Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is one of the ancient techniques practiced by Indians in order to keep the body fit and healthy.
It improves the body’s flexibility and also helps to lose weight naturally. But, how many calories does surya namaskar help to burn? Well, this is one interesting question asked by many and in this article, let us also find out the scientific details regarding the sun salutation and its benefits on our overall health.
What is Surya Namaskar?
Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 body postures, performed by stretching the right and left side of the body in an order.
A single round consists of 12 x 2 = 24 asanas that target all your muscles and have phenomenal impact on your heart, chest, throat, stomach, intestine and legs.
During this complete body workout, you should continually breathe in and out rhythmically to get full benefits of this technique.
How Many Calories Does Surya Namaskar Burn?
Research studies have found that 1 minute of surya namaskar helps you burn 3.79 calories. A complete round of sun salutation takes ~ 3 minutes 40 seconds. So, a single round helps your burn 3.79 x 3.4 minutes = 13.91 calories.
This calorie burn increases depending on the individuals current bodyweight. The more you weigh, the more you burn.
And, if you’re trying to lose weight, you should also know how many calories you’ll need per day so that you can deficit those extra calories either from your diet or through exercise/yoga and could lose weight naturally.
As a rule of thumb, here are some basics for your understanding.
1 lb of fat = 3500 calories and 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) = 7700 calories.
So, to lose 5 Kgs of your weight, you’ll need to burn 5 x 7700 = 38500 calories. Since it is not possible to burn that huge number of calories in a single day or week, it is highly advised to follow both low carb diet and exercise to get fast results.
Just divide the total calories you’ll need to burn by the number of days you have.
Ex: 38500 calories / 60 days = ~650 calories per day.
Now, based on the above calculation, a person have to reduce those 650 calories every day in order to lose 5 kgs of weight in 60 days.
Hope, you got the point. Now. let us see how many sun salutations you need to practice in order to burn those calories.
- To burn 250 calories, you’ll need to do surya namaskar for 18 minutes
- 25 minutes to burn 350 calories
- 40 minutes to burn 500 calories
- And so on….
And, since you now have a basic understanding of how many calories does the sun salutation help you burn per hour, let us learn how to properly practice surya namaskar for weight loss.
How to Do Surya Namaskar Perfectly to Lose Weight? (with Pictures)
Here is a step-by-step approach to do sun salutation. Practicing it daily will help improve your metabolism, flexibility and muscle strength.
1.Prayer Pose (Pranamasana)
Stand at the start of your mat with your feet together. Slowly breathe in/out and bring both your palms together (namaskar).
2.Raised Arms Pose (Hastauttanasana)
Breathe in and lift your arms up and back, by slightly bending your backwards.
3.Hand to Foot Pose (Pada Hastasana)
Breathe out and bend forward from your waist and try to touch the floor with your palms while keeping your spine straight.
4.Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
Breathe in and push your left leg away to the back and your right leg bent while keeping your palms on the mat.
5.Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)
Breathe out and take your right leg back to the end of the mat along with your left leg and bend towards your waist in a downward dog position.
6.Salute with 8 Parts (Sashtanga Namaskara)
Breathe in and get down with all your 8 parts touching the mat. Breath out and slightly raise your chest and from the ground with the support of your palms.
7.Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Breathe out, slide forward on to the ground and raise your midsection up into the cobra pose, while keeping your elbows bent.
8.Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)
Breathe in and out. Lift your hips and tail bone up, while putting your chest downwards like an inverted ‘V’ pose.
9.Eqestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
Breathe in and push your right leg away to the back and your left leg bent while keeping your palms on the mat.
10.Hand to Foot Pose (Pada Hastasana)
Breathe out and bring your right foot forward, while keeping your palms on the ground.
11.Raised Arms Pose (Hastauttanasana)
Breathe in and roll your spine up, while bending backwards and your hands up in the air towards the back.
12.Standing Mountain Pose (Pranamasana)
Breathe out and straighten your body and then bring your arms down.
That’s the end of the first round of surya namaskar. You can do as many repetitions as you can do. But, in the beginning or as a beginner, you should aim not to do more than 4 to 5 rounds per day. And, as you progress, that count can be increased depending on your stamina and flexibility.
Images courtesy: Yoga Niketan, Getty Images