Do you want to lose weight but don’t have time for the gym and not in the mood to follow the strict diet? Then the ancient yogic practice of Surya Namaskar Yoga is the one for you! Surya Namaskar Yoga makes the body flexible, fit and strong. It also boosts metabolism and helps in building lean muscles. Overall it’s a complete body workout and you can reap all the benefits in just 15 minutes.
Kareena Kapoor swears by it. She got her size zero look for the movie ‘TASHAN’ after doing 50 surya namaskar in one session.
If done at a fast pace,it provides a good cardiovascular workout. This improves blood circulation and thus, imparts a healthy glow on your face. It delays the signs of aging, keeps the wrinkles at bay and prevents hair-fall too. If done at a slower pace, these Yoga poses help tone the muscles and can be relaxing and meditative.
Scroll down for the sequence of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) of Surya Namaskar. Also, each posture has a chant associated with it – these are all different Sanskrit names of the Sun.
SURYA NAMASKAR YOGA
STEP 1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
“Om Mitraya Namah”
- Start the Surya Namaskar by standing at the edge of your mat.
- Keep your eyes closed and remain standing upright with the feet together (make sure your weight is equally balanced on both the feet).
- Now relax your shoulders and expand your chest.
- Inhale and lift both your arms up.
- Then, exhale, and bring your palms together in front of your chest in namaskara mudra (prayer pose).
STEP 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
“Om Ravaye Namah”
- Inhale and lift your arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears.
- Bend the head, arms and upper trunk slightly backward.
- Stretch your whole body, right from the heels to the tips of the fingers.
- To deepen this stretch, you may push the pelvis forward a little bit.
STEP 3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
“Om Suryaya Namah”
- Exhale and bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect.
- As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, on either side of the feet.
- Bring the forehead as close to the knees as is comfortable, keeping the knees straight.
STEP 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
“Om Bhanave Namah”
- Inhale and stretch your right leg back, as far as is possible.
- Now bend your left knee and place your arms next to your feet.
- Turn your gaze forward.
- Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.
STEP 5: Dandasana (Stick pose)
“Om Khagaya Namah”
- Keep the hands and right foot still.
- Take the left leg back besides the right leg.
- Bring the whole body in a straight line.
- Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.
STEP 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts Or Points)
“Om Pushne Namah”
- Bring your knees down to the floor gently, and exhale.
- Slightly, take your hips back, and slide forward.
- Rest your chest and chin on the floor.
- Raise your buttocks slightly.
- You will notice that your two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body in total) are touching the floor.
STEP 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
“Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namah”
- Slide your body forward and raise the chest up into the cobra posture.
- You may keep your elbows bent in this pose.
- Your shoulders must be placed away from the ears.
- Bend the head back and turn your gaze upwards.
- Stretch as much as you can but do not force your body.
STEP 8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose)
“Om Marichaye Namah”
- Exhale, raise your buttocks and tailbone up.
- Your chest must face downwards to form an ‘inverted V’ posture.
- Keep the arms and legs straight and your heels should be on the floor.
STEP 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
“Om Adityaya Namah”
- Inhale and bring the right foot forward in between the two hands.
- Push your left leg back, as far as you possibly can.
- To deepen the stretch, push the hips down towards the floor.
- Turn your gaze forward.
STEP 10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
“Om Savitre Namah”
- Exhale and bring the left foot forward next to the right foot.
- Bend forward from the waist and straighten both legs.
- Keep the palms on the floor.
- If possible, try and touch your nose to the knees.
STEP 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
“Om Arkaya Namah”
- Inhale and raise the torso.
- Lift your arms up and back, making sure your biceps are beside your ears.
- Bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.
- The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretch backwards.
STEP 12: Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
“Om Bhaskaraya Namah”
- As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down.
- Now bring the palms in front of the chest.
- Relax in this position, observe the sensations in your body.
CALORIES BURNT IN SURYA NAMASKAR YOGA
Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 yoga asanas. Each of these asanas is performed by stretching first, the right side of the body, followed by the left side.
That means, 1 set = 2 rounds. So, when you do 12 sets of Surya Namaskar, you complete 12 sets x 2 rounds in each set x 12 yoga poses in each = 288 yoga poses within 12 to 15 minutes.
One round of Surya Namaskar burns upto 13.90 calories for an average weighing person. 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar burn nearly 156 calories that is equivalent to doing rigorous exercise in the gym for an hour.
*It may,however, vary from person to person, depending on his respective body weight and other attributes.
- The ideal time to practice Surya Namaskar is during the early morning and this should be performed facing the rising sun.
- Increase the number of rounds of surya namaskar gradually, keeping in mind your body capacity.
- Women should avoid practicing the Surya Namaskar while they are on their periods.
- Pregnant women must refrain from these Yoga poses after their third month of pregnancy.
- If you are suffering with hernia and high blood pressure, avoid practicing this sequence.
- People having back problems should seek proper guidance before practicing this sequence.
Isn’t it a best way to start your morning?