Surya Namaskara – An all-round yoga workout
It is a well-known fact that Surya Namaskara is an excellent workout for weight loss. It has been proved to be much more effective than many other kinds of exercises and any dieting program. Its impact can be felt physically, mentally and spiritually. Thus surya namskara is termed as all round yoga workout. Surya namaskara is dealt specially in our course as a part of our yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. This 12 step salutation offered to sun is considered the best part of yoga asanas. The cycle of these 12 steps can be repeated starting with 3 times a day and gradually increasing day by day. The practice of these set of asanas in the early morning helps relieve the stiffness and rejuvenate your body. If practiced in the evenings, they help in relieving the stress and inducing good sleep. Now lets have a look into these 12 steps in detail.
1.Pranamasana: Stand erect keeping your feet slightly apart. Bring your palms together and thumbs against your chest.
2.Hasta uttasana: Breath in deeply while you raise your hands up over your head. Now slowly bend backwards to the extent you can. Tighten your buttocks as you bend back. Hold in this position for 3 seconds.
3.Hasta Padasana: Now breathe out gradually and lean forward. Keep your knees together and straight. Bend down until your finger touch the floor before your feet. If you are not able to touch the ground, bend only as much as you can. Now try to being your head towards your knees.
4 Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Inhale slowly and bend your knees. Place your palms on the floor on either sides of your feet and slide your right leg backwards. Your right knee can be around an inch above the ground (similar to lunge position). Raise your head upwards and look as high as possible arching your spine.
5.Dandasana: Slide your leg too backwards now so that it is beside your right leg and breathe deeply in. Your weight is now balanced on your palms and toes alone. Keep both your legs and your back straight to form a plank and pull your tummy in.
6.Ashtanga Namaskara asana: Now breathe out slowly and place both of your knees on the ground, raise your hips off the floor keeping your chest and forehead on the ground.
7. Bhujangasana: Now slowly inhale and look upwards. Bend your head backwards, while you raise your chest upwards. Your lower body down from the navel should be resting on the ground while your elbows shall be slightly bent. Hold in this position for 3 to 5 seconds.
8.Parvatasana: Slowly exhale and raise your hips up until your hands and legs form an inverted ‘V’ position while your palms and feet are firm and flat on the floor.
9.Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Breathe in slowly and bring your right leg forward similar to position 4. Your right foot should be flat and firmly placed between your palms. Your left leg should be maintained straight with your left knee off the ground. Look upwards raising your head and arch your back.
10.Hasta Padasana: Exhale slowly and try to get back to position 3. Bring your left leg forward beside your right leg and raise up while you still bend keeping your legs straight. Try to make your fingertips touch the floor and your head touch your knees.
11.Hasta uttasana: Now slowly inhale. Raise your hands up while you stretch backwards like in position 2. Tighten your buttocks and hold for three seconds in this posture.
12.Tadasana: Breathe out slowly and bring your arms down to your sides. Relax for some time and repeat the cycle.