The ancients who studied the practice of Yoga came to believe that the human form is intimately linked with nature, particularly the energy we receive from the sun. Following, that is why they believed that yoga practice should start with a sequence of poses recognizing the sun’s role in sustaining life. Personally, I have found the sun salutation series to be reliably satisfying as it brightens my mood and loosens my body, leaving me with more energy and alertness than before I started.
The Surya Namaskar is so much more than a series of poses done for warm up! It has essential health and mental benefits as well.
Here is a short list why you should consider starting your day with sun salutations:
Sun salutation is most commonly used as a warm-up before moving on to a more demanding yoga asana sequence because this series of postures is effective at loosening all the major muscles. This is very important if you are intending to do more demanding yoga or just regular gym workouts, as it reduces the risks of injuries and shock.
Sun salutations can be performed at a sedate, moderate or fast pace. When they are done in a fast pace (without rest between consecutive poses), the cardiovascular system is forced to work harder. When practiced at a slower pace, the benefit is greater muscle build and control. Either way, breath rate and heartbeat rise and regular practice of sun salutations will improve cardiovascular function over time.
The poses of the sun salutations compress and massage the digestive system. This stimulates better peristalsis function, making it easier for you to absorb what you have taken in and pass the waste. You will suffer fewer digestive system ailments like bloating and constipation.
Better kidney function
The kidneys are vital in filtering and passing out various impurities in the body’s circulation system. Sun salutations help massage the kidneys and improve the flow of blood in and out, in turn improving the filter of toxins and other impurities for a healthier body.
Sun salutations exercise the entire body! All the major muscles are involved. Your muscles will be lifting, stretching, and twisting during the sun salutations elevating your metabolic rate and hence the calories burnt. This is a good low impact way of weight loss.
Calming the Nerves
Sun salutations help reach to the nervous system as you are stretching and twisting such that all major never centers are relieved off tension making you a calmer person.
Sun salutation helps one to cultivate a deeper, more expansive breath cycle, which in turn can focus and calm the mind. Personally, I have found much relief from momentary worries and stress in just 4-5 rounds of the sun salutation series. Starting the day in an energized mood makes you look forward to a bright day and keep moods positive.