How Daily Sun Salutation Improves Your Life
Modern life tends to upset the balance between heart, body and mind. An irregular schedules, deadlines, worries and the emotional challenges of everyday life create a lot of stress. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar offers the possibility of a more balanced, fulfilling, and rewarding life.
Practicing the ultimate asana sequence, Surya Namaskar, in a slow meditational mode can be a life-changer if you practice consistently every day. It aligns your physical posture: strengthening your muscles and back and relieving back tension, reducing your blood sugar and improving your metabolism as well. It also regulates your nervous and gland system and increases your blood circulation (which gives glowing skin). For women, it promotes a more regular menstrual cycle.
In my personal experience, a daily practice of Sun Salutation as a meditation works wonders. It gives you energy, focus, and peace of mind right from the start of the day. It is like a shield against the challenges that are thrown at you during the day. And, if you stick with it long enough you will feel and even look younger.
Variations of sun salutation
Dear child has many names and sun salutation equally has many variations. There are countless inventions and variations, even with a jump. In my experience, it is less important which asanas you include or exclude. Rather it depends on what you expect to get out of your morning practice. There are even therapeutic inventions for people with back problems and for pregnant women. The forward bends in sun salutation can severely harm a person with disc issues and give discomfort to pregnant women. What is more crucial to your benefit is the way in which you practice the sun salutation.
You can respectively be looking to get:
- Physical health benefits such as weight loss, strength, muscle growth and flexibility, or
- Inner peace, calmness, energy flow in your muscles, blood vessels, organs and indeed every cell in your body.
The first results you will achieve from high pace cardio and the latter you will get from practicing sun salutation as a dynamic or moving meditation. The first mode of practicing (often associated with Astanga and Vinyasa yoga), will give you strength, fitness, and weight loss. The second mode of practicing can be life-changing and is closer to the original spirit of yoga.
Sun salutation as moving meditation
Because of its popularity, sun salutation has become subject to scientific studies. Science has shown how a quick practice has similar benefits as other cardio practices and is in particular beneficial for weight loss. In effect, studies show that a fast pace practice of sun salutation for 10 minutes induces more weight loss than a 10 minute run.
However, if you are looking for the more profound yoga effects you are better off practicing sun salutation as a dynamic meditation. The everyday mindful practice of sun salutation will increase your level of flexibility, give you mental strength and revitalize your organs and every cell in your body. You will become more focused on your work, more balanced in your everyday life, and experience a significant improvement in your health and immunity.
Success with sun salutation depends on your efforts. You need to be regular in your practice which means practicing minimum 10 – 15 minutes every day in the week, and if you skip one day you should ideally practice 5 – 10 minutes extra the subsequent day.
Practicing sun salutation
The benefits of regular practice
Sun salutation is a dynamic yoga practice where the yogi dynamically moves through 12 asanas making an cyclical rotation between 8 different asanas :
When to practice
The ideal time to perform Surya Namaskar is during sunrise while facing towards the sun. But even if you miss the dawn you can practice later in the day or in the evening you can still achieve the benefits. You will get the physical and meditational benefits as long as you practice on an empty stomach.
It is equally important to know when not to practice Surya namaskara. Do not practice sun salutation when under any form of intoxication, be it from alcohol, sweets or sickness. It is also not beneficial to practice when having your period. Choose a modified version if you experience disc or serious back problems, hernia, hyper thyroidsm, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure or heart conditions.
Take a minute to envision how you can gain all these benefits from merely devoting 10 – 15 minutes of your day to the practice of Surya Namaskar. The sun is the source and bearer of life on earth. You are after all a living being. Like a plant you can internalize good health and vitality from the sun.