Sun Salutation FAQs Answered by Experts

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Sun Salutation FAQ

A lot of questions have been asked about Sun Salutation at the World Yoga Forum (WYF). In this article, we list down all the questions around Sun Salutation and try to bring to you credible information from experts on the subject. There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet around sun salutation especially in the context of 108 sun salutations, calories burnt during sun salutation, how many times it should be done etc. In this FAQ section, we intend to clarify a lot of doubts regarding the subject of sun salutation.

Expert Answers on Sun Salutation

How many sun salutations in a day?

There is no prescribed number of sun salutations that you need to do. However, it is generally recommended that you do sun salutations in a pair (or a set of 2). If you are beginning, it is generally recommended that you do 4-6 sun salutations. As you progress, you can do up to 12 sun salutations. It also depends on your overall yoga sequence. Sun Salutations generally are a part of a longer yoga sequence. Doing 12 sun salutations also in your entire yoga sequence can be very intense since doing sun salutation almost works your entire body. Be careful while doing longer sun salutations as there is risk of injury or having soreness especially if you have not warmed up properly.

How to do Sun Salutation Poses?

Sun Salutation poses are a sequence of 12 poses. They have been detailed out in the all you need to know about Sun Salutation article. Each pose has been described in detail.

What is Sun Salutation Yoga?

Sun Salutation Yoga is a sequence of yoga poses also known as sun salutation. It is an ancient Indian method of offering prayers to the rising Sun in the morning along with a series of physical postures with regulated breathing aiming at range of physical, mental and spiritual benefits. It is intended to revitalize the body, give flexibility, and physical strength. 1.

Does Sun Salutation help loose weight?

Yes. Sun salutation and other yoga poses do help loose weight. This has been studied and documented through many scientific studies 2 3.

How many sun salutations for weight loss?

On an average, the calories burned per minute while you are doing sun salutation can vary from 7 calories/minute to 10 calories/minute. This can again vary for individuals depending on age, physical fitness and multiple other factors. A typical sun salutation 12 step sequence can happen in 30 seconds if done vigorously and can take up to a minute if done slowly. A pair of Sun salutation sequences can on an average help you burn up to 15 calories. Weight loss is based on the principle of calories in and calories out. If you are maintaining a healthy calorie deficit and consuming calories through sun salutation, you can easily loose weight.

How many sun salutations per day?

Generally if you are practicing yoga every day, a long intense yoga routine would involve 90 minutes of yoga every day. In a 90 minute sequence, you can have up to 12 sun salutations. A typical popular sequence such as the Sivananda sequence will get you to do 6 to 12 sun salutations in a day. Anything more is not generally recommended.

Is Sun Salutation enough?

No! Sun salutation alone is not enough when we talk about yoga poses. There are multitude of other intermediate and advanced yoga poses, which a yoga practitioner should do. Their benefits are typically not given by the yoga poses covered in sun salutation. A typical yoga sequence would involve sun salutation and other yoga poses as well. These will range from head stand (Sirsasana), to shoulder stand (sarvangasana), bow pose, relaxation poses, meditation postures, forward bending poses, backward bending poses etc.

Are Sun salutations safe?

Yes, in most cases sun salutations are safe. However if you have a prior medical condition such as knee injury, back paid, should paid, wrist injury etc., it is strongly recommended to first consult a doctor before you begin. If you don’t have any prior medical condition, sun salutations are perfectly safe. Your yoga trainer will guide you on how to do it correctly. You can also follow our manual here.

Can Sun Salutations relieve back pain?

No, Sun Salutation cannot and is not intended to relieve back pain. Be very careful if you have a back pain and consult your doctor before doing sun salutations. It can aggravate your problem.

Does Sun Salutation help with splits?

No, sun salutation in the context of splits may not be very helpful. The yoga poses and the sequence of sun salutation helps in flexibility of the body. However these poses will not necessarily help you do splits.

Can I do 108 sun salutations?

Yes! But be very careful if you intend to do 108 sun salutations. Do NOT directly get in to doing 108 sun salutations as it can cause a lot of soreness in your body. Also, make sure you do it with a trained practitioner and instructor. 108 sun salutations can be very intense and can lead to pain that can last for a long time. There is no bravado in doing 108 sun salutations. It’s better to understand your body and do sun salutations to the extent that your body permits. Remember that yoga poses have been defined as “sthira sukha asanas“, which means steady comfortably poses. The poses should be comfortable and steady for them to make a real impact. One of the biggest mistake done by people is to try too many things too early. While there’s nothing stopping you from doing 108 sun salutations (other than your own body), do listen to your body before stretching it.

Can I do sun salutations in the second week of pregnancy?

It’s not recommended to do sun salutations during pregnancy. You should also consult your doctor before attempting yoga during pregnancy. Sun salutation is slightly vigorous in nature and you would want to double check with a qualified doctor/gynecologist.

Why do we do 108 sun salutations?

108 has a special significance. There are 12 zodiac signs and 9 planets. So if you multiple that, you’ll reach 108. Similarly there are 27 nakshatras with 4 padas. If you multiple these, you’ll reach 108. With 108, you essentially traverse the entire universe. It however has not been defined specifically, but you’ll find 108 being used in multiple things. These include a typical thread, which has 108 beads in it. There are 108 Upanishads in Hinduism.

How many calories does sun salutation burn?

There are many wildly different references to the calories burnt during sun salutation. Doing Sun salutation for a minute can help you burn anywhere between 15-20 calories. These depend on your age, weight, and other physiological markets. They are not generally pre-defined. The best way to measure it yourself for your body is to use a regular fitness band and check the calories burnt per minute while you are practicing sun salutation. They also vary between the intensity of sun salutation. If you are doing it quickly and vigorously the calories consumed per minute will be higher since your pulse will be higher. If you are doing it slowly, your pulse will get lower and the calories consumed per minute will also be on the lower side.

Which is the global sun salutation day?

There is no known or prescribed global sun salutation day to the World Yoga Forum community

What is the best time to do sun salutation?

Sun salutation is best done early morning. The most avid yoga practitioners perform sun salutation right before sun rise. It gives you a great start to the day with the blood flowing throughout the body. Sun salutation has been treated as a moderate cardio exercise when it comes to calories.

What to do before and after sun salutation?

Sun salutations are generally a part of a yoga sequence. In the Sivananda yoga sequence you would have pranayama before sun salutation and after sun salutation, you would have savasana (corpse pose) to relax your body. This is then continued by other yoga poses. If you are just getting started, you can refer to the World Yoga Forum’s beginner sequence.

Why is sun salutation good for you?

Sun salutation has a host of physical and mental health benefits. There are numerous scientific studies that demonstrate a positive cardio vascular impact on the body along with positive impact on the mental health. You can read more about it here.

What are the 12 sun salutation mantras and their meanings?

The 12 sun salutation mantras and their meanings are depicted in the table.

  1. Pranam asana (Prayer Poses)  – Om Mitray namaha 
  2. Hasta utthanasana (Raised arm pose)  – Om Ravaye namaha 
  3. Hasta padasana (Standing forward bend)  – Om Suryay namaha 
  4. Ashwa sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose) – Om Bhanave namaha 
  5. Chaturang dandasan (Low Plank) – Om Khagay namaha
  6. Ashtang namaskar (Salute with 8 points) – Om Pushne namaha 
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)  – Om Hiranyagarbhay namaha 
  8. Parvatasana (The Mountain Pose)  – Om Marichaye namaha
  9.  Ashwa sanchalan asana (Equestrian Pose) – Om Adityay namaha 
  10. Hasta padasana (Standing forward bend) – Om Savitre namaha 
  11. Hasta uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)  – Om Arkay namaha 
  12. Pranamasana (Prayer Poses)  – Om Bhaskaraya namaha

What to eat before 108 sun salutations?

You should be empty stomach before you do 108 sun salutations. It’s preferable if you do it after waking up. However, if you are attempting 108 sun salutations later in the day, it’s important to not have eaten anything for 2 hours before this. You should also be sufficiently hydrated and in an open setting with enough oxygen.

What muscles are used in sun salutation?

The sun salutation sequences uses your shoulders, wrists, abdominal muscles, glutes, quadriceps, calf muscles, and biceps. It generally activates most of your body. A typical sun salutation sequence would generally get you to sweat.

Is Sun Salutation bad or good for pituitary gland

Researchers recommend that Sun salutation benefits the endocrine system and enables endocrinal glands to function properly. These include pituitary glands, thyroid, adrenal gland, testes, and ovaries4 5.

How to teach 108 sun salutations?

Teaching 108 sun salutations is simple. You should first have an open conversation with the student about the intensity required for doing 108 sun salutations. Make sure that your students are prepared, physically fit, and understand how to do sun salutations. After teaching them on the basic sun salutation sequence, gradually keep increasing the levels of sun salutations. While you are doing this make sure to take feedback from the student on how he/she is feeling. Do not attempt to do 108 sun salutations in the initial phases with the student even if the student insists. The gradual attempts should take the student to 12 sun salutations. It should then be gradually increased with enough time given to the student for rest and recovery.

Should you do 108 sun salutations daily?

Teaching 108 sun salutations is simple. You should first have an open conversation with the student about the intensity required for doing 108 sun salutations. Make sure that your students are prepared, physically fit, and understand how to do sun salutations. After teaching them on the basic sun salutation sequence, gradually keep increasing the levels of sun salutations. While you are doing this make sure to take feedback from the student on how he/she is feeling. Do not attempt to do 108 sun salutations in the initial phases with the student even if the student insists. The gradual attempts should take the student to 12 sun salutations. It should then be gradually increased with enough time given to the student for rest and recovery.

How to keep count of 108 sun salutations?

Teaching 108 sun salutations is simple. You should first have an open conversation with the student about the intensity required for doing 108 sun salutations. Make sure that your students are prepared, physically fit, and understand how to do sun salutations. After teaching them on the basic sun salutation sequence, gradually keep increasing the levels of sun salutations. While you are doing this make sure to take feedback from the student on how he/she is feeling. Do not attempt to do 108 sun salutations in the initial phases with the student even if the student insists. The gradual attempts should take the student to 12 sun salutations. It should then be gradually increased with enough time given to the student for rest and recovery.

How many sun salutations per day will tone the body?

There no definitive figure on the number of sun salutations you should do in a given day to tone the body. It’ll depend on a variety of factors including your current age, shape, weight, metabolism, and multitude of other factors such as your muscles. On an average in general, 12 sun salutations for an adult are enough in a day. Even 6 sun salutations if done properly with stability are good enough.

Is it necessary to do sun salutations in the sun?

No! It’s not necessary to do sun solutions facing the sun. It’s however recommended that you should face the east while doing sun salutations.

Can sun salutations be done at home?

Yes! Sun salutations can be done at home. It’s best to do sun salutations early morning at home. If you have sufficient space, you can do it in a separate room inside your house. If you have a lawn, or an open space, it’s ideal to do it there. Make sure to face the east while you are doing it. Doing it on the terrace, if you have access to it is also a very good option.

What is one round of sun salutations?

One round of sun salutation means completing the 12 pose sequence. To know more about the sequence, visit our sun salutation guide here.

Can we do sun salutation at night?

Sun salutation is generally not recommended to be done at night. A detailed answer to this question has been provided here – Can We Do Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) At Night?

Is sun salutation cardio?

Sun salutation is a moderate form of cardio. It however differs from other aerobic exercises in a multitude of ways. The one big difference is that it utilizes almost your entire body. A detailed explanation has been provided here – Is Sun Salutation Cardio?

How to learn more about sun salutations?

Let us know any more questions you have on sun salutation. This is an ongoing thread. We’ll take up those questions and add it to the FAQs here.

  1. https://worldyogaforum.com/sun-salutation/
  2. Sander, S. Yoga for Weight Loss: Get Healthy and Trim With Active, Mindful Postures.
  3. Braun, T. D., Park, C. L., Gorin, A. A., Garivaltis, H., Noggle, J. J., & Conboy, L. A. (2016). Group-based yogic weight loss with Ayurveda-inspired components: a pilot investigation of female yoga practitioners and novices. International journal of yoga therapy26(1), 55-72.
  4. Sachan, A. (2021). Surya Namaskar: Its Techniques and Health Benefits. Indian Journal of Natural Sciences12, 67.
  5. Malik, I. Health Benefits Of Surya Namaskara. Indian Federation of Computer Science in sports www. ijhpecss. org and www. ifcss. in under the auspices of International Association of Computer Science13, 101.

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