Surya Namaskar Yoga for Wellness

The first thing about wellness that you need to have a good beginning of the day. A fresh morning is what it takes to achieve this. Sleep puts our bulk muscles to rest and devoid of oxygen. They need to be re-supplied with oxygen to give us an invigorated feeling. Surya Namaskar Yoga is a wholesome body stretching exercise which lends flexibility to almost all the body muscles.

This body stretching exercise is a proven technique from the past. Yoga practitioners recommend this stretch exercise before moving on to other stretching or breathing exercises. This is great exercise for anyone who wants to keep fit and keep their form. It helps one to keep the vigor throughout the day.

This exercise is embedded deeply in Indian way of living and a must recommend for all millennial. This has been my secret to maintain my health and form for the last couple of years and into middle years.

Ideal Settings

Surya Namaskar Yoga is purported to connect with the Sun. The core of this yoga is to pay obeisance to the Guru.Here the Sun or Surya is treated as Guru. This is a stretch exercise involving the maximum muscles in our body.

As it also holds a spiritual significance, the setting is important. It should be performed with the face in the direction of sun. This translates to east direction for the morning sun. Care must be taken that the place chosen be such that the morning sun-rays touches the body, specially the solar plexus.

A proper setting has relevant significance in this whole body stretching practice. Hence, this must be followed to achieve maximum benefits leading to a life full of wellness.

The 12 Poses

The Surya Namaskar Yoga is a set of twelve poses and performed cyclically. One set consists of performing these twelve poses in order. It should be done continuously in sets without a break.

The twelve steps are:

  1. Step 1 – Prayer Pose or PranamasanaSurya Namaskar Yoga
  2. Step 2 – Raised Arm Pose or Hastauttanasana
  3. Step 3 – Hand to Foot Pose or Hasta Padasana
  4. Step 4 – Equestrian Pose or Ashwa Sanchalanasana
  5. Step 5 – Stick Pose or Dandasana
  6. Step 6 – Salute with eight parts or points or Ashtanga Namaskar
  7. Step 7 – Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
  8. Step 8 – Mountain Pose or Parvatasan
  9. Step 9 – Equestrian Pose or Ashwa Sanchalanasana. Reverse Left or right from Step 4
  10. Step 10 – Hand to Foot Pose or Hasta Padasana
  11. Step 11 – Raised Arm Pose or Hastauttanasana
  12. Step 12 – Standing Mountain Pose or Tadasana

One set completes with the 12-pose cycle and then continued. At the end of the sets one should relax lying down concentrating on breath intake and exhalation.

The above steps on how to perform them visually can be found on videos and online channels. Describing them in words is not appropriate here hence leaving it at this.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of Surya Namaskar Yoga are multi-fold. Since I was associated with corporate life, I can vouch for it and strongly recommend to the millennials to incorporate  it into their everyday lives.

Controlling weight is the first obvious benefit. I have been successful in keeping out a pot-belly even with extended hours of work by practicing this exercise. It is claimed to keep thyroid under control which is a major factor in weight gains for working professionals. A consolidated stretch of bulk muscles invigorates them with good blood flow and thereby oxygen in the morning hours. Thereby reducing the accumulation of lipids in key fat build-up areas like belly, thighs and hips.

Moreover, it has a calming effect on the body. Sun-rays touching the solar plexus in the morning does wonders. It works out both the intake and circulation of oxygen in the body.

Long hours, inconsistent food, lack of exercise contribute to stress in corporate life. This stress is compounded if our body muscles are not kept flexible. The first effect of stress is high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to many complications and lifestyle diseases. Hence, it is important to keep the muscles flexible as an everyday habit. This wholesome stretch of the majority of bulk muscles achieves this. Hence, it is claimed to be a sustainable cure for controlling your blood pressure.

The experts in the field of Yoga state that this exercise balances the body fluid- the basis of all treatments in the Ancient Indian Wellness Treatise – Ayurveda.

The 21-Day Challenge

Understanding the wholesome and simple Yoga exercise brings us to the question of how to incorporate this in our daily lives. I therefore encourage you to try the 21-day challenge all by yourself.

Why 21 Days?

It is said that you need to practice something for 21 days before it becomes a habit. I am simply re-iterating this hypothesis in helping you take first steps to achieve wellness.

I can tell you from my personal experience that completing even ten sets is challenging in the first week. So, if you are determined enough, start with a target of just 5 cycles in the first week and then increase it to ten in the next. Once you are comfortable doing ten cycles everyday without fail, move to twenty cycles for the third week. If you have doing twenty cycles on the 21st day after beginning the cycle and have done that for a week, I am sure you will continue with it for your entire life.

I would love to hear from you on Day 21 and see if you can vouch for others to take up this amazing exercise.

Conclusion

The first think I had in mind when writing this Wellness blog was to share with you what worked well for me. This is the first one in the series where I would love you readers and specially the action takers among you to become Wellness Evangelists. Sharing with your connections what really worked for you. Let us build a society built on the foundations of health and wellness. Let us bring to light some of the aspects which might not be know by some yet by sharing information.

In any case, do not forget to leave your comment below!

12 Replies to “Surya Namaskar Yoga for Wellness”

  1. Actually surprised to find out these many helpful things in just 1 exercise . I think I am capable and looking forward to the 21-day-challenge.

    1. Thank you Robin. The 21-Day challenge is right there. It is about following the regime of Surya Namaskar each and everyday until Day 21. Do drop a comment on your observation of well-being on Day 21.

  2. Your post comes at a very good time for me! 

    Although we have a farm that keeps us active, I find that stretching helps my entire body feel so much better. I do spend time at the computer and when I stand up, I need to stretch to get back to a normal feeling.

    However, your post reminded me that I used to enjoy yoga and felt good doing it. Until recently, I was not aware there were so many types. I think I’ll try your 21 day challenge!

    1. Thanks for your reply and personal opinion with yoga. I urge you to to take the 21 day challenge and do drop a line here on how it went for you.

  3. Hey i wished i had knowledge back in March when we were on lock down and dying of boredom home, i tried to work out but that just wasn’t working out. I think i’d try this and see if i can stick with it.

    Can i practice this even though i don’t have an area facing east? 

    1. Thanks for your comment. I too miss working out earlier on this subject and could have produced more and more articles like this during lock-down.

      Yes, you can definitely start practice in any direction. However, letting the morning sun-rays let touch your solar plexus while practicing has maximum benefits.

      Would love to hear from you how it goes once you do it for 21 days.

  4. Hi Rohit,

    Yes, personal wellness and good health is very important. In this very hectic and fast paced world out there. Due to work stress and tension. Well there are many ways to stay healthy. For the young and old. A good night sleep, proper physical activities and well balance diet are necessary. As for yoga, there are many types of yoga exercises. It is necessary to select the right choice, base on the person preferences and fitness levels. 

    Surya Namaskar Yoga is very new to me. Doing it early in the morning is a good idea. The air is more fresher, good for rejuvating the soul, mind and body. Early morning sunlight has vitamin D too. Hence, doing the 12 poses continously and 21 days challenge require discipline and determination. Not an easy feat. Not forgetting the need to memorise the sequences of the poses.  Yoga exercises are good to relax the tension in our body and muscles. The challenges are the stretching part and doing the pose correctly.

    I can see the health benefits of your recommendation of the ancient yoga from India. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Well wishes,

    David Koh

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for reading through and a comprehensive feedback on the article.

      Once you start practising Surya Namakar, you will find that one step follows another and done in cyclical order. It might intimidate to read and do the poses correctly in the beginning. However, after doing it for the first 2-3 days, it will come naturally and leave you wanting to do this exercise every morning. To help you with this, there are free videos available on Youtube and visually it looks quite simple in these videos. I encourage you to watch few of these videos to begin with.

      Would love to hear back your experience on Day 21.

      Well Wishes.

  5. Yoga is a pause state of stretching. You would stretch and hold it in a certain position. The explanation is as simple as that. The type of positions are the main factors for the benefits of Yoga. Yoga is becoming a dominant way of getting the body in shape and in good condition. A person can gain physical balance and mind health while doing Yoga. People who are interested in Yoga will find this article a big help.

    1. Thanks for your comments John,

      Yes, Yoga is as simple as that. However, need to do these exercises with the right frame of mind to gain maximum benefit. 

      The motivation to write these articles is to introduce as many people and specially working millennial shed their unhealthy lifestyle and lead a life of wellness.

      Thank You once again.

  6. The 12 poses positions in yoga i expect to make many stuck at home get into get into gear even after the peak coronavirus lock down. I have a similar routine though its not officially yoga, its chris’s yoga free style, lol

    I will incoporate soem of your examples and see how it works out s thanks for a sterling article on the topic of yoga

    chris

    1. Thank You Chris,

      Yes, try out in our freestyle form. You will quickly get the grip of it. Would love to know how it goes for you.

      Well Wishes!

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