What Is Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) Types, Benefits, Poses, and Tips for Every Athlete

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Yoga improves balance, flexibility, and strength, whereas running is more dynamic and focuses on muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Yoga and running are not mutually exclusive; they complement one other. 

Sun salutation is one of the asanas that might assist athletes in improving strength and flexibility. So, if you are an athlete, you should incorporate Surya Namaskar into your daily routine. If you are thinking why and how, read this blog post once. 

It highlights everything about sun salutation, benefits of sun salutation, and the tips to include sun salutation during training.

What Is Sun Salutation?

Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a traditional sequence of yoga postures typically performed in the morning to honour the sun and energize the body and mind. 

Sun Salutation in yoga consists of 12 poses performed in a specific order, with each pose flowing seamlessly into the next.

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Types of Sun Salutation Poses (Surya Namaskar)

The following is the list of different poses of surya namaskar – 

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
  • Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
  • Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
  • Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
  • Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

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Sun Salutation is often performed as a complete practice in and of itself, with multiple rounds of the sequence performed in succession. It is also commonly used as a warm-up before other yoga practices or as a standalone practice to energize the body and focus the mind.

Different poses of surya namaskar mentioned above have different uses and benefits. So, athletes should choose the pose as per their training regime.

Sun Salutation benefits

What Are Benefits of Surya Namaskar for Athletes?

Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar offer numerous benefits for athletes of all levels. Here are some of the benefits of Surya Namaskar:

1. Improved Flexibility

Sun salutations are a great way to improve flexibility throughout the body. The sequence includes forward and backward bends, which help stretch the hamstrings, calves, hips, and spine. This increased flexibility can help athletes perform better, reduce the risk of injury, and speed up recovery.

2. Better Endurance

Sun salutations are also a great way to build Endurance, as the practice requires holding poses for extended periods of time. The continuous movement of the sequence also helps improve cardiovascular health, increasing oxygenation and blood flow throughout the body.

3. Increased Strength

Sun salutations are a full-body workout that requires strength in the arms, shoulders, core, legs, and back. Performing this sequence regularly can help athletes build strength and power, which can be useful for improving performance in their sport.

4. Enhanced Balance and Coordination

The various poses in the Sun Salutation sequence require balance and coordination. It can help improve proprioception and overall body awareness, which can be especially useful for athletes who need to move quickly and efficiently on the field or court.

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5. Reduced Stress

Sun salutations are often performed as part of a mindful yoga practice, which can help athletes reduce stress and improve their mental focus. Athletes can release tension and cultivate a sense of calm and focus by focusing on their breath and moving with intention.

6. Improved Digestion

Performing Surya Namaskar step-by-step can help improve digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs and promoting the flow of digestive juices. It can be especially beneficial for athletes who must maintain a healthy diet and optimal nutrient absorption to support their training.

7. Injury Prevention

It can help athletes reduce the risk of injury during training and competition by improving flexibility, strength, Endurance, balance, and coordination. Additionally, Sun Salutations can help athletes recover faster from injuries and reduce the risk of future injuries.

When practised in the morning as part of a daily routine or incorporated into a pre-game warm-up to prepare the body and mind for competition, sun salutation can be extremely beneficial for athletes.

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Tips for Athletes: How to Include Sun Salutation While Training?

Now that you know the benefits of sun salutation, it is time to implement this practice into your training regime. Wondering how? Here’s how you can do it!

1. Start with a basic Sun Salutation sequence

If you are new to Sun Salutation or yoga in general, it’s best to start with a basic sequence and gradually build up to more advanced variations. A simple Sun Salutation sequence that includes the 12 basic poses outlined in my previous answer can be a great place to start.

2. Incorporate modifications as Required

Depending on your level of fitness and flexibility, you may need to modify certain poses in the Sun Salutation sequence. For example, you may need to perform a modified plank pose or skip the upward-facing dog pose if you cannot perform these poses safely and properly.

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3. Focus on proper alignment

Proper alignment is key to getting the most benefit from Sun Salutation and avoiding injury. Make sure to work with a qualified yoga instructor or use online resources to learn proper alignment for each pose in the sequence.

4. Use Sun Salutation as a warm-up or cool-down

Sun salutations can be a great way to warm up the body before or after a workout. You can perform a few rounds of Sun Salutation to get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles or use it to stretch and release tension after a workout.

5. Customize the sequence to suit your needs

You can customize the sun salutation yoga pose to suit your specific needs and fitness goals. For example, you may want to add poses that target areas of the body that are particularly tight or weak or modify the sequence to include more challenging variations as you progress.

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Summing Up!!!

So, this is everything about the health benefits of Surya Namaskar for athletes and the tips to perform one. Now that you know everything about performing Sun Salutation, let’s begin the process. Make sure to take the assistance of a professional if you are not well versed with the poses of surya namaskar. Incorporating it into your daily regime will help you improve both health and stamina. 

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