Yoga is an ancient Indian mind and body practice which is known for its physical and mental benefits, i.e., it aids weight loss, helps in curing certain physical injuries, calms us mentally, and reduces stress and anxiety. It has recently found recognition worldwide and is followed by many in most parts of the world.
One of the most well-known asanas of Yoga is the Surya Namaskar. It is a set of 12 different Yoga poses that can be performed while chanting 12 different mantras; however, that isn’t necessary, it just adds a spiritual element to the whole workout.
The asana has immense health benefits – it improves blood circulation and aids in digestion and weight loss. It also makes us feel better as it engulfs us in positive energy. One generally loses 13.9 calories by doing one round of Surya Namaskar. Overall, Surya Namaskar makes one a better, fitter individual.
As mentioned above, it is an amalgamation of 12 different Yoga poses. It starts with the Pranayama pose, where you just fold your hands and stand at the edge of your mat. Then, you move to the Hastauttanasana or the raised arm pose, after which you stand in Hastapadasana – the standing forward bend.
The fourth pose is Ashwa Sanchalanasana – the equestrian pose, the fifth being the Dandasana – the stick pose, then you fall into the Ashtanga Namaskara, after which you get into the cobra pose or Bhujangasana, the downward facing dog pose follows, after which you get into Ashwa Sanchalanasana then Hastapadasana, Hastauttanasana, and Pranayama poses follow.
“Surya Namaskar” literally translates to “eternal salutation to the sun”. The exercise is said to awaken the body intelligence to gain energy directly from the sun. Surya Namaskar is supposed to create energy through the sun’s forces; there might be a correct time to perform the asana.
According to Yoga instructors and those who have mastered the art of Yoga, Surya Namaskar is most beneficial when performed in the morning. It is the ideal time to do the asana.
However, there is no hard and fast rule that it can be done only in the morning. One can perform the asana in the evening as well. With the busy schedules of people who work as well as homemakers, students etc., it can be taxing to live by performing Surya Namaskar only in the morning because mornings are super busy.
If you’re doing the asana for more than the weight loss and health benefits, and want the whole package, then it is advised that the correct time to do Surya Namaskar is in the morning, at sunrise, facing the sun on an empty stomach. The sun rays emit positive energy and are advantageous to our health.
Moreover, there is a calm, quiet, and peaceful atmosphere in the morning and as it is the beginning of the day, it’s extremely fresh and easier to perform the asana in a meditative way in the morning. Therefore, performing the asana outdoors might be more beneficial; however, one can do it indoors. Just make sure the room is heavily ventilated to seek the best results.
It is suggested that it is better for a beginner to do the Surya Namaskar in the evening because the body is all warmed up in the evenings unlike in the mornings when the body is stiff. Although if you want to perform it in the morning, you could practice it in the evening until you understand the technique and then probably start doing the asana in the morning.
It is also important for one to perform the asanas at a slow pace for the best experience, and make sure all your postures are perfect. It is also most beneficial to do around 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar. One should also warm up before doing Surya Namaskar as it reduces the chances of injury while performing it, especially when/if one’s body is stiff and not flexible.
Pregnant women, people suffering from hernia and high blood pressure, people suffering from back problems and women who are on their period should abstain from doing the Surya Namaskar or proceed with the consent given by their doctor.
Therefore, Surya Namaskar is one of the best and most crucial asanas one learns in Yoga. It keeps one healthy and the body active, energetic, and enthusiastic. So, if you’re looking out for changing up your workout routine or doing yoga exercises, Surya Namaskar should be on the top of your list.