Surya Namaskar For Weight Loss and Yoga Asana Health Benefits

Surya Namaskar: a sequence of 12 yoga postures
Surya Namaskar: a sequence of 12 yoga postures

 The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)

In Hindu mythology, the sun god is worshipped as a symbol of health and immortal life. The Rig Veda declares that "Surya is the Soul, both of the moving and unmoving beings". The Sun Salutation originated as a series of prostrations to the sun. 

The logical conclusion is that the sun is the life or energy source for this planet and is an element in everything we eat, drink or breathe. 

The Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskara, is a Yoga practice comprises a sequence of 12 yoga postures, best done at sunrise. If done fast, it provides a good cardiovascular workout. If done at a slower pace, these postures help tone the muscles and can relax the system and meditative.  Each pose coordinates with your breathing: Inhale to extend, and exhale to bend. 


Regular practice of Sun Salutation improves the functions of the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs – basically, the whole body. The process purifies the blood and improves blood circulation throughout the system and ensures proper functioning of the stomach, bowel, and nerve centers. Practicing Sun Salutation daily helps balance the three constitutions – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – that the body is made up of, according to Ayurvedic science. Sun Salutation is also known to enhance the physical strength of a person.

What is Asana?
An asana is a body posture and “Yoga” means that which takes you on to a higher dimension or higher perception of life.

So, a posture which leads you to a higher possibility is called a “yogasana.” Among the yoga asanas, there are 84 basic asanas through which one can elevate his consciousness or awareness. These do not mean just 84 physical postures. They are 84 systems or in other words, 84 ways of attaining to mukti or enlightenment. Out of this, if you have mastery over even a single yogasana, everything that one is seeking can be known. 

Yogis say that doing 12 sets of Sun Salutation means doing 12 powerful yoga asanas within 12 to 15 minutes.


12 Powerful Yoga Asanas

Surya Namaskar is the Perfect Workout for Weight Loss and it has Incredible Health Benefits: 

Surya Namaskar a sequence of 12 yoga postures, if done fast, it provides a good cardiovascular workout.

Some of the common reasons why we gain excess weight are:
  • Weak Digestive System
  • Slow Metabolism
  • Wrong Food Habits
  • No Exercise Routine
  • Accumulation of Toxins
  • Water Retention
  • Weak Body Strength
  • Insomnia/Depression
  • Lifestyle Diseases like Thyroid, PCOD, Diabetes
Surya Namaskar addresses to all these common lifestyle issues which leads to weight gain. These 12 steps of Surya Namaskar are very powerful asanas which:
  1. Strengthens the entire digestive system (including stomach, pancreas, intestines, liver, etc.) and cures, and prevents constipation.
  2. Complete Workout for the Muscles, it benefits joints, ligaments and the skeletal system by improving posture and balance. The limbs become symmetrical while the internal vital organs become more functional. 
  3. Fires up our Metabolism and helps in fat loss.
  4. Reduces redundant fat, especially the fat about the abdomen, hips, thighs, neck and chin.
  5. Regular Practice helps in Weight Loss & Belly Fat Reduction. It helps to stay thin. Practicing Surya Namaskar is the easiest way to be in shape. It stretches the abdominal muscles. 
  6. Some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions. The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism. 
  7. Improves the quality and circulation of the blood. Active circulation of the blood is the first law of health.
  8. Enables to eradicate toxic impurities through profuse perspiration and to absorb vital energy from the atmosphere. 
  9. Strengthens the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, back, stomach, waist, abdomen, intestines, thighs, knees, calves and ankles. Strengthening the back is known to be a simple but efficient remedy for kidney troubles.
  10. Improves and develops the chest, i. e. keeps it hard, firm and elastic; restores it to normal loveliness.
  11. Forward bends increase the space in the abdomen and facilitate the release of entrapped gases. These poses heat the front of the body and cool the back body. For vatas, it is important to stay warm. 
  12. Ideal Exercise to cope with Insomnia and related Disorders. Surya Namaskar practice calms the mind, thus helps to get sound sleep. 



Other Health Benefits

  • Regulates Irregular Menstrual Cycles. Practicing Surya Namaskar ensures the easy childbirth. It helps to decrease the fear of pregnancy and childbirth. 
  • Boosts Blood Circulation thus helps to prevent hair graying, hair fall, and dandruff. It also improves in the growth of hair. 
  • Reverse Signs of Aging and Improves Skin Tone and Complexion. It is the natural solution to prevent onset of wrinkles. Overall, yoga is excellent for the skin and it can also provide good benefits for people with blemishes and even acne. 
  • Boosts Endurance Power. It gives vitality and strength. It also reduces the feeling of restlessness and anxiety. 
  • Enhances Body Flexibility. It improves flexibility in spine and in limbs. 
  • Improves Concentration. Regular practice makes the mind strong and calm. 

How to do Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss

How many Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss

One round of Sun Salutation consists of 12 yoga poses.One set consists of two rounds of Sun Salutation:first stretching the right side of your body and then the left side. So, when you do 12 sets of Sun Salutation, you are completing 12 sets x 2 rounds in each set x 12 yoga poses in each = 288 yoga poses in 12 to 15 minutes.

One round of Surya Namaskar burns upto 13.90 calories for an average weighing person. You can now set the target for yourself. Slowly you can increase the number of rounds of surya namaskar to 108. By the time you reach this number, you will find a leaner you.

30-minutes workout calorie meter

Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) = 331 calories
Weight lifting = 199 calories
Running (7.5mph) = 414 calories
Surya Namaskar = 417 calories

Surya Pranam Mantra

Besides offering physical benefits, the Sun Salutation practice also helps calm the mind. Doing a few rounds of Surya Namaskar at an easy pace can be very relaxing and meditative. And adding a touch of gratitude to the Sun, chanting mantras while doing Sun Salutation, adds a whole spiritual dimension to the practice, making it more sacred. 

The Surya Namaskar may be accompanied by chants called Sun Salutation Mantras.

The physical and spiritual benefits of Sun Salutation are not just for adults to enjoy. Surya Namaskar is equally a lot of fun for children. 


Note: Persons suffering from slip-disk, arthritis, heart attack etc including pregnant women are suggested to take medical opinion before they start the practice of Surya Namaskar. 

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