Surya Namaskar: How to Do it Perfectly for Weight Loss
10 mins read
If you do not have enough time to spare for a gym, you can always exercise at home. Surya Namaskar is a wonderful means of exercise for a whole body workout. 12 asanas performed 12 times and your workout is done. It also promotes weight loss. Find out how to do Surya Namaskar for weight loss.
Since ancient times, the Sun is being worshipped in our country. There are many folklores with regards to worshipping the sun, but what remains unchanged is that fact that people from different nations, following different cultures, and speaking different languages, worship sun for their own good reason. Some also consider the sun as their deity, as it is the solitary source of life on this planet. Thus, every morning they offer their prayers to the Sun. Some offer water to the sun while others complete at least one ‘Surya Namaskar’. And a few who are conscious about their weight, do Surya Namaskar for weight loss.
What is Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar, the English translation of which is Sun salutation, has been practised by Indians for a long time now. It is an ancient technique of paying respect to the sun. ‘Surya Namaskar’ has also been regarded as one of the simplest and most convenient ways to lose weight and stay fit. Surya Namaskar is a set of 12 Yoga asanas that when performed 12 times, gives a full body workout. While doing Surya Namaskar, one should also enchant the 12 different mantras along with 12 poses respectively. Surya Namaskar should be performed on an empty stomach in the morning hours while facing the rising sun. There should be a gap of minimum two hours between performing Surya Namaskar and eating anything. Today, people hardly have any time for exercise, hence their dream to lose weight and fit into that pair of dream jeans which they purchased a few months back remains just a dream. So, if you want to get into that pair of jeans, without working out for an hour or so in a gym, or without giving up your favourite foods, incorporate Surya Namaskar in your life. A single set consists of 12 yoga asanas that target your muscles and keep you lean and fit. So, start doing Surya Namaskar for weight loss now. You should also inculcate the habit of doing Surya Namaskar in your kids as well. Simple exercises of it can help kids grow tall.
How Many Calories Does Surya Namaskar Burn?
As per studies, Surya Namaskar helps one burn around 3.79 calories within a minute. It takes around 3 minutes and 40 seconds to finish one round of Surya Namaskar, thus by doing just one round of Surya Namaskar you can burn almost 13.91 calories. But don’t be so sure, as the result may differ from person to person, depending upon their body weight.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar has many benefits which you will discover as and when you do it. However, to make you do it, find below the benefits of performing Surya Namaskar; these may inspire you.
Surya Namaskar strengthens the digestive system, regulates bowel movements, and provides relief from constipation.
It gives you a glowing skin.
Most importantly, Surya Namaskar helps in weight loss.
Surya Namaskar keeps your blood sugar levels in control.
Surya Namaskar also helps in increasing concentration.
It even helps in enhancing sexual stamina.
Surya Namaskar Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
The 12 yoga poses of Surya Namaskar should be done in sequence. Below are the 12 steps of Surya Namaskar:
Asana 1 - Pranamasana (The Prayer Pose)
Stand on the edge of a yoga mat with your feet together and look straight ahead at the rising sun. Relax your shoulders and your hands should be at your sides. Now, inhale deeply and bring your arms up from the sides; and as you exhale join your palms in front of your chest in the ‘Namaskar mudra’.
Asana 2 – Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
This asana follows the Pranamasana, hence your hands will be in the prayer pose. Moving ahead with the prayer pose, raise your arms up and take them back while breathing in. Your biceps should be close to your ears. While doing this pose, the aim is to stretch your whole body, right from your toes to the tips of your fingers. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Asana 3 – Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
After the raised arms pose, bend forward as you breathe out. Bend down from your waist and touch the floor with your palms. Initially, it will be hard to bend completely and touch the floor, but as you do it regularly, you will get better at it. Your spine should be erect as you bend and your head should touch your knees.
Asana 4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
For this asana, push your right leg back as you breathe in and the knee of the right leg should touch the floor. Also, look up straight while you do so.
Asana 5 – Dandasana (Stick Pose)
While you are in the equestrian pose, bring your left leg back in a way that your whole body is in a straight line. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor.
Asana 6 – Ashtanga Namaskar (Salutation with 8 Parts of the Body)
As you are in the stick pose, slowly bring your knees down to the floor. Elevate your hips back slightly, and rest your chest and chin on the mat. Thus, your two hands, two knees, feet, chest, and chin should touch the ground. This is sun salutation with 8 parts of your body.
Asana 7 – Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana is popularly known as cobra pose. For this, slide forward and raise your chest up, elevating it slightly from the ground. Your elbows should be bent and shoulders should be away from the ears. Look up and as you inhale, push your chest forward; when you exhale push your navel down.
Asana 8 - Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
From cobra pose, lift your tailbone and hips up as you exhale. Your hands and feet should touch the ground, while your chest should be downwards. As you do this pose you will notice that your body forms an inverted ‘V’ shape.
Asana 9 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
For this asana, bring your right foot forward between your hands. Lower your left knee down to the floor. Your right calf should be perpendicular to the floor. To deepen the stretch push your hips down towards the floor.
Asana 10 – Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
Now breathing out, bring your left foot forward, your palms should keep touching the floor. If you are new to this, you can bend your knees. However, while doing this asana, your knees should be straight and your head should be touching your knees.
Asana 11 - Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Slowly, breathe in and roll your spine up. Raise your hands up and stretch your body back, again your biceps should be close to your ears. Try to stretch your body upwards and not back.
Asana 12 – Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Exhale and bring your arms down to your sides. Relax in this position and then raise your arms in a way that they are in front of your chest and palms joined together. You will be in the Namaskar mudra now. Breathe gently and experience the positive vibrations in your body.
These 12 asanas complete one set of Surya Namaskar; for a whole body workout you should do 12 sets of Surya Namaskar.
Tips to Consider While doing Surya Namaskar
While practising Surya Namaskar there are a few tips that may benefit you if you are doing Surya Namaskar for weight loss.
Warming up before starting with Surya Namaskar is recommended if you want to prevent an injury or cramps. Do a couple of stretching exercises and then follow with Surya Namaskar.
Practise Surya Namaskar in the morning hours.
Perform every move in a slow manner. If you are new to it, take it slow there is no need to do it in rush and get injured.
Chant the 12 mantras while doing Surya Namaskar, it enhances concentration.
Even 6 sets of Surya Namaskar can help in effective weight loss. As you work for your weight loss goals with Surya Namaskar, don’t strain yourself. Practice it as long as you are comfortable, overdoing it will only affect your health.
Keep a smile on your face while you perform these 12 yoga poses. A smile on your face will cheer you up to do the stretches easily. You may not realise, but a smile can be your energy booster.
Sun salutation should be performed in total awareness. Do it gracefully at a slow pace and be aware of your breath. Surya Namaskar, when done in total awareness of the mind and body, will energize you and you will feel rejuvenated.
Breathe normally while doing Surya Namaskar.
WATCH: How to Do Surya Namaskar
Learn how to do step by step Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar provides a great cardiovascular workout. Practise Surya Namaskar daily to keep your body in shape and your mind vigil and calm.
Precautions to Take While Doing Surya Namskara
By now you are well acquainted with the innumerable benefits of Surya Namaskar. And yes, one of those is weight loss. But if you don’t do it right, you won’t get positive results. This is why it is stressed upon to do it right. Surya Namaskar is safe to practise for people of all ages, but there are a few exceptions to it, of course. For those who are suffering from high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, intestinal tuberculosis, hernia, or stroke should avoid doing Surya Namaskar. Also, women at the onset of their menstruation cycle should not do Surya Namaskar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Many Times Should You Do Surya Namaskar?
Ideally, Surya Namaskar should be done 12 times. As said above, doing 1 set of Surya Namaskar helps you burn around 13.91 calories. So, you can decide your target accordingly. However, if you are just starting with Surya Namaskar, don’t do 12 sets in one go, start with 3-5 sets and gradually go up to 12 sets.
Who Should Not Do Surya Namaskar?
People suffering from back pain should consult a doctor before they begin with Sun salutation. Also, people suffering from high blood pressure and hernia should abstain from doing it. Pregnant women too should discontinue Surya Namaskar after the third month of their pregnancy i.e when they enter the second trimester of your pregnancy.
Can I Do Surya Namaskar during My Periods?
Surya Namaskar should not be practised at the onset of menstruation, particularly if you are bleeding heavily or have severe cramps or back pain.
Can I Do Surya Namaskar If I am Suffering from Knee Pain?
The 12 asanas of Surya Namaskar involve stretching of the entire body, and knee work is more as you bend. Thus, if you are suffering from knee pain or have arthritis, you should avoid doing Surya Namaskar.
Surya Namaskar is a wonderful exercise that gives a full body workout and is also refreshing. However, avoid doing it if you are not in the best of health. The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar also promote weight loss. If you have been practising Surya Namaskar for a long time now, share with us how it worked for you. Also, how many Surya Namaskar do you do per day? Tell us in the comments!