Surya Namaskar provides all of the key health benefits of yoga in a very succinct package. The obvious advantage of Surya Namaskar is the workout it provides for the muscles, but it also benefits joints, ligaments and the skeletal system by improving posture, flexibility and balance.
In addition to these physical benefits, Surya Namaskar practice stimulates and conditions virtually every system in the body. It is good for the heart and stimulates the cardiovascular system. It oxygenates the blood and helps strengthen the heart. Surya Namaskar is good for the digestive system and the nervous system. It stimulates the lymphatic system and supports respiratory system health, as well.
Practicing Surya Namaskar also benefits the Endocrine system and enables the various endocrinal glands to function properly. These include the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands as well as the adrenal gland, testes and ovaries.
Like most forms of exercise, Surya Namaskar provides mental benefits to regular practitioners. You will feel wonderful after performing the Sun Salutation. It is relaxing and rejuvenating, and tension, stress and anxiety melt away as you perform Surya Namaskar.
Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar Poses:
In addition to the general health benefits associated with performing Surya Namaskar, each of the yoga poses in the series provides specific health benefits:
Pose 1 (and 12): Promotes balance, stimulates the respiratory system, exercises shoulder, back and neck muscles.
Pose 2 (and 11): Promotes balance, promotes digestion, exercises arms and shoulder muscles, tones the spine, promotes flexibility in back and hips.
Pose 3 (and 10): Promotes blood circulation, tones abdominal tracts, stretches back and leg muscles, stimulates spinal nerves, stimulates lymphatic system.
Pose 4 (and 9): Exercises spine, strengthens hand and wrist muscles.
Pose 5 (and 8): Stimulates blood circulation, strengthens the heart, strengthens wrist and arm muscles, relieves neck and shoulder tension.
Pose 6: Strengthens leg and arm muscles, increases flexibility in neck and shoulders, stretches arms, shoulder, neck and back muscles, exercises back muscles, releases tension in neck and shoulder.
Pose 7: Stimulates circulation to abdominal organs, tones digestive tract, stretches upper and lower body, promotes flexibility in the back, stimulates nerves in spine.
Poses 8 through 12 are essentially repetitions of poses 5 through 1, respectively. The health benefits of each are similar to their corresponding poses.
Over time, Surya Namaskar will help you achieve a sense of well-being and purpose.