Surya Namaskar (Salutations to the Sun) is devoted to the worship of the solar deity, the provider of energy and intellect. The complete set of "asanas" combined with proper deep and rhythmic breathing can provide significant physical and mental benefits. When practiced in the morning, Surya Namaskar relieves stiffness, energizes the body and refreshes the mind. It is a form of exercise for all fitness levels. It is a spiritually uplifting exercise and promotes a keen awareness of the interconnection of your body, mind and breath.
Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar Poses
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, and 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, and 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.