BENEFITS of Surya Namaskar

  • By Viney Kripal
  • September 27, 2022
  • Suryanamaskar helps maintain optimal Vitamin D, strengthens back, improves digestion and flexibility of hip and trunk muscles.

It is in childhood that children develop wrong postures-the habit of lying on the stomach, face cupped in the chin to read, or lying on the back, book held mid-air, halfsitting-half-sliding against the bed rest while studying. Nobody teaches children to sit with their spine erect, an essential posture in yoga.


Science has proved Surya Namaskar to be beneficial.


“It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation,” says Stephanie Watson in a medically reviewed health article on She adds, “With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body.” 


In The International Journal of Health Services and Research, a study by Kapuria Nishi et al. concludes, “Surya Namaskar shows immediate effect on improving flexibility of the hip and trunk muscles.” 


A study published on another website describes the scientific benefits of Surya Namaskar thus: “The practice of Surya Namaskar in the direction of the sunrise helps maintain optimal Vitamin D in the body. The deficiency of Vitamin D causes a disease known as rickets. Also, the solar plexus located behind the navel in the human body is connected to the Sun.”


 Nani Rao of the Yoga Institute Santa Cruz, Mumbai, who has been teaching yoga for the last 50 years, writes online: “Surya Namaskar will surely help strengthen your back, improve your flexibility and improve digestion among other benefits.”


Twenty percent of Indians suffer from back and neck problems today; not a small number! In 2017, in the Asian Spine Journal, S. Ganesan et al. published a cross-sectional study of 1355 young adults, and recommended that identifying the risk factors could prevent “LBP (Low Back Pain) progression to a chronic disease state, thereby improving an individual’s quality of life and increasing productivity.”  


One of the preventive methods is in an early introduction to yoga. Statistics show that over 300 million people perform yoga across the world, with Canada leading and India at sixth position!  In 2014, the UN declared 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.


Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA and many doctors in LA recommend Iyengar’s yoga to relieve pain in patients of rheumatoid arthritis.  


Currently, in the USA, there are hundreds of yoga centres in every state. All health magazines recommend yogasanas for fitness. The West has adapted the names of the asanas to make it easier for their population to remember them. Thus, Balasana is called the child pose, and Gomukhasana is renamed as the cow pose!


If some are uncomfortable with the name Surya Namaskar, they may call it the sun pose but should not make the mistake of throwing out their intake of Vitamin D with half-baked ideas about faith.  Surya Namaskar is a powerful asana of wellness for every child, and the scientific temper means verifying a hypothesis with facts and evidence before dismissing anything.


This article was first published in the Bhavan’s Journal, Septmber 15, 2022 issue. This article is courtesy and copyright Bhavan’s Journal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai-400007. eSamskriti has obtained permission from Bhavan’s Journal to share. Do subscribe to the Bhavan’s Journal – it is very good.


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