should not be too high or low. While doing this asana, your body will look like a stick or like a straight line.
Asana Six: Ashtanaga Namaskar or Acknowledgement with 8 Body Parts
Next, bring the forehead, knee, and chest on the ground while still pushing the hips in the air. Exhale while doing it.
Remain in this position for 5 to 10 seconds or as long as you can. This asana helps to improve the back muscles and get rid of stress and anxiety.
Asana Seven: Bhujangasna or Cobra Pose
Now, breathe in and raise the chest upward and move forward. Remember to keep your palm on the ground and the elbows near the rib cage.
This pose is difficult to do, and you can hurt your back easily. To avoid that, always look up, the pelvis should be in the direction of the ground and push the torso outward.
Asana Eight: Adho Mukha Savasana or Downward Facing Dog
From Bhujangasna, let your breath out and lift the midriff and hips upward while keeping the palms and legs decisively on the floor.
The body should be in a triangle form and keep the back straight.
Bend the knee if you are hurting your hamstrings. In the beginning, most cannot touch their heels on the ground, which is absolutely fine.
Asana Nine: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Lunge Pose
Now, breathe in and come back to the lunge pose, but with the left leg. Bend from your previous position and keep the right leg between the hands and the left knee on the ground.
Keep your right leg vertical to the floor and engage your core by clenching it for more effectiveness.
Asana Ten: Hastapadasana or Hand to Foot Pose
Asana three and ten are the same. Breathe out and bring the left leg from the back and keep both of them straight. Make sure your back is still bent.
This posture is great to strengthen the hamstrings.
Asana Eleven: Hastauttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
Breathe in and go back to asana two. Make sure to stretch the whole body from the toes to the tip of every finger. Moreover, keep the biceps near the ear, and the shoulders should be rounded.
Asana Twelve: Tadasana or Standing or Palm Tree Pose
Finally, breathe out and bring the hands down to your side.
Benefits Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss
It is a perfect exercise routine to achieve your weight loss goal without going to the gym or doing any intense workout. This is the best workout to do from home, and all you need is your yoga mat; you can even use your unused bed sheet. Moreover, before and after you do this yoga, make sure to do 2 to 3 minutes of meditation as it will detox the body and the mind.
Each Surya namaskar burns about 14 calories, and you need to do 12 types of Surya namaskar for weight loss. However, as a beginner, you can start with 4 to 5 sets every day, and over time you can increase it up to 12.
Once you can do all the 12 types of asanas, you will lose about 425 calories each day.
Do every asana for a minimum of 5 seconds to get the best results. Moreover, if you do this in front of the Sun it will also help you have better health as it will increase your vitamin D levels.
If your main goal is to do Surya namaskar for weight loss, then do it in the morning and on an empty stomach to get the most benefits.
Other than weight loss benefits, Surya namaskar also has other health benefits which we have stated below:
Strengthen the Muscles and Boost Flexibility
When you do all the 12 types of Surya namaskar, each focuses on one set of muscle groups, known as chakras.
The process helps to strengthen and tone all the body, including abs, legs, upper arm, stomach, etc. You will feel more flexible gradually and will improve the posture of the body.
Allows More Absorption of Nutrients
Having a good digestive system and healthy blood circulation will help to absorb the nutrients better and faster. This will improve the general health of the body.
Most people in today’s world live an unhealthy lifestyle, leading to various problems like obesity, PCOD, blood pressure, etc. If you do Surya namaskar daily, it will improve your health and lower any illness risk.
Good for Cardio Workout and Hormone Balance
Surya namaskar is a nice and quick exercise for the body. However, when someone does it faster, it is also considered a cardio workout that improves your weight loss process.
Furthermore, it boosts blood circulation, which has shown improvement in heart health and decreases cholesterol levels.
Good blood circulation is also great for hormonal balance. The blood carries out our hormones, so if the system is working correctly, then the hormones will reach all the tissues and organs without any hassle.
Boosts Energy and Consciousness Levels
In Surya namaskar, breathing plays a vital role, as it provides mindful relaxation for the mind and body. It makes you more self-aware of everything, which boosts the energy levels, makes your senses sharper, and relaxes the mind.
Surya namaskar needs a lot of concentration, which helps individuals improve their memory and make them calmer. Moreover, due to this, it improves the nervous system and thus reduces stress levels and anxiety.
Improves Digestive System and Helps Weight Loss
To have better insulin sensitivity, you need to have a healthy lifestyle that includes eating clean, exercising regularly, and having a balanced diet.
Surya namaskar produces digestive fluids, which help improves the digestive system. Thus, it will boost the metabolism, help you lose weight, and detoxify the body.
Regular Period Cycle
Regular working out guarantees a smooth menstrual cycle. But Surya namaskar helps a particular muscle that maintains the regular menstrual cycle.
Decreases Moods Swings
Deep breathing while doing some asanas helps to relax the mind, body, and chakras. It also improves brain function and balances the left and right sides of the brain.
This technique brings more mental peace, enhances creativity, and makes a person more emotionally stable.
Once you have good blood circulation, a healthy digestive system, and mental peace, your skin will be automatically glowing. It improves the quality of the skin and hair and delays the sign of aging and grey hair.
In this article we talked about Surya namaskar for weight loss and other benefits. Whether you want to lose few kilo grams or for a better lifestyle you should definitely include this yoga in your daily routine.
Surya namaskar helps to lose weight but include some light exercise with it for more benefits. If you do this every day, we can guarantee you will see results in few months.