How to do Surya Namaskar – Top Do & Don’t of Sun Salutation

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Yoga is an exercise science which is thousands of year old. Yogis of ancient  India supposedly lived for hundreds of years due to the virtue of Yoga & meditation. Surya Namaskar Yoga is one of such Yogic practices that merges ancient knowledge with modern science. But, there are various other factors involved in any yoga practice which influence the results big times. If practiced improperly without understanding the mechanism, significance & precautions, any Yogasana will do more harm than good similar to any other physical exercise. So, how to do Surya Namaskar with proper form & the right mindset?

We are going to address all the queries related to the Amazing Surya Namaskar Yoga in this article. It includes the things you should avoid altogether during the practice and the tips to incorporate to get maximum benefits. We have also covered the right time, place & precautions that are a must to keep in mind before you indulge in the practice of Surya Namaskar Yoga.

How to do Surya Namaskar

Aspects of Sun Salutation

Following are the five significant aspects of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Yoga postures (Asana)
  2. Breathing  (Pran-Vayu)
  3. Chants (Mantras)
  4. Awareness (Jyan)
  5. Gratitude (kritajnta)

All these five aspects are needed to be taken care of while performing Surya Namaskar. All of these aspects hold equal weightage in this exercise &

How to do Surya Namaskar Yoga correctly

Following points are needed to keep in mind before starting the practice of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Time, Place & Position
  2. The correct sequence of poses
  3. Pace
  4. Breathing techniques
  5. Mindset
  6. Chants of Mantras
  7. Duration of Poses
  8. Number of sets
  9. Diet or meals

Best Time, Place & Position to do Surya Namaskar

The Best practice of life is to wake up early in ‘Brahma Muhurta’ before sunrise. The Brahma Muhurta is a 48-minute window that begins 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before it.

So, start your day by waking up 15-20 minutes before the Brahma Muhurta and utilize it for freshen-up. Then do some basic meditation during the Brahma Muhurta & then go for a walk in the remaining 48 minutes.

You come back from your walk with your joints are fully mobilized & your lungs filled with fresh air. Now, when the first rays of the Sun hit the horizon, and you can start your practice of Surya Namaskar Yoga. Stand on the end of the mat, Face directly towards the rising Sun and start the Yoga with a smile on your face.

The ideal place should have a lot of greenery and a natural water body. In the absence of these, try to choose an open space for sun salutation practice if the weather conditions allow. You can use the rooftop or go to the nearest park for this. Ensure that your body gets maximum of the morning sunlight & thus stand in a place where you can look at the Sun without any obstruction.

Correct Sequence of Sun Salutation poses

There are a total of 12 Surya Namaskar poses in the sun salutation yoga, which is needed to be repeated two times to complete one set (Aavritti). Make sure that you follow the correct sequence of these poses during your Yoga practice.

The 12 poses of Sun salutation are:

  1. The prayer pose
  2. The Raised arm pose
  3. The Standing forward bend
  4. The Equestrian pose
  5. The Four-limbed staff pose
  6. The Eight-limbed pose
  7. The Cobra pose
  8. The Mountain pose
  9. The Equestrian pose
  10. The Standing forward bend
  11. The  Raised arm pose
  12. The prayer pose

Effect of pace in Sun Salutation Yoga

Surya namaskar can be done in three pace variations: Fast, Medium & slow.

  • The slow pace helps increase body flexibility.
  • The medium-speed practice helps in muscle toning.
  • And, the fast pace is an excellent cardiovascular workout and helps in weight loss.

Breathing techniques in Sun Salutation

It is vital to give proper attention to your breathing during each pose of Sun salutation. The correct technique of breathing is mandatory to gain the maximum health benefits of this Yoga.

There are many times when we forgot the correct order of inhaling & exhaling in order to go faster or rectify a posture. But, it is better to go slow than go wrong.

One more thing that you need to keep in mind is that you always breadth through your nose instead of your mouth & fill up the air in your lungs rather than the stomach.

Importance of right Mindset in Sun Salutation

Importance of right Mindset in Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation is not only a physical exercise. It has numerous physiological benefits as well. The morning air calms your nerves, and the bright sunlight fills your mind with joy. All that you need is to have a slight sense of gratitude towards the Sun, mother nature & the universe for everything that we generally take for granted. Appreciate that you are alive & breathing with all your limbs intact, be thankful for the little things that make your life liveable. Fill up your consciousness with the energy & positivity that you are getting from the Sun.

The right mindset & a smiling face is what make the Sun Salutation most rewarding & fulfilling.

Chants & Mantra for every pose of Sun Salutation

There are dedicated Chants for each pose of Sun Salutation. When pronounced correctly, the vibrations produced by the sound of a mantra help bring back the human body into the natural state of resonance. It also helps oxygenate the brain, reduce our heart rate, blood pressure, and help create calm brainwave activity.

Duration of each pose of Sun salutation

If your goal is to increase your body’s flexibility, it is highly advised to hold on to each pose of Sun Salutation for at least 10 secs. Scientific research has proven that that doing at least 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar with this system immediately increases the flexibility of the human body.

How many sets of Sun salutation is enough

An ideal practise of Sun Salutation is said to have 108 rounds of one set/Aavritti.

But, it seems highly impractical with the modern-day lifestyle. So, what we advise is to start small with just 2-5 sets of sun salutation and gradually increase the number of rounds as you get comfortable.

For people with a stiffer body, you can go lower & start by practicing each pose separately until your body & mind get used to it & you become able to attain the correct posture.

Correct diet & Meals to follow

Correct diet & Meals to follow

Like other exercises, you can’t forget the importance of the proper food intake in Sun salutation. It’s best to go completely vegetarian, but if it doesn’t seem possible for you, at least avoid any meat intake in the morning.

You should not eat anything for at least 3 hours before you start Sun Salutation. Even if you want to drink water, drink it 20-30 minutes beforehand. Make sure that your stomach is empty when you start the Yoga. 

Things to avoid during Surya Namaskar Yoga

  1. Never perform Surya Namaskar when the sunlight is too harsh.
  2. During the practice of various yoga postures, please don’t push your body limits to attain perfection, as it may lead to injury.
  3. Don’t perform any Yoga or exercise immediately after eating.
  4. Never do Surya Namaskar after sunset.
  5. Don’t wear tight clothes.
  6. Never practice Surya Namaskar in a very polluted or Confined space.
  7. Don’t perform Surya Namaskar in hangover, as it will dehydrate you even more.

Who should not practice Surya Namaskar?

Although anyone over eight years of age can practice Surya Namaskar Yoga. Still, there are certain health conditions in which the practise should be avoided at any cost.

The conditions in which you should not practice Sun salutation are:

  1. If you have recently undergone any surgery.
  2. If you have severe conditions of high blood pressure or heart disease.
  3. If you have a hernia.
  4. Not suitable for People suffering from slip disc.
  5. If you are diagnosed with any significant issue with the spinal cord.
  6. If you are suffering from T.B.
  7. If you have a fever.
  8. If you are a patient of sciatica.
  9. Women with more than 12 weeks of pregnancy shouldn’t do Surya Namaskar.

If you any of the health conditions mentioned above, consult an experienced physician or doctor before reaching any conclusion.

Moreover, we always advise you to perform any form of Yoga or exercise under the proper guidance of a licensed practitioner. It will help you learn quickly & decrease the chance of any injury.

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