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Surya Namaskar is not a new term. However, the complete awareness of Surya Namaskar and knowledge of its benefits is very limited to the people in general. The literal meaning of the term “Surya Namaskar” is Sun Salutation i.e. to bow down to the sun in respect.

Almost all the religions and customs have given respect to nature and its resources, especially the sun which is known as the life source. It has been shown from the times immemorial that the Sun has been worshipped as a God. In Hindu tradition, we give a lot of importance to giving water (“Argh dena”) towards the direction of the sun early in the morning. It is also said that one should try to look at the Sun directly very early in the morning, however, as the day progresses it becomes almost impossible to do that.

Now the science too has proved and recognized the innumerable benefits of Sun and its healing powers. The deficiency of Vitamin D which leads to a disease known as Rickets is abundantly found in Sun’s rays. For absorption of Calcium as well as strong bones we need Vitamin D.

However, long and continuous exposure to the sun at and around noon is not advisable due to the presence of harmful UV rays. Probably our ancestors were aware of these facts, therefore, they devised 12 effective yoga asanas (postures) and made them into a set of Surya Namaskar Asana. They have to be done preferably looking in the direction of sunrise and reciting the Surya mantra, “Om Suryay Namah:” before every set.

Today we will learn the multiple benefits of Surya Namaskar towards good health. It is meant not just for the healthy body but also for the healthy mind. It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and improves as well as enhances blood circulation throughout the body.

The best time of doing the asana is early in the morning preferably empty stomach. Each round of Sun Salutation consists of two sets, and each set is composed of 12 yoga poses. Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provides an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet. Doing 12 sets of this exercise translates into doing various powerful yoga asanas in a span of 12 to 15 minutes.

The asanas are designed in a way that they have an amazing impact on the stomach, liver, heart, intestines, chest, throat, and legs, which means the whole body from head to toe is benefited. It also ensures the proper functioning of the bowels, the stomach, and the nerve centers. In Ayurveda, there are three basic types of energy, known as the Doshas. When you practice this routine every day, the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are also balanced.


A single round of Surya Namaskar helps you burn up to 14 calories for a person of average weight. With practice, you should ideally be able to do 108. And as you strive to reach that number, you will automatically become fit and toned. Let us see how many calories you burn in 30 minutes of different workouts:

Weightlifting – 199 calories

Tennis – 232 calories

Basketball – 265 calories

Beach Volleyball – 265 calories

Football – 298 calories

Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) – 331 calories

Rock Climbing – 364 calories

Running (7.5mph) – 414 calories

Surya Namaskar – 417 calories

Data Courtesy:  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,

One should ideally practice at least 12 rounds of the Surya Namaskar every day, which means six sets on the right leg, and six sets on the left leg. However, the number should be increased gradually. The simple rule of doing any asana is that you inhale as you bend backward and you exhale as you bend forward.

1) Enhances Blood Circulation in the Body by constant inhaling and exhaling, in addition it removes the toxins from the body.

2) It helps in Weight Loss and also tones your abs and arms. The spine becomes extremely flexible. It also strengthens your skeletal system.

3) Menstrual Cycle becomes regular if Surya Namaskar is practiced regularly.

4) The healthy glow on your skin and hair quality improves as well as it delays the signs of aging. This also prevents hair loss and premature graying of hair.

5) Anti-anxiety, Anti-depressant and Calming effect The Surya Namaskar poses improve memory and enhance the nervous system. It also stabilizes the activity of the Thyroid and endocrine glands resulting in reduced stress, anxiety and increased calmness.

It is evident that Surya Namaskar is a complete exercise involving the physical, mental and spiritual aspects required for the overall well being of the body. The best part is that neither it requires any expensive equipment nor any court or ground and still gives the best outcome. The benefits of Surya Namaskar one can feel with every single set in terms of flexibility and stamina.

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