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Surya Namaskar - A 20 min Yoga workout

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

For those of us who have difficulty in calming the mind and find the whole thought a little intimidating, yoga can be a good way to begin feeling what it's like to be in a meditative state. 

Some of us have an easier time doing something while we are working towards quieting the mind, and yoga is perfect for that.

Yoga puts you in touch with your breath, your body and slowly gets you relaxed and quiet in your mind. Aside from the inner well-being benefits, Yoga is also a great physical activity for both men and women in not only gaining flexibility but also balance and strength.

Below is a 20-min routine that can be practised in the morning for a yoga practice.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):

In Sanskrit it means Surya- Sun, Namaskar is a form of salutation. Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 poses of Yoga, that include: the Mountain Pose, Overhead Reach, Forward Fold, High Lunge, Plank, Caterpillar, Cobra, Downward-Facing Dog, 2nd High Lunge, and then back to Forward Fold, Overhead Reach and Mountain Pose.

The sequence gradually revitalises your body and stimulates your 'prana' -life force, which raises your energy levels. This pose is traditionally performed as a way to awaken the body. It is one of the primary forms of yoga and holds a lot of significance. 

According to the ancients texts, the different parts of your body are connected to different divine energies (or devtas). The solar plexus, which is located behind your navel (the central region of your body) is connected to the sun. hence, a regular practice of Surya Namaskar is said to enhance the solar plexus, which then increases your mental, intuitive and physical abilities. 

This routine is best performed in the mornings when you wake up. It is a great workout when you are running short on time and require a fast and complete workout. 


Step 1: Pranamasan (Prayer Pose):

Stand in an erect position, facing the sun, with palms folded near the chest in a prayer position. Keep your feet together and breathe normally. This pose offers salutation to the sun. 
Surya Namaskar pose 1
Pose 1

Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Position):

Stand in Position 1, breathe in slowly and raise your arms upwards. Keep your biceps closer to your ears, and bend backwards with the face pointing upwards and towards the sky. Keep your back arched while bending backwards. This will help you to stretch your body completely. 
Surya Namaskar -Pose 2
Pose 2

Step 3: Pada Hastasana (Forward Bend while Standing):

After Pose 2, come back to the original state. Keep your knees and spine straight, exhale and bend forward till your head touches your knees. Your hands must touch the floor on either side of your feet with your palms against the floor. 

Surya Namaskar - pose 3
Pose 3

Step 4: Ashwa-Sanchalan-asana (Equestrian Pose)

In Pose 3, inhale and stretch your left leg backwards. Bend the right leg at your knee and lift your head towards the sky. You can place your palms flushed with the floor or in a Namaskar position. 

Pose 4
Pose 4

Step 5: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose):

Exhale your breath and keep the pams flushed against the floor. Push your right leg so that it is parallel to your left leg. Raise your hips and bend your head so that it faces your navel. 

Pose 5
Pose 5

Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskar (Salutation with 8 parts):

Maintain your earlier position, inhale and lower your hips. In this position, the knees, toes, chest and face must touch the ground, while the hips must be raised. 

Pose 6
Pose 6 

Step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):

From the earlier pose, enter the cobra pose by stretching your arms. Exhale and left your chest, arch your back and bend your head backwards so that you face the sky. This pose helps in stretching your body in the forward position. 

Pose 7
Pose 7

Step 8: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose):

Exhale and Perform Step 5 as described above. 

Step 9: Ashwa-sanchalan-asana (Equestrian Pose)

Inhale and Perform Step 4 as described above. 

Step 10: Pada hastasana (Forward Bend while Standing):

Exhale and Perform Step 3 as described above. 

Step 11: Hasta uttanasana (Raised Arm Position):

Inhale and Perform Step 2 as described above. 

Step 12: Pranamasan (Prayer Pose):

Come back to the original Prayer pose, as shown in Step 1. Breath normally. 

These steps must be repeated again, but with the opposite leg in Steps 4 to 9. One complete set of Surya Namaskar includes 24 steps. Ideally, any person needs to perform 12 sets. 

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  • Increases the blood Circulation: Surya Namaskar includes many inhalation and exhalation processes which increase the oxygen levels of the blood. These exercises are a great technique for detoxifying your body and eliminating toxic chemicals and excessive carbon dioxide.
  • Increases Flexibility and fitness levels of the body: This workout routine is a comprehensive set of 12 poses of Surya salutation which stretch, boost and increase the fitness levels of your body. Furthermore, they also increase the flexibility of the wrists, back, limbs and the spine.
  • Healthy body: These exercises strengthen your legs, ankles and feet. Furthermore, the poses firm your hips and relieve the sciatica pain. They also help in developing your core strength.
  • Weight loss: When Surya Namaskar is carried out at a faster pace, it can act as a cardio workout and help you lose weight. Furthermore, the different poses stretch your abdominal muscles and reduce the weight in these areas.
  • Improves your digestive health: Surya Namaskar increases the blood flow to the digestive areas and improves the rate of digestion. Furthermore, the forward pose causes you to bend, which can eliminate the gas trapped in your system.
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  • Lowers blood pressure: Surya Namaskar is a natural remedy for decreasing your blood pressure as it increases blood circulation and reduced the build-up of cholesterol. It also controls the blood sugar levels and keeps the heart issues at bay.
  • Regulates your menstrual cycle: A regular practice of Surya Namaskar can ease your menstrual cramps and relieve pain. It also regulates your cycle.
  • Mental development: Surya Namaskar involves many breathing exercises which help you concentrate and connect with your inner core. This improves the mental and physical balance in your body. These exercises also reduce anxiety, increases patience and improves your stamina.
  • Improves Hormonal Imbalance: These exercises normalize the activity of your endocrine system. They are especially helpful to the people who suffer from thyroid issues.
  • Glowing Skin and Hair: As the 12 poses improve your blood circulation, you can see a significant improvement in your complexion and hair texture.

Hope this 20 min Yoga workout routine will help you tone yourself and become healthy despite your busy schedule.

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