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

Team AckoOct 21, 2022

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

Contents

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Poses and types of Surya Namaskar for weight loss

Following are the poses and types of Surya Namaskar for weight loss.

  • Hatha Surya Namaskar

Here are the poses as per Hatha Surya Namaskar. 

  1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): Place your feet on the mat's front side. With your hands by your side and shoulders spread, take a straight stance on both legs. As you exhale, lift both hands and place them in the namaskar mudra while taking a deep breath.

  2. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose): Now, while still in the prayer position, raise your hands upward and to the back. You must stretch your entire body in this pose, from your toes to your fingertips. Don't merely bend backwards when stretching; make sure you stretch correctly. And when you stretch, your biceps ought to be near your ears.

  3. Hastapadasana (Hand to foot pose): Now that your arms are lifted, stoop down from the waist and try to touch the ground with both palms. Your back ought to be straight. If you're a beginner, you can crouch down and maintain your palms on the ground by bending your knees. Try to touch your head to your knees while keeping your knees straight. This will require consistent practice. Avoid moving your palms while you are in this position.

  4. Ashwa sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): As you inhale, try to extend your left leg as far as you can. Put both of your palms between your right knee and your left knee. Your left foot should be bent down, and your left knee should be on the ground. Maintain your position while looking up. Now, straighten your foot by using your toes to balance on the ground. Keep your head up.

  5. Dandasana (stick pose): Your upper body should be balanced on both palms while you extend your right leg backwards. Your physique needs to be as rigid as a stick. The mat should be under your toes. Ensure that your arms are parallel to the ground.

  6. Ashtanga Namaskar (salutation using eight body parts): Now, gently place your knees on the ground, slide forward while pushing your hips back, and place your chin and chest on the ground. Your eight bodily parts—palms, feet, knees, chest, and chin—must be in contact with the ground. This is known as the salutation from the eight parts of the body (Ashtanga namaskar).

  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Asana): As you move forward from the previous position, elevate your chest. As you look up toward the ceiling, ensure your hands are bent. Your lower body is on the ground while your upper body is in the air.

  8. Adho Mukha Savana (Downward facing pose): Lift your waist and hips while remaining in cobra pose, keeping your hands and legs on the ground. Your body should take the shape of an "inverted V." As you advance your feet and deepen the stance, keep your hands in the same place.

  9. Ashwa sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): Return to the fourth asana, Equestrian Pose, but this time using your right leg. Bring your left leg forward and in between your palms while in the downward dog position. Your right knee should touch the ground, and your right leg should be straight. Your left leg ought to be parallel to the ground. Your palms should be flat on the ground, and your hand should be straight. The right toe is then curled under as you gaze up.

  10. Hastapadasana (Hand to foot pose): Try to contact the floor with both palms while in a downward dog pose. Your back ought to be straight. If you're a beginner, you can crouch down and keep your palms on the ground by bending your knees. Try to touch your head to your knees while keeping your knees straight. This will require consistent practice. Try not to move your palms while you are in this position to keep them in one place.

  11. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose): Now stand up straight and extend your entire body, from your toes to the tips of your fingers. Don't merely bend backwards when stretching; make sure you stretch correctly. Your biceps should be close to your ears when you stretch.

  12. Tadasana (Tree Pose): Bring your hands to your sides and relax as you exhale.

  • Sivananda Surya Namaskar

The principles of Swami Sivananda are the foundation of the yoga style known as Sivananda yoga. This form of yoga has Hatha yoga roots and primarily focuses on the practitioner's physical and mental well-being. Yoga breathing exercises, also known as pranayama, are regularly practised in this form of Yoga.

  1. Keep your hands in the pose of prayer in front of your chest while standing upright with your feet together. Ensure that your weight is spread equally, and then exhale.

  2. As you breathe in, extend your arms upward, arch back at the waist, and keep your legs straight. Loosen your neck muscles.

  3. After exhaling, bend forward and, if required, bend your knees. Press your palms down so that they are in line with your toes.

  4. Bringing the left (or right) leg back, lower the knee to the ground while inhaling. Lift your chin, look up, and arch your back.

  5. Holding your breath, bring the opposite leg back, and balance yourself on your hands and toes.

  6. While keeping your hips up and your toes curled under, bring your knees, chest, and forehead down as you exhale.

  7. After taking a breath, lean back, point your toes, and drop your hips. Keep your legs straight and be in a relaxed posture. Look up.

  8. After exhaling, turn into an inverted "V" position while curling your toes under and raising your hips. Try to lower your head, heels, and shoulders while maintaining good posture.

  9. Step forward while inhaling and put your left (or right) foot in front of your hands. While exhaling, pull the opposite leg forward and bend while maintaining your hands facing ahead as in position 3. While inhaling, stretch your arms forward, up, and above your head while slowly bending back from the waist as in position 1.

  10. After exhaling, gently reposition yourself upright and place your arms by your sides.

  • Ashtanga Surya Namaskar

There are two types of sun salutations in the Ashtanga Surya Namaskar series: Type A and Type B. Nine vinyasas make up Type A, whereas seventeen vinyasas make up Type B.

1) Ashtanga Surya Namaskar Type A

  • The standard opening position is to stand with your hands folded in the prayer position. You hold it directly in front of your chest. Then move to the mountain posture, where your hands are raised over your head.

  • The next pose is a gentle forward fold, followed by a half forward fold, a four-legged staff pose, or Chaturanga Dandasana. 

  • Next comes the upward-facing dog, also known as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. 

  • Then perform the downward-facing dog pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana. 

  • Repeat the half forward fold, forward fold, mountain stance, and back to the prayer position once you're through to complete the practice.

2) Ashtanga Surya Namaskar Type B

  • When performing Namaskar part B, you start in the prayer position before gently assuming the Utkatasana or uncomfortable chair pose. 

  • Repeat the Surya Namaskar A, which is to be performed from the forward fold to the position of the downward-facing dog. 

  • You should then strike The Warrior Pose I. The staff pose is repeated, followed by a dog pose with its head turned upward and downward. 

  • Repeat the Virabhadrasana at this point, and then you must execute a series of staff postures, a downward dog pose, a half-fold forward pose, a complete fold forward pose, an awkward chair pose, and a standing position to finish.

Advantages of Surya Namaskar 

Here are some advantages of Surya Namaskar. 

  • If Surya Namaskar is performed at a faster pace, it aids in weight loss.

  • You benefit from having radiant skin.

  • Surya Namaskar aids in reducing stiffness by strengthening the muscles and joints.

  • Additionally, it makes the digestive system function better.

  • Strengthens the body's core.

  • Surya Namaskar for weight loss has additional benefits for mental health and detoxification.

Who should not perform Surya Namaskar to lose weight?

Although Surya Namaskar has been known to help people lose weight, not everyone should do it. Here is a list of people that may be advised to avoid Surya Namaskar.

  • Women who are more than three months pregnant.

  • Those who have back problems, high blood pressure, or hernias.

  • People who are medically advised to avoid exercise.

Frequently asked questions

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

How does Surya Namaskar help you lose weight?

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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?

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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?

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

Does Surya Namaskar aid in abdominal fat loss?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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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