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How to do Surya Namaskar & get fitness in 10 Minutes

Updated on September 12, 2013

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  • Weight Reduction with strong body
  • Toned & Flexible Muscles
  • Removal of Toxins
  • Stress Relief
  • Deep rejuvenation & increased energy levels
  • Can control & manage Psychosomatic ailments such as Diabetes
  • Can reduce the menstrual cramps and get rid of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) in women if Surya Namaskar is practiced regularly



Surya Namaskaras Sculpture at New Delhi International Airport

Position 1

Start Surya Namaskaras Today

Surya Namskar is one of the important part of Ancient Yoga Techniques. The meaning of Surya Namaskaras is "Sun Salutations" . There are 12 postures in one set of Surya Namaskaras, also called as one cycle or circle. As the name suggests one should perform this in the open air during sunrise or sunset (Recommended but not mandatory). The scientific reason to pratice Surya Namaskars under the exposure of the Sunrise or sunset is to facilitate Vitamin D to our body. Vitamin D is vital for absorbtion of Calcium and phosphate in to human body. Also the the rays of Sunrise and Sunset are really helpful for human skin

Before starting this useful yogic exercise it is suggested to do some amount of warm-up like stretching & flexing for 3 - 4 minutes. The beginners can do 8 - 10 sets of Surya Namaskars per day & Can steadily increase the sets to 25 - 30 to achieve the best fitness & strength. Some people perform even up to 50 per day. Eg. Hollywood Film Actress & Producer Jennifer Aniston performs 15 - 20 Sets daily, Indian Film Actress Kareena Kapoor does even more, she practices 50 surya namaskaras per day

Following are the instructions on how to perform Surya Namaskaras


Position 1: In this posture, you need to Stand erect keeping your hands folded near to your chest as if you are doing prayer as shown in the picture. Close your eyes with a mild smile. In yoga this is called as "Pranam Aasana (Praying Posture)"


Position 2

Stretch your hands together up in the air while taking a deep breath , bending backwards like an arch and try to your see your rear side. This yoga posture is called as "Hastautthan Asana (Hands up Posture)". Initially you may not achieve the full arch, however after a week's time you yourself will feel surprised to see the improved flexibility.

Position 3

Now while breathing out, bend down to touch your feet and try to bring your face closer to your knees. For the beginners, it's difficult to touch the knees with the face. However one needs to give their best effort to touch the knees. This posture is yoga is named as "Padahasta Asana (Hands touching Feet Posture)"

Position 4

In this posture squat down by keeping your palms next to your feet, stretch back your left leg to the full length and then look upwards by making your upper body like an arch and take a deep breath. In yoga, this position is called as "Ashwa Sanchalan Asana (Horse Movement Posture)"

Position 5

Continue to hold the breath & keeping your palms & feet on the floor, lift your middle part of the body up in the air so that entire weight is on your hands & toes. It should look like an inverted alphabet "V". This is called as "Parvat Asana (Mountain Posture)" in ancient yoga.

Position 6

Now release the breath bring down your knees, chest & chin but keeping your hips still a bit up as shown in the diagram. Remember to keep your palms on the floor next to your chest. All the eight limbs get alerted in this posture and hence this is called "Ashtang Namaskara Asana (8 Limbs Salutation Posture)

Position 7

Then, take a deep breath and stretch backwards keeping your hands & toes on the floor making an arch and look upwards as shown in the picture. In yoga this posture is called as "Bhujanga Asana (Cobra Posture)"

Position 8

From this posture all the reamining postures will be similar to the initial 5 positions but in a reverse direction.

In this position while breathing out heavily, raise your hips keeping hands & feet on the floor to form an inverted "V" shape. It should look like a small mountain.

Position 9

This position is similar to the position No.4, the only difference is you need to stretch back your Right leg here.

Take a deep breath, keep the left foot between your hands and stretch back your right leg looking upwards as shown in the picture.

Position 10

Breath out & just like in the 3rd posture, get up and bend down to touch your feet, keeping your face to make contact with knees.

Position 11

While taking a deep breath join both hands and stretch them together over your head to make an arch. Entire your body should be bent bacwards as shown in the picture. This is just like the 2nd posture including the breathing. This asana boosts the strength of your spinal cord and prevents the back related ailments

Position 12

While breathing out come back to the normal and erect standing posture, keeping your hands folded in a praying pose.

Relaxation after Surya Namaskaras

After completing the maximum possible sets , one has to immediately lie down in "Savasana", also known as Corpse Posture. Savasana is nothing but lying down on the floor on your back by keeping your legs and arms apart and open as shown in the picture no. 2. After completion of Surya Namaskaras in a rhythmic way, you will start breathing heavily with increased heartbeat (which is quite natural) and then lying down in Savasana will make you feel heaven and you will be thoroughly relaxed. One has to breath in and out deeply & heavily of course with positive smile.

Savasana is a must after completing the total sets of Surya Namaskaras. This yogasana will relax your body & mind after any kind of physical exertion

Picture No.2: Savasana

12 Postures of Surya Namaskaras

Source

My Personal Experience

  • Reduced weight of 6 Kg in 2 months time
  • Flat stomach
  • More flexibility
  • Increased alertness and reflexes
  • Rejuvenated Vigor & Sex Drive

Limitations & Tips

Limitations:

  • Women should not practice during menstruation period.
  • Big "No" for Pregnant women.
  • If you are suffering from hernia or spinal cord problems, please avoid this

Tips:

  • Dress Code: Always wear comfortable clothing as lot of stretching is required in this exercise. You may wear Track Suits, Yoga shorts or Pajamas
  • Practice Surya Namaskaras with empty stomach always, at best you can have few sips of water
  • Empty your bowels before practicing Surya Namaskar
  • All the postures should be performed with a rhythm as shown in the following video and try to observe your breath. Initially you may get confused on breath-in and breath-out but on practice you can master the same
  • People who take bath/shower after Surya Namaskaras should maintain minimum gap of 20 - 30 minutes
  • Some people, especially in India chant certain mantras of "Sun" before each Surya namaskar posture, this gives a kind of positive energy. People who do not want to chant any mantras or prayer can simply keep smiling while performing Surya Namaskaras




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Surya Namaskar Regime

Period
Min Suggested Sets
Max Suggested Sets
Day 1 to 3
7
10
Day 4 to 7
10
15
Week 2 & 3
12
20
Post Week 3
15
50

Surya Namaskaras Video (Slow Pace)

Body Pains after Surya Namaskar

It's common that you will have some body pains & back ache in the 1st 2 - 3 days after starting the Surya Namaskar, however they will recede subsequently. In case the pains persist after 4th day also, please consult your physician.

Best idea to avoid these pains & cramps is to do warm-up for 5 min before starting the Surya Namaskar

Summary

Surya Namaskar is the less time consuming physical exercise that is widely practiced in the today's dynamic world to have stressful lives. A ten minutes of Surya Namaskar is equivalent to a 30 minutes of workout in a Gymnasium. Start practicing this magical regime today itself and you will definitely see the difference. Wish you all the best !

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    • profile image

      Rohan Patil 3 years ago

      This looks interesting... Haven't done it since the School PE class.. :-)

      Will start from tomorrow, hope to accelerate my weight loss..

      Just one doubt, I drink 500ml-750ml water immediately after waking up & before toilet.. does it need to be changed or its Okay?

      Cheers

      Rohan

    • Pranay21 profile image
      Author

      Ravi Kumar 3 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi Rohan, Give a gap of minimum 20 minutes after drinking water

    • profile image

      Ratna 3 years ago

      Very interesting and nice explanation. Will start immediately. But, as stated the sets can go up to 10-15. In every set the same asanas has to be repeated or have we got any other asanas.

    • Pranay21 profile image
      Author

      Ravi Kumar 3 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi Ratna, you need to repeat same asanas in every set. These are sufficient for perfect fitness. Wish you all the best!

    • profile image

      kamal 2 years ago

      Hello sir...i m an athelete.. Nd the physic of an athelete should be flexible nd lots of strength should be their...will 50 sets in a day will help me out to make my body flexible nd strengthfull....

    • Asana yoga profile image

      Asana yoga 21 months ago

      Thanks for he info!

    • profile image

      Babu 16 months ago

      How much time need to wait to start surya namaskar after taking bath. Please advise.

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