How Many Calories Does Surya Namaskar Help To Burn? July 2, 2015

Do you want to lose weight, but not in the usual way of lifting weights or sweating at the gym? And do you want to make your body flexible in the process? Then the ancient yogic practice of Surya Namaskar is the one for you!

Surya Namaskar has been recognized as one of the most wonderful and simple techniques of losing weight. It is ancient, powerful and something that has been practised for over many centuries. It makes the body flexible, fit and strong. Most experts have claimed that Surya Namaskar also boosts metabolism and helps in building lean muscles. Hardly would you find a workout these days that delivers such amazing results in a short span of time!

So without making any further delay, let’s get on with the ways in which you can shed the weight using this amazing and ancient yoga technique!

What Is Surya Namaskar All About?

Surya Namaskar is also known as Sun Salutation in English. It is a common sequence of 12 body postures. Each of these asanas is performed by stretching first, the right side of the body, followed by the left side. This makes one round of Sun Salutation. 12 rounds, that is, a set of 24 asanas ought to be done. These asanas have phenomenal impact on the throat, chest, heart, stomach, intestine and legs. In simpler words, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a complete body workout in itself. The postures in Surya Namaskar range from flexing and bending to stretching the muscles, while continually breathing in and out rhythmically. For this, yoga experts have called Surya Namaskar the base of power yoga. Power yoga simply aims at achieving more health benefits in less time. So, if you are keeping very busy or want to reduce weight in less time, this yoga workout is meant for you.

Like any other asana, Surya Namaskar should be practiced on an empty stomach. It is recommended to keep an interval of minimum two hours between eating and performing the namaskar. The ideal time to practice Surya Namaskar is during the early morning and this should be performed facing the rising sun. Surya Namaskar aims at aligning your mind, body and soul. The 12 asanas are performed rhythmically in a sequence and need to be synchronized with your breathing. And now for the details on the Surya Namaskar calorie burn.

How To Do Surya Namaskar To Lose Weight?

In order to lose some weight with the help of Surya Namaskar, incorporate the following steps into your daily schedule. This should definitely be of some use!

1. Learn all the steps that fall under Surya Namaskar. There are twelve poses in total and you need to perform them with precision. It is important to learn how to do Surya Namaskar the right way if you want to shed weight. It will take you from around 30 minutes to a whole hour to complete all the poses in one go.

2. You need to perform the steps everyday at the same time. This will help you lose weight faster. If you would like to stay motivated throughout the yoga routine, try some soothing and gentle music. Make sure it isn’t something too loud or funky. Classical music would be a great choice in this case.

3. You should perform the steps at a slow and steady pace. If you have just started to learn about yoga, it would take around 15 days to perfect all the poses. This will also allow you to build strength and get slim faster than you think!

4. Once you have built enough strength, increase the number of rounds you do! You could practise Surya Namaskar for about six days a week and do a total of 12 rounds.

5. You should end your practise with 5 minutes of stretching exercises or relaxation poses such as Shavasana.

Calorie Burnt In Surya Namaskar:

Studies have shown that one minute of Sun Salutation helps you burn 3.79 calories. Through research it has been shown that one full round of Surya Namaskar takes approximately 3 minutes and 40 seconds to complete. Therefore the calories burnt in 1 surya namaskar can be up to 13.91 calories. This result can, however, vary from person to person, depending on his respective body weight and other attributes.

It is a known fact that one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. So, if you wish to reduce about a pound every week, you must burn approximately 250-500 calories daily. Using these figures, an average weighing individual should perform

  • 18 minutes of Sun Salutation to burn 250 calories,
  • 25 minutes for 350 calories
  • 40 minutes for 500 calories respectively.

Yoga beginners typically start with four rounds of Surya Namaskar that get you to burn nearly 55 calories. The count should be gradually increased keeping in mind your body capacity. 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar burn nearly 156 calories that is equivalent to doing rigorous exercise in the gym for an hour. Some yoga experts even practice 100 namaskars in each session. However, you should strictly abstain from overdoing the asanas. Your ideal Surya Namaskar count for burning calories should be considered taking into account your heart rate, stamina and strength. Since the postures in Sun Salutation can be improvised depending on the individual body type, it can be started by anyone who wishes to lose calories quickly. Yet, beginners should perform the asanas under supervision from experts to get maximum benefits.

[ Read:1200 Calories Diet Plan ]

Tips To Remember:

There are also a few tips you could remember while practising Surya Namaskar regularly. This will definitely help you shed the weight fast!

1. Try to practise Surya Namaskar in the morning. Your stomach is empty during the early hours of dawn and according to yoga experts; you shouldn’t consume anything for about 4 to 5 hours before Surya Namaskar.

2. Every round of Surya Namaskar will burn a total of 10 calories. In this way, you can easily burn around 145 calories in a forty-minute routine.

3. You should be performing every move in a slow manner. Remember to be graceful. Don’t slow it down too much.

4. Before you start, do a couple of warm up stretches. This will help you ease into the yoga routine and prevent injury.

5. You could chant the Surya Namaskar mantra if listening to music isn’t your thing.

6. If you want quick results, do six sets of Surya Namaskar. This will make your body flexible and build strength. 108 rounds should be more than enough for shedding extra kilos. However, don’t force yourself while practising. Yoga isn’t supposed to make you feel stressed or strained.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is not just practiced to burn calories. It offers a host of other benefits like improving muscle flexibility, strengthening the quadriceps, back and upper body, boosting respiratory capacity, improving cardiovascular functioning and stimulating the digestive system. It also gives relief from mental strain, stress and emotional anxiety. To sum up, Surya Namaskar is the mantra to stay peaceful, healthy and fit.

Yoga has been there since time immemorial, and nothing can be wiser than opting it to reduce weight!

Do you practice Surya Namaskar? Has it helped you in losing weight? Let us know in the comments section!


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  • StyleCraze

    Hi Vin, while performing Surya Namaskar, the breathing exercise known as Pranayam gives more oxygen to your lungs. Pranayama aims at bringing the involuntary functions of the respiratory mechanism within human control. Each breath carries more oxygen to the parts of your body. The vital points of the body known as The Chakras get charged. Precaution to follow here is if your breathing goes fast while practicing Surya Namaskar, either take some rest or stop performing more Surya Namaskar for the day.
    If you would like to know more..please free to drop in your comments here!

  • Sonali

    I’ve been doing since I was 12 yrs. It’s almost more than a decade now.
    I’ve always been on leaner side.
    It helps in gaining weight if one eats fruits after SN workout.

  • varun kumar

    Hey Without knowing too much background on your current weight your lifestyle / any ailments it would be difficult to recommend anything. However I can offer my experience.. I used to weigh 91 kgs and over a period of 6 months i lost nearly 18 kgs by doing the following-
    1. SuryaNamaskar – at least 10 everyday for at least 5 days a week – once you are fit enough to do that increase the number by 2/ 3 every 2 weeks..
    2. Eat before 8 PM ( if you are sleeping at 10/11)
    3. Have lots of water ( at least 10 glasses – glass size 300 ml) force yourself if not possible rightnow
    4. Cut down drastically on breads/ biscuits/ rusks (toasts)
    5. eat a lot of vegetables – cut back on potatoes
    6. have butter milk instead of milk
    7. use bran oil/ olive oil for cooking

    if you are doing all this and binging sometimes its ok.. i continue to enjoy beer, pizzas , pastas, steaks, ice creams, chocolates etc etc because i Love food :-)

    • StyleCraze

      Thank you so much Varun !! for sharing your experience and valuable tips with us. Indeed it is important to binge once in a while but apart from that regular exercise and healthy choice of food will help a lot in losing and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • StyleCraze

    Glad that you found the article to be useful :-) ! and indeed the regular practice of Surya Namaskar is beneficial as it improves circulation of blood throughout the body, maintains health, and helps one remain disease-free. There are numerous benefits of Surya Namaskar for the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, legs. It is an excellent cardiovascular workout and a good way to lose weight.

  • StyleCraze

    Thanks JSA, for sharing your experience with us. I am sure your experience will motivate and help others too !!

  • StyleCraze

    Hi Rahul, it would be wise to take rest for a while instead of continuing with the asanas. Once your pain subsides completely then practice surya namaskar slowly, with caution. If your pain develops again then consult a doctor.

  • StyleCraze

    Thanks Rashmi, for sharing your experience with us :-) Glad to you know the positive effects of doing Suryanamaskara.

  • StyleCraze

    Hi Shobha, yes…you can practice Sun Salutation at sunrise and sunset. When the moon is visible, you can practice Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar) which has one additional yoga posture in the Sun Salutation sequence.

  • StyleCraze

    Hi Shef, it is always beneficial to coordinate breathing with yoga asanas. Always, breathe in whenever there is a feeling of expansion in the chest area. For example, when you stretch your arms up or bend backwards. Breathe out when you feel a contraction or a squeeze in your abdomen. For example, when you bend forward and downwards or twist your spine. Breathe out when you come out of a pose and return to normal position. The advantage of coordinating your breath with the body postures is when sometimes the mind may wander off on its own trip as you exercise. The body keeps moving but the mind is elsewhere. On such moments, gently bringing your awareness to the breath brings back the mind to the present moment so that you are aware of the stretch where it happens and gives your 100 percent to the asana practice.

  • StyleCraze

    Hi Pratik, yes it is absolutely fine to do so, as long as it does not completely exhaust you or affect your breathing in an adverse way. If you find it difficult to maintain that number then you can slow down.