The Origin

There are multiple stories regarding the origin of Surya Namaskar, we will go through 2 such stories which are considered most relevant!

Lord Hanuman and The God Surya (Sun)

When Hanuman (know about him) completed his Vedic studies and education under his teacher Surya, according to traditional ways Hanuman asked his teacher about the Guru Dakshina (student’s offering to his teacher at the end of his studies) Surya was already impressed with Hanuman’s intellect and grasping powers, he told Hanuman that it was his own pleasure to watch such a devoted student learn gracefully and quickly. Hanuman, in the end, said that now he can only offer his gratitude and namaskar (sun salutations). Which was later known as Surya Namaskar.

The Raja of Aundh

In the 1920s, the Raja of Aundh introduced a fixed sun salute series into the schools of his tiny kingdom (now part of Maharashtra) and also published a book which Raja himself urged his people to study the book in order to keep their spiritual and health in check.

12 Steps of Surya Namaskar

The following image shows vividly, all the 12 steps of the Surya Namaskar along with the effect of each position on a particular chakra.  Don’t forget the importance of breathing pattern while doing this practice, which is highlighted in this image.

Yoga

Surya Namaskar

Scientific research on Surya Namaskar

For some logical minds, it is necessary to throw some evidence in the name of science to let anything pass through their typical fixed frame of mind!

  • Here are the calories burned in a particular workout for 30mins:

Weightlifting – 199 calories
Basketball – 265 calories
Beach Volleyball – 265 calories
Football – 298 calories                                                    Tennis – 232 calories
Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) – 331 calories
Running (7.5mph) – 414 calories                    Rock Climbing – 364 calories                        Surya Namaskar – 417 calories 

I know you will look up for reference, Here it is!

  • Another research was carried out by Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore, India.

You can have a look at a research paper published by them, Here!

It concludes that;

64 school children randomly divided into two groups (Surya Namaskar & control) assessed using a task requiring attention span showed significant improvements after one month of the practice of Surya Namaskar or regular physical exercise. Earlier studies have attempted to understand the physiological changes following Surya Namaskar. They have shown a positive change in energy cost and cardiorespiratory performance in young adults. It was speculated that Surya Namaskar can be used as an ideal aerobic exercise as it involves both static stretching and slow dynamic component of exercise with optimal stress on the cardio-respiratory system. Similar observations were made by other researchers. They assessed the cardio-respiratory and metabolic responses to practicing four rounds of Surya Namaskar; it was shown that the average intensity during the four rounds was 80% Heart Rate maximum, sufficient to elicit a cardio-respiratory training effect.

Surya Namaskar in young adults, a single report has illustrated its influence on children belonging to 8-14 years of age. The Systolic blood pressure, Peak Expiratory Flow Rate and Forced Vital Capacity increased significantly and Respiratory Rate, Heart Rate, and Diastolic Blood Pressure decreased significantly after the practice of Surya Namaskar.

Conclusion

Irrespective of all it’s historic, scientific or practical suspicion, it is always better to try it and than believe in the reality itself. I hope this article was satisfying and convincing enough to at least make you try this really easy and proven exercise for you better physical and psychological health.

PS: It is also amongst the list of the exercises which you can do even in your so-called busy schedule!


I will bid adieu, until next time. Subscribe to Content City to receive direct notification, whenever we post anything.

By: Shivam Joshi

Contact: shivam@contentcity.net