5 Health benefits of Saluting the Sun
Saluting the Sun (or Surya Namaskar) is an ancient yoga practice designed to not only awaken the body but to honour the glorious sun that keeps this planet alive. A series of repetitive movements connected to the breath, saluting the sun is a great way to start the day. Here are 5 health benefits of saluting the sun and a free Sun Salutation practice to get you started.
How does Saluting the Sun benefit our health?
1. Sun Salutations awaken
Early in the morning we are at our stiffest, physically speaking. It is important to move and stretch our bodies in the morning to ensure we don’t take this stiffness into our day. Sun Salutations are a balance of strength and flexibility and with a strong connection with the breath, they also build heat in the body which enables us to have a deeper stretch.
2. Sun Salutations
connect us to our
With one movement per breath, this type of practice enables us to get out of our heads and create space. The act of connecting one movement to each inhale and each exhale helps to minimise other thoughts like deadlines, shopping lists, responsibilities which often clutter our minds and bog us down energetically.
3. Saluting the Sun
As each movement is connected to a breath, we are forced to slow down and elongate our breath in order to complete the full movement. In fact, in a sun salutation, the breath is what initiates the movement. As we get warmer, our bodies are able to go deeper in the postures and our breath learns to expand with this deepening. Developing breath capacity makes breathing easier throughout the day and can improve our cardiovascular health.
4. Saluting the sun outdoors
When we expose ourself to the sun for short periods of time throughout the day we are able to absorb a healthy dose of Vitamin D which enables us to absorb calcium and promote bone health amongst other health benefits. Also practicing outside enables us to get breathe in fresh air.
5. Saluting the sun
brings gratitude to
When we salute the sun, we are honouring and respecting this wonderful ball of energy that allows for life on this planet. As Hafiz, a 14th Century poet wrote:
“Even after all this time the sun never says to the Earth ‘you owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights up the whole sky.”
Paying our respects makes us humble and appreciative of what we have in our lives starting from the simplest thing that shows up every single day, the sun. And gratitude has been proven to be a powerful tool for increasing health.