Start Your Day with Sun Salutations

A Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar, is a flowing series of poses that can have tremendous health benefits on both the physical and mental levels.  While you will find sun salutations in most Power, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa yoga classes, they can also be done as a stand-alone practice, or as part of your overall fitness regime. They are a great way to stretch out and get your blood flowing before you start the rest of your day.

The benefits of sun salutations are numerous, including the following five below. Links to research studies  are provided with each benefit. Sun salutations have been proven to:

  1. Increase muscle strength and endurance.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289222/
  2. Reduce stress and its negative impact on health.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-mindbody-healthcare-use-idUSKCN0S82SJ20151015
  3. Improve cardiovascular health.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/yoga-benefit-heart-health-aerobics-study-article-1.2057481
  4. Reduce inflammation.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140207-yoga-cancer-inflammation-stress/
  5. Improve cognitive performance.
  6. http://www.academia.edu/3145421/The_Acute_Effects_of_Yoga_on_Executive_Function

To get started, you will need a s a sticky mat, and perhaps a chair for balance. If you are practicing from home, and are new to Sun Salutations, select beginner Power Yoga practices that are shorter in length and include lots of explanation for proper form.