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Surya Namaskar for weight loss: Benefits and the right way to do it

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Surya Namaskar is one of the oldest yoga techniques that help with weight loss if performed consistently. It has a series of poses and stretches that can help you achieve muscle definition, core strength, firm footing, and better balance. This technique is also recommended for improving focus. In this article, we have explained the types of Surya Namaskar poses for weight loss and their benefits. Read on to know more




Surya Namaskar for weight loss: tips for beginners

1) Boosts Metabolism: Surya Namaskar involves a series of dynamic poses that engage various muscle groups. This increases your heart rate and boosts metabolism, which helps your body burn calories more efficiently, even after your practice is over.

2) Calorie Burn: A single round of Surya Namaskar can burn a significant number of calories. As you progress and perform more rounds, the cumulative calorie expenditure contributes to weight loss.

3) Strengthens Muscles: Surya Namaskar works on both upper and lower body muscles, promoting muscle tone and increasing overall strength. As muscle mass increases, your body burns more calories at rest.

4) Improves Flexibility: Regular practice enhances flexibility, making it easier to engage in other physical activities. This can lead to more diverse and calorie-burning workouts.

5) Stress Reduction: Surya Namaskar incorporates deep breathing and mindfulness, reducing stress levels. Lower stress can help prevent emotional eating and reduce the storage of fat in the body.

6) Enhances Digestion: The rhythmic movements of Surya Namaskar can aid in improving digestion. Proper digestion is essential for efficient nutrient absorption and overall well-being.

7) Balances Hormones: Yoga, including Surya Namaskar, can help regulate hormones related to appetite and fat storage. This hormonal balance can support weight management efforts.

To use Surya Namaskar effectively for weight loss:

Consistency is Key: Perform Surya Namaskar regularly, ideally in the morning on an empty stomach.

Gradually Increase Intensity: Start with a few rounds and gradually add more as your fitness level improves.

Combine with a Balanced Diet: Surya Namaskar should be complemented with a healthy, well-balanced diet to achieve optimal weight loss results.

Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is essential for metabolic processes, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.

1/7 - one set of surya namaskar burns 14 calories

Surya Namaskar, often referred to as Sun Salutation, is indeed a comprehensive and highly effective workout. This practice comprises a sequence of 12 distinct postures, each performed in a coordinated and rhythmic manner, often in homage to the Sun God. What makes Surya Namaskar particularly valuable is its ability to engage the entire body, effectively toning various muscle groups. The sequence combines forward bends, backward bends, lunges, and plank poses, providing a full-body workout that promotes muscle tone and strength.

One of the remarkable aspects of Surya Namaskar is its efficiency in aiding weight management. It is commonly believed that completing a single round of Surya Namaskar is equivalent to performing an impressive 288 yoga poses. This condensed yet multifaceted practice offers a range of movements and stretches, delivering the benefits of an extensive yoga session in a remarkably short time frame of 12-18 minutes. This feature makes Surya Namaskar a time-efficient choice for those seeking to burn calories and enhance their metabolism, ultimately supporting their weight management goals.

3/7 - Easy to do 

Surya Namaskar, often known as Sun Salutation, is renowned for its simplicity and accessibility. One of its most appealing aspects is its ease of practice. Unlike many fitness routines that require specialized equipment or access to a gym, Surya Namaskar can be performed virtually anywhere, making it incredibly convenient for people of all ages and fitness levels. You don't need to invest in expensive gear or carve out extra time in your day to travel to a fitness facility.

All you truly require for Surya Namaskar is an open space, whether it's in your living room, a park, or your backyard. This adaptability means that you can seamlessly incorporate it into your daily routine, eliminating the need for extensive planning or scheduling.

Practicing Surya Namaskar in an area with good air circulation adds an extra layer of health benefit. Ensuring a passage of fresh and clean air during your practice enhances the overall experience. As you move through the poses and synchronize your breath, inhaling unpolluted air can be invigorating and contribute to the sense of vitality that Surya Namaskar provides. This simple yet effective practice truly exemplifies the beauty of yoga in its accessibility and its potential to improve physical and mental well-being with minimal requirements.

4/7 - Works best in the morning 

This Sun God salutation is thought to be most effective during sun dawn. Offering prayers and salutations to the rising sun is said to bring success in Hinduism. In order to avoid morning stiffness, health professionals have traditionally advised waking up before the sun rises and stretching the body.

5/7 - Full body workout 

The Surya Namaskar is a full-body exercise. From top to bottom, it affects the entire body. When done concurrently, the 12 sets of namaskar work on different body parts, so you may not need to undertake any other type of exercise.

According to the Art of Living website, "it ensures correct functioning of the stomach, colon, and nerve centers while purifying the blood and enhancing blood circulation throughout the body. Daily Sun Salutation practice helps the body's three constitutions—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—become more harmonious.

6/7 - Burn lots of calories

Surya Namaskar, composed of 12 namaskars or poses, offers a remarkable fitness benefit by burning approximately 14 calories in a single set. Its simplicity and efficiency make it an accessible addition to daily life.

 This yoga sequence can be easily incorporated into your routine, adapting to your stamina and schedule. Whether performed in the morning as a sunrise ritual or at any convenient time, its versatility empowers individuals to gradually increase the number of sets to match their fitness goals. Surya Namaskar's calorie-burning potential, combined with its adaptability, offers an effective means to enhance overall fitness and well-being with minimal time investment.

7/7 - Calms mind

Surya Namaskar, a sequence of yoga poses, transcends its physical benefits by profoundly impacting mental well-being. Through synchronized movements, breath control, and mindfulness, it creates a serene union of body and mind. 

This meditative quality calms the mind, alleviating stress and anxiety. Facing the sun during a serene, bright morning adds an uplifting dimension. The sun's warmth and light symbolize hope and positivity, enhancing the practice's impact. 

As a result, surya namaskar helps you feel more positive and less negative. Doing this practice in a peaceful and sunny place can make your mind and body feel better, making you calmer and happier.

A holistic approach to weight loss

1) Holistic Workout for Body, Mind, and Spirit: Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive practice that engages not only the physical body but also the mind and spirit. It serves as an integral component often introduced at the outset of more extended yoga sessions.

2) Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar: Surya Namaskar is renowned for its multitude of health advantages, encompassing weight loss, muscle toning, enhanced flexibility, increased endurance, and heightened mental clarity. These benefits contribute to the holistic well-being of practitioners.

3) Variable Surya Namaskar Requirements: The number of Surya Namaskars needed to achieve weight loss goals varies based on individual factors. These include the practitioner's fitness level, current health condition, body weight, and the level of proficiency in the practice. One size does not fit all in this context.

4) Calorie Burning in Surya Namaskar: The calorie-burning potential of Surya Namaskar is subjective and contingent on individual factors. However, as a general benchmark, it is estimated that performing one round of Surya Namaskar can expend approximately 13-17 calories for an individual weighing around 150 lbs (68 kg).

5) Comprehensive Weight Loss Plan: It is crucial to emphasize that there are no "magic numbers" of Surya Namaskars that guarantee weight loss independently. Effective weight management necessitates a comprehensive strategy that includes not only yoga but also a balanced diet, regular physical exercise, strength training, and the adoption of other healthy lifestyle practices.

6) Gradual Approach for Beginners: For those new to yogic practice, a recommended approach is to begin with 5-10 rounds of Surya Namaskar daily and progressively increase the number of rounds over time. This gradual approach allows beginners to build their proficiency and stamina steadily.

7) Scientific Exploration of Benefits: This article aims to delve into the extensive benefits of Surya Namaskar for both mental and physical well-being, supported by scientific research and empirical evidence.

Yoga, Surya Namaskar and Weight Loss: What Does Science Say?

1) Yoga as a Holistic Lifestyle: Yoga represents a comprehensive way of life encompassing a diverse array of components, including mindfulness, physical postures (asanas), hand gestures (mudras), controlled breathing techniques, and several other elements. It is vital to appreciate that yoga extends far beyond being a mere physical exercise regimen; it embodies a holistic approach to overall well-being.

2) Scientific Validation: Scientific research has unveiled compelling evidence indicating that yoga can exert a favorable influence on the metabolic processes occurring within the human body. This suggests that yoga has the potential to impact how our bodies manage energy and weight.

3) Diverse Yoga Styles: Within the spectrum of yoga practices, certain styles are distinguished by their physical intensity, such as power yoga, vinyasa, and ashtanga. Conversely, restorative yoga adopts a gentler, slower pace, primarily oriented towards healing the body and reducing inflammation. Importantly, even the consistent practice of restorative yoga can yield concrete advantages in terms of weight management.

4) Weight Loss Benefits of Restorative Yoga: An impactful study underscores the efficacy of restorative yoga in facilitating weight loss, particularly among obese women. This includes reductions in abdominal fat, which is a critical indicator of overall health. These findings are particularly promising for individuals facing challenges in engaging with more physically demanding forms of yoga due to their weight levels.

5) Behavioral and Psychological Transformations: Yoga's transformative potential transcends physical changes. Research highlights that a sustained yoga practice can lead to behavioral modifications, weight loss, heightened mindfulness, and stress alleviation. Recent research further underscores the utility of yoga as a component within a comprehensive 6-month weight-loss program for overweight or obese individuals. Intriguingly, this study suggests that the choice between gentler restorative hatha yoga and more vigorous vinyasa yoga did not significantly affect the percentage of weight loss achieved, indicating the adaptability of yoga in weight management strategies.

6) Role of Surya Namaskar: Surya Namaskar, an integral sequence within many yoga traditions, plays a pivotal role in various yoga forms and holds promise as a contributor to weight management. It is noteworthy that a single published study has conducted a specific examination of Surya Namaskar, proposing that its regular practice can effectively maintain or enhance cardiorespiratory fitness and support weight management objectives. This underlines the significance of incorporating Surya Namaskar into a holistic approach to health and fitness.

Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar

1) Enhanced Blood Circulation:

  • Surya Namaskar, with its rhythmic breathing pattern, facilitates improved lung oxygenation.

  • It promotes the healthy circulation of fresh blood throughout the body, aiding in the elimination of carbon dioxide and toxins.

  • This revitalizes both the body and mind, leaving one feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

2) Digestive System Improvement:

  • Surya Namaskar enhances the efficiency of the digestive system by optimizing the functioning of digestive organs.

  • The forward bend posture within Surya Namaskar plays a pivotal role in promoting gut health.

  • Research indicates its particular effectiveness in addressing digestive issues, especially among older individuals.

3) Radiant Skin and Healthy Hair:

  • Engaging in Surya Namaskar stimulates blood circulation, which revitalizes the skin's natural radiance.

  • It assists in preventing the formation of wrinkles and imparts a youthful and vibrant appearance to the skin.

  • Additionally, this practice contributes to the health and luster of hair.

4) Muscle and Joint Strengthening:

  • Surya Namaskar entails stretching and strengthening of muscles, joints, tendons, and the skeletal system.

  • These physical adjustments enhance the flexibility of the spine.

  • Over time, consistent practice promotes overall flexibility and agility, which positively impacts the functioning of vital internal organs.

5) Stress Reduction for Body and Mind:

Correctly executed yoga poses, including those within Surya Namaskar, have a calming and soothing effect on the brain.

  • Specific Surya Namaskar postures, such as downward dog and cobra pose, gently stimulate and strengthen the nervous system.

  • This comprehensive approach helps alleviate anxiety and contributes to overall stress reduction, fostering mental and physical well-being.


1) Consultation with Healthcare Professionals:

  • Always consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in Surya Namaskar, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.

  • A study has shown that improper yoga practice can have adverse effects on various parts of the body.

  • To achieve the desired benefits and ensure safety, it's essential to practice Surya Namaskar correctly under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

  • Individuals with conditions such as obesity, injuries, heart issues, high or low blood pressure, and diabetes should consult both a doctor and a yoga instructor before attempting any yoga postures.

2) Preparatory Steps for Surya Namaskar:

  • Before beginning Surya Namaskar, consider preparatory steps like sitting in Padmasana or Vajrasana.

  • Focus on your breath and incorporate practices like chanting Om or regulating your breathing.

  • Pranayama, a breathing exercise, can be included for 5 to 10 minutes to help center and prepare yourself mentally and physically.

  • After completing Surya Namaskar, transition into Yoga Nidra for relaxation and recovery.

3) Safety Measures for Surya Namaskar:

  • To prevent the risk of injury, perform Surya Namaskar on a clean, non-slip surface, such as a mat, carpet, or rug.

  • Ensure that you practice the sequence at least 2-3 hours after having a meal to avoid discomfort or digestive issues.

  • In addition to your yoga practice, pay attention to your diet.

  • Incorporate salads, fruits, and fiber into your meals to promote a healthy digestive tract.

  • Maintain adequate hydration by consuming at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.

Why is Surya Namaskar good for you?

1. Cardiovascular Health: Sun Salutation is a dynamic sequence of yoga poses that involves rhythmic breathing and movement. This practice can significantly benefit the heart by elevating the heart rate and promoting cardiovascular health. It enhances blood circulation, which, over time, may help lower the risk of heart-related ailments.

2. Liver Detoxification: The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body. Sun Salutation poses involve gentle stretches and twists, which can stimulate and support the liver's detoxification processes. This may aid in maintaining liver health and overall bodily detoxification.

3. Gastrointestinal Health: Sun Salutation includes forward bends and abdominal contractions that can stimulate the digestive organs. Regular practice can contribute to better digestion, improved metabolism, and enhanced functioning of the stomach and intestines. This may alleviate issues like indigestion and constipation.

4. Chest and Respiratory Health: The expansion and contraction of the chest during Sun Salutation stretches the chest muscles and lungs. This can enhance lung capacity and improve respiratory efficiency. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma.

5. Throat Health: Sun Salutation involves postures that engage the neck and throat area. These poses can stimulate the thyroid gland, which plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and energy production. Regular practice may support thyroid health.

6. Leg Strength and Flexibility: The series of standing and balancing poses in Sun Salutation strengthen the leg muscles and improve lower-body flexibility. This can contribute to better stability, balance, and overall leg strength.

7. Blood Purification: The combination of deep breathing and dynamic movements during Sun Salutation can promote blood circulation and oxygenation. This aids in removing toxins from the bloodstream, contributing to improved blood quality and purification.

8. Dosha Balance: In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, it is believed that the body is composed of three constitutions, or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Sun Salutation is thought to help balance these doshas, promoting overall health and harmony within the body.

How many yoga poses do you do in 12 minutes with Surya Namaskar?

1. Composition of Surya Namaskar:

  • Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a dynamic and revered yoga sequence that comprises 12 distinct yoga poses.

  • These 12 poses are performed sequentially in a fluid and synchronized manner, each accompanied by a specific breath.

2. Multiple Rounds in a Set:

  • When practicing Surya Namaskar, it is common to perform multiple rounds in a set.

  • A set of Surya Namaskar typically consists of two rounds: one round to stretch the right side of your body, and the other to stretch the left side. These rounds are often referred to as "A" and "B."

3. Completing 12 Sets of Sun Salutation:

  • When you commit to completing 12 sets of Sun Salutation, you are engaging in a structured and efficient yoga practice.

  • In each set, you perform two rounds (one for each side), which translates to 2 rounds x 12 sets = 24 rounds.

  • Within each round, you execute 12 yoga poses in sequence, totaling 24 rounds x 12 poses = 288 yoga poses.

  • Remarkably, this entire practice can be completed in a relatively short time frame, typically ranging from 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Significance of 12 Sets:

  • The decision to perform 12 sets of Sun Salutation reflects a commitment to a holistic and invigorating yoga practice.

  • This practice provides a comprehensive workout for the entire body, incorporating elements of flexibility, strength, balance, and breath control.

  • The repetition of sets allows practitioners to deepen their engagement with each pose, refine their alignment, and experience the meditative and transformative aspects of the practice.

5. Physical and Mental Benefits:

  • Engaging in 12 sets of Sun Salutation offers numerous physical benefits, such as improved flexibility, increased muscular strength, enhanced cardiovascular health, and improved overall body tone.

  • On a mental level, this practice can promote mindfulness, reduce stress, and enhance concentration and mental clarity.

30-minutes workout calorie meter

  1.   Weight Lifting (199 calories):

  • Weight lifting is a strength training exercise.

  • During a 30-minute session, you can expect to burn around 199 calories.

  • The calorie burn primarily stems from the energy required to lift weights, as well as the muscle recovery process post-workout.

2) Tennis (232 calories):

  • Tennis is a dynamic sport that involves constant movement, running, and hitting the ball.

  • A 30-minute game of tennis can burn approximately 232 calories.

  • The calorie expenditure results from the combination of cardiovascular activity and the quick, agile movements required to play.

3) Basketball (265 calories):

  • Basketball is an intense sport that involves sprinting, jumping, and continuous movement.

  • Playing basketball for 30 minutes can help you burn around 265 calories.

  • The high-intensity nature of the game, along with its physical demands, contributes to significant calorie burn.

4) Beach Volleyball (265 calories):

  • Beach volleyball is played on sand, which adds resistance to movements, making it more physically demanding.

  • A 30-minute beach volleyball game can burn about 265 calories.

  • The sport demands agility, quick movements, and continuous play, all of which contribute to calorie expenditure.

5) Football (298 calories):

  • Football involves a combination of sprinting, passing, tackling, and strategic play.

  • Playing football for 30 minutes can lead to burning approximately 298 calories.

  • The physical demands of the sport, especially during competitive matches, result in a high calorie burn.

6) Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) (331 calories):

  • Bicycling at a moderate pace of 14 to 15.9 mph provides an excellent cardiovascular workout.

  • In 30 minutes of cycling, you can burn about 331 calories.

  • The calorie burn increases with the speed of cycling, making it an efficient exercise for both fitness and calorie expenditure.

7) Rock Climbing (364 calories):

  • Rock climbing is a full-body workout that engages muscles throughout the body.

  • Climbing for 30 minutes can help you burn around 364 calories.

  • Ascending rocks or walls requires strength, endurance, and balance, resulting in substantial calorie burn.

8) Running (7.5 mph) (414 calories):

  • Running at a pace of 7.5 mph is considered a moderate to high-intensity workout.

  • A 30-minute run at this speed can burn approximately 414 calories.

  • Running is known for its efficient calorie-burning properties and cardiovascular benefits.

9) Surya Namaskar (417 calories):

  • Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a yoga practice that combines several poses and stretches.

  • A 30-minute session of Surya Namaskar can burn around 417 calories.

  • This calorie burn results from the combination of yoga poses, continuous movement, and stretching exercises, as well as the energy required to perform them.

Sun Salutation: Gratitude with Yoga

Benefits of Surya Namaskar:

1) Full-Body Workout: Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive exercise routine that engages multiple muscle groups, providing a full-body workout.

2) Gratitude to the Sun: It is not just a physical exercise but also a spiritual practice, allowing practitioners to express gratitude to the Sun, a revered life force in many cultures.

3) Weight Loss: Regular practice of Surya Namaskar can aid in weight loss by increasing metabolic rate and burning calories.

4) Improved Flexibility: The sequence involves various stretches that enhance flexibility, making your body more agile.

5) Enhanced Strength: The different poses in Surya Namaskar help in building muscle strength, particularly in the arms, legs, and core.

6) Better Posture: The practice encourages good posture and body alignment, which can reduce the risk of back and neck pain.

7) Stress Reduction: Surya Namaskar promotes relaxation and reduces stress, making it beneficial for mental health.

Steps to Practice Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss:

1) Prepare Your Space: Lay out a yoga mat in a quiet, clean space to perform your Sun Salutations.

2) Start with Tadasana: Stand at the front of your mat, feet together, and palms pressed together in a prayer position.

3) Inhale and Raise Arms: Inhale deeply, stretch your arms overhead, and arch your back slightly.

4) Exhale and Fold Forward: Exhale as you bend at the waist, keeping your spine straight, and reach your hands towards the floor.

5) Step Back into Plank: Inhale, step or jump back into a plank position, keeping your body in a straight line.

6) Lower into Chaturanga: Exhale as you lower your body down, keeping your elbows close to your ribs.

7) Upward-Facing Dog: Inhale and push up into upward-facing dog, with your chest and thighs off the ground.

8) Downward-Facing Dog: Exhale and lift your hips into downward-facing dog, forming an inverted "V" shape.

9) Step Forward: Inhale, step or jump your feet forward between your hands, keeping your spine straight.

10) Rise Up: Exhale, come back up to a standing forward bend, and then inhale to return to the raised arms position.

11) Complete the Sequence: Exhale, return to Tadasana, and repeat the sequence for the desired number of times (typically 12 rounds for a complete practice).

12) Add Gratitude: Throughout the practice, maintain a sense of gratitude to the Sun for its energy and life-giving force.

13) Relax and Repeat: After completing your desired rounds, relax in Savasana (corpse pose) for a few moments to cool down and rejuvenate.


Surya Namaskar is a holistic practice that not only aids in weight loss but also promotes physical and mental well-being. By following these simple steps and maintaining a sense of gratitude, you can embark on a journey towards a healthier, disease-free body and a calm, relaxed mind.

Frequently asked questions

Following are some questions and answers related to Surya Namaskar for weight loss.

How does Surya Namaskar help you lose weight?


Performing Surya Namaskar on a regular basis can help you lose weight, just as regular exercise can help you lose weight, as Surya Namaskar is also a type of exercise.

Can you lose weight by doing 108 Surya Namaskars?


Surya Namaskar can burn calories with every round. Thus, doing 108 Surya Namaskars can help you lose weight. However, it’s crucial to get the poses right. Thus, start slow, ensure you get the right posture and then go for more repetitions, eventually reaching 108 if that’s your goal.

When is the ideal time to practise Surya Namaskar to lose weight?


For weight loss, include Surya Namaskars in your morning routine with some warm-up stretches.

Does Surya Namaskar aid in abdominal fat loss?


Yes, the Surya Namaskar tones muscles and can reduce abdominal fat and bloating. It can aid in belly fat loss when used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

How many times a day should Surya Namaskar be performed to lose weight?


The answer depends upon your body composition, health status, and fitness goals. Please have a discussion with a certified yoga practitioner about these parameters to know how many times a day you should perform Surya Namaskars to lose weight.

Performing Surya Namaskar burns how many calories?


There’s no standard number, as the answer depends upon factors like number of repetitions, your body weight, and performance intensity.

How efficient is Surya Namaskars in losing weight?


It is difficult to specifically gauge the efficiency of Surya Namaskars in losing weight; however, it can be highly efficient if coupled with other weight-loss practices such as following the right diet, exercising, and sleeping well.

Walking or the Surya Namaskar? Which is ideal for losing weight?


If your primary goal is weight loss, then regular Surya Namaskar is the ideal choice as compared to walking. You can pair it with walking if you want overall fitness.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions based on the content.


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