The Power of Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss

Surya Namaskar is a popular and age-old yoga posture inextricably linked with weight loss. Although weight changes or weight loss are gradual, the efficacy of Surya Namaskar is discernible and has proven, time and again, to be beneficial. According to Femina India, one set of Surya Namaskar burns around 13.90 calories, with 12 sets of Surya Namaskar burning around 416 calories over time.

Varied Postures of Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss & Ways of Doing Them:

  • Hatha Surya Namaskar
  • Sivananda Surya Namaskar
  • Ashtanga Surya Namaskar Type A & B
  • Iyengar Surya Namaskar
Hatha Surya Namaskar – This’s the most ancient form of Sun Salutation, performed slowly over longer durations than other forms of Surya Namaskar, and is the easiest Surya Namaskar pose for first-time yoga practitioners.

Here’s how to do first Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss:

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Step 1: Stand upright on a yoga mat with shoulders straight and hands by side. Step 2: Inhale & lift both hands upwards. Step 3: Exhale and bring hands together in namaskar mudra.

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

Step 1: Inhale, elongating your body. Step 2: Stretch your hands up and bend in a backward position.

Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

Step 1: Exhale and bend down from the waist. Step 2: Keep your back straight. Step 3: Touch the floor with your palms.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Step 1: Inhale, pushing your left leg back to touch the ground with your left knee. Step 2: Focus on pushing the pelvis to the floor whilst keeping the back straight, looking upwards. Step 3: Right leg should be between your palms with feet firmly placed on the floor.

Dandasana (Stick Pose/Plank Pose)

Step 1: Bring the right leg back and place it hip-width apart. Step 2: Keep the arms perpendicular, balancing your body weight along with them. Step 3: Take deep breaths and maintain your hips and chest at a medium level, neither too high nor too low. 

Ashtanga Namaskar (Salutation with Eight Body Parts)

Step 1: Continuing from the plank pose, exhale and bring your knees, chest, and forehead to the floor with your hips pushing upwards. Step 2: Stay in this posture taking deep breaths.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Step 1: Inhale whilst raising your chest in an upward direction and sliding forward. Step 2: Keep your palms firmly pressed on the floor with ribs upwards. Step 3: Look upwards for preventing hurting your lower back. Step 4: Push chest outwards and pelvis towards the floor.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

Kicking off from cobra pose, get into downward-facing dog yoga posture. Step 1: Exhale and lift your hips and waist. Step 2: Keep hands and feet firmly fixed to the floor. Step 3: The body should form a triangle. Step 4: Keep your back straight, bending your knees in case you feel a pull in the hamstring.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Go back to the equestrian pose from the downward-facing dog. Step 1: Inhale and return to equestrian pose using the right leg. Step 2: Bend from the previous pose, bringing legs between palms. Step 3: Keep your right knee on the floor. Step 4: Keep the left leg perpendicular to the floor.

Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

Step 1: Exhale and bring the right leg back to the front. Step 2: Keep both legs straight with your back bent. Step 3: Make your body relax as this aids in maintaining adequate blood flow.

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

After the 10th Surya Namaskar, return to the second pose. Here’s how: Step 1: Inhale and return to step 2. Step 2: Stretch the entire body from the tips of the fingers to the toes. Step 3: Keep biceps near ears with rounded shoulders.

Tadasana (Standing or Palm Tree Pose)

Step 1: Bring your hands down and exhale. Sivananda Surya Namaskar is similar to the lines of Surya Namaskar. Here 12 poses are performed at a medium pace. This yoga pose is apt for beginners/freshers. Ashtanga Surya Namaskar is fast-paced and is divided into 2 stages-Type A & Type B, synchronizing the breathing between poses called Vinyasa. Type A
  1. Samasthiti (Tadasana)
  2. Raised Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)
  3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  4. Half Standing Forward Bend (ArdhaUttanasana)
  5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (ChaturangaDandasana)
  6. Upward Facing Dog (UrdhvaMukhaSvanasana)
  7. Downward Facing Dog (AdhoMukhaSvanasana)
Type B
  1. Samasthiti (Tadasana)
  2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  4. Half Forward Bend (ArdhaUttanasana)
  5. Four Limbed Staff Pose (ChaturangaDandasana)
  6. Upward Facing Dog (UrdhvaMukhaSvanasana)
  7. Downward Facing Dog (AdhoMukhaSvanasana)
  8. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
  9. Mountain Pose (Samasthiti or Tadasana)
Iyengar Surya Namaskar is more fast-paced with swifter transitions. Types of poses are:
  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  2. UrdhvaHastasana (Upward Hand Pose)
  3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  4. ArdhaUttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)
  5. UttithaChaturangaDandasana (High Plank Pose)
  6. ChaturangaDandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
  7. UrdhvaMukhaSvanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  8. AdhoMukhaSvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Benefits of Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss:

  • Aids in weight loss if performed at a rapid pace.
  • Helps you in having glowing, flawless skin.
  • Helps strengthen joints & muscles, and combat stiffness.
  • Improves digestive system functioning.
  • Enhances the sexual stamina and libido, improving blood circulation.
  • Strengthens core & body muscles.

Who Should Avoid practicing Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss?

  • Women with over 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Persons with a hernia, high blood pressure, and back conditions.
  • Menstruating women.
Learn and master Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss at Diya Yoga –Yoga Alliance certified RYS200 school located at the scenic beach of Arambol, North Goa, India. Our best yoga teacher training programs fuse ancient Vedic knowledge with modern asanas taught by highly skilled Indian and International teachers.  We decipher comprehensive theoretical and practical training programs during our 25-day structured course. After completion of our 200-hour teacher training program (YTT course), you’ll emerge as a confident teacher imparting yoga lessons to wannabes. Join us in our to spread the all-around benefits of yoga the world over! 

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