Sun Salutation

Since ancient times yoga is known for its health benefits and it consists of many types and procedures. Sun salutation is one of the procedures of yoga. Sun salutation is basically a way to worship the sun.

It consists of 12 patterns or series that strict breathing pattern. Yoga has been a part of the daily routine of a large number of people as it is known to be a great way to attain healthy life.

Sun salutation is generally the first procedure to be followed before any other posture. Each cycle of it consists of 12 steps which are performed consecutively one after the other.

Step 1 – Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

How to do it?

This pose is used to start and finish sun salutation and is done to pay respect. Stand in the straight position with both feet together and palm folded close to the chest. Breathe normally.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Increases concentration
  • Bring the sense of calmness
  • Body mind balance

Step 2 – Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Pose)

How to do it?

Inhale a breath and raise both your hands above the crown and bend your trunk and neck slightly backward. Raising the arms and bending the trunk should be done at the same time.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Tones the muscles of the abdomen.
  • Improved the process of digestion
  • Improves the functioning of the lungs.

Step 3 – Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

How to do it?

This step has many benefits as it works on both body and mind. Exhale breath and bend forward and try to reach a point where you are able to touch your bands to the floor.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Provides good stretch to the body.
  • Add flexibility
  • Strengthens the body
  • Helps to reduce abdominal fat

Step 4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose)

How to do it?

It is a type of balancing posture. Inhale a breath and stretch your left leg as far back as possible and bend your right knee. Keep your gaze straight with a little arched back and tilted head.

Note: When you do this step again in 9th step, do it with right leg.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Strengthens the knee and ankle
  • Enhances lung capacity
  • Tones abdominal organs
  • Add flexibility and balance in the body

Step 5 – Parvatasana (The Mountain Pose)

How to do it?

Exhale and slowly takes your right leg backward in such a way that it becomes parallel to the left leg. Lift your buttocks and support the body weight with the help of your hands. Your head should be in between your hands.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Helps to treat postural defects
  • Massages abdominal organs
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Strengthens the muscles

Step 6 – Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight-Limbed salutation)

How to do it?

It is a step in which eight parts of the body touches the ground – two toes, two knees, two palms, the chest, and the head. Now lower your body from last pose in such a way that the above said eight locations touch the floor. Your other parts of the body should be lifted in the air.

Benefits of doing this step.

  • Strengthens the muscles of hands and legs
  • Enhances the functioning of respiratory system
  • Strengthens the chest muscles.

Step 7 – Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

How to do it?

Inhale a breath and taking the help of your hands raise your body and arch your head backward. Ensure that your shoulder blades are firm, and your shoulders are away from the ears.

Benefits of doing this step

  • Stimulates the digestive and reproductive system
  • Acts as a stress reliever
  • Regulate metabolism
  • Helps to treat gastrointestinal problems

After this step, some same steps need to be repeated

  • Step 8 – Parvatasana (The Mountain Pose)
  • Step 9 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose)
  • Step 10 – Padahastasana (Hand to Foot pose)
  • Step 11 – Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  • Step 12 – Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Some other health benefits of Sun Salutation

Sun salutation has an impact on each and every cell in the body that provide a large number of health benefits such as physical strength, flexibility, and mental calmness. Some of the body systems that are significantly affected by practicing sun salutation of a daily basis are as follows:

  • Cardiovascular system is a highly affected with daily practice of sun salutation as almost all factors that could lead to the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is affected. For example, blood pressure. Practicing the steps helps to regulate blood pressure, which is one of the most common causes of cardiovascular disease.
  • Musculoskeletal system is highly impacted with this yoga exercise, in fact almost every muscle in the body is affected. By practicing these movements, the entire musculoskeletal system is stretched and contracted in such a way that it provides additional strength and flexibility to them.
  • The functioning of the reproductive system of both males and females are enhanced with sun salutation. Many women of childbearing age complaints of experiencing problems with menstrual cycle, and it is believed that sun salutation consists of amazing steps that helps to normalize menstrual cycle.
  • A good skin health is another benefit of sun salutation. The process of sweating while doing the steps cleanses the pores of the skin which could result in the clean and glowing skin. It also helps to improve the tone of the skin.
  • The prevalence of metabolic diseases is very high among people these days, especially obesity and diabetes. Multiple studies have stated that yoga is one of the best ways to lose weight. It significantly helps to lose abdominal fat. It is also beneficial in regulating the glucose level in the blood and helps to keep the blood glucose level normal.
  • The beneficial effects of sun salutation can also be seen on the nervous system. With the movement of steps, the spinal column is bent and stretched in such a way that it stimulates the blood circulation to the brain and spinal column. As a result, it helps to keep the nervous system healthy.

Author Bio:

Carla Houston is a content Strategist. She graduated from Hamilton College, New York with bachelor’s degree in Creative writing. She lives in New York, with her Mom. She researches and writes custom content. She loves to writes on health, lifestyle, fitness and exercise, food, relationship and parenting.  Carla loves reading, cooking, and travelling.