Sun Yoga | Sun Salutation Benefits

May 27, 2020

Yoga is a practice that anyone can perform in order to improve themselves. One can prospers physically, mentally or even spiritually from the different types of yoga available. One should consider yoga as a part of their life because taking out a few minutes to connect to yourself will surely benefit you. The person who does not participate in such activities is generally not living their life to the fullest. Such individuals occasionally feel like they are stuck at a certain point as they cannot grow any further. By practicing yoga they can overcome such obstacles and always improve themselves.
As the mainstream yoga became known worldwide, numerous types/branches of yoga also came into being. Each style of yoga is different from the other in special way. One can select the type of yoga they want to practice depending on their goal. They can choose from physically exerting exercises to relaxing or meditating practices. But, for individuals that are novice to yoga, it is recommended to start their journey with sun yoga or hatha yoga.

What is hatha yoga or sun yoga?

Hatha is a Sanskrit word made from “ha” and “tha”, where “ha” means “the sun” and “tha” means “the moon”. The meaning of these two words combined is derived from ancient Sanskrit, and it translates to “the balance of masculine and feminine aspects within everyone”. This indicates that sun yoga or hatha yoga is a walkway that promotes one to obtain a perfect balance between their mind and body.
This is a style of yoga from which most of the other styles were generated. In this practice, one learns to control their mind and body which further enables them for spiritual practices. One does this by practicing breathing techniques in combination with various poses (traditionally called Asanas). This is considered a great starting point for novices in yoga as this practice is slower and more relaxed than the other yoga styles.

Benefits of Sun yoga or Hatha yoga Poses 

A study was conducted on numerous people for a time period of two months. These people were differentiated in two groups. One group practiced yoga daily, whereas the other group did no such thing. The recorded results illuminated the following benefits.

  • Decreases stress and relieve anxiety
  • Better decision making
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improves heart health
  • Helps in fighting/overcoming depression
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Improved mobility
  • Promotes better stability/balance
  • Helps in managing asthma symptoms
  • Relieves migraine
  • Increases strength
  • Supports good eating habits
  • Provides mental stability

Asanas for sun yoga / Sun salutation poses

  1. Surya namaskara/Sun salutation: This is the most common posture with which yoga is related to the most. A few of the benefits of this pose/asanas are a relaxed body, calm mind, good digestion, and increased flexibility. To perform Suryanamaskar  properly one needs to follow twelve steps. This pose is the most beneficial if performed in the early hours of the day.

  2. Cobra pose/Bhujangasana: This pose promotes a balanced stretch of the spine and the front line of the body. Performing this pose enables relaxation of the chest, back, and intercostals muscles. To practice this pose, start in a lying position with your face down. Place your hands next to your chest and lift your upper body. Activate your abdominal muscles by trying to stretch upward. To activate your back muscles push your pelvic area into the ground while keeping your legs straight.

  3. Downward facing dog pose/ Adho mukh svanasana: this pose is a part of sun salutation. This asana promotes blood flow in the brain along with the strengthening of shoulder and arms. It also opens up the chest area and relaxes the beck. To perform this, start in a kneeling position on the ground. Place your hand on the floor almost hip span apart, with your knees below your hips and your hand directly below your shoulder. Now, slowly start straitening your knees by lifting your torso. Keep your neck straight. Hold this position and take deep breaths. Keep your gaze towards your knees and your palms firmly places on the mat/floor.

  4. Warrior pose/Virabhadrasana: This pose helps in strengthening the chest, shoulders and legs. It also improves posture by correcting the spine orientation. To perform this asana, begin by going into a lunge position with a strong foot-hold. Then raise both of your arms in such a manner that they are in a straight line parallel to the floor. Stretch your legs back muscles. Hold for 40 seconds the switch sides and repeat.

  5. Half lord of the fishes pose/Ardha matsyendrasana: This pose improves spinal mobility, organ function, and digestion. This pose also promotes stress relief. To perform this pose, begin in a seated position on the floor. Drive your right knee under your left leg. Now, rotate your upper body to the right activating your core. For ease place your hand in a comfortable position on your knees or the floor. Hold this position and take deep breaths. Switch sides and repeat.

The bottom line

There are numerous yoga styles that one can practice. But, for beginners, it is suggested that they start from sun yoga because it allows a slow and a very relaxed pace which will only be constructive for the trainee. Moreover, starting one’s practice from sun yoga may provoke further interest in yoga styles.

The easiest way to learn different yoga styles
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