You can do Surya Namaskar to lose weight without changing your diet, according to research from M.R. Medical College in India published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine.
Simply by completing 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar per day, six days per week, 49 men and 30 women lost weight without changing their diet. Surya Namaskar is suitable for yoga beginners, but some people should avoid this series or consult their medical professional first. Contraindications for Surya Namaskar include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, slipped disk and coronary artery disease.
How to Do Surya Namaskar to Lose Weight
Step 1. Learn the steps of Surya Namaskar – this should take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Read the steps and practice each step.
Step 2. Doing Surya Namaskar at the same time every day will help you adhere to your new yoga for weight loss routine. How much time do you need to practice Surya Namaskar? Since one round of Surya Namaskar takes about 3.5 to 4 minutes, you need to set aside 40-minutes, six days per week. Now that you have a Surya Namskar schedule, the only trick is to stick to it. To maintain your motivation, try practicing Surya Namaskar while listening to music.
Step 3. Surya Namaskar is performed at a slow and steady pace in synchronicity with your breath. If you’re a yoga beginner, it takes about 15 days of practicing Surya Namaskar to build enough strength to complete 12 rounds per session. To work your way up to 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar, follow the steps below. These steps, published in a 2011 issue of the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, are the same steps the researchers used to train the participants in the Surya Namaskar to lose weight study.
Strength Building Program for 12 Rounds of Surya Namaskara
- Day 1 and 2 complete 4 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 3 and 4 complete 5 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 5 complete 6 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 6 complete 7 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 7 take a day off and feel proud you stuck with the program for one week
- Day 8 complete 8 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 9 complete 8 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 10 complete 9 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 11 complete 10 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 12 take a rest and feel proud of yourself that you are almost done building your strength
- Day 13 complete 10 rounds of Surya Namaska
- Day 14 complete 11 rounds of Surya Namaskar
- Day 15 complete 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar
Step 4. Once you’ve built-up your strength, do 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar to lose weight, six days per week for 24 weeks.
Step 5. Always follow your Surya Namaskar practice with 3 to 5 minutes of the relaxation pose Shavasana, also known as the corpse pose.
Surya Namaskar Weight Loss Results
After six months of doing Surya Namaskar to lose weight, without changing their diet, the participants in this study lost weight. The women lost an average of 3.5 pounds and the men lost an average of 4 pounds. Remember the weight loss is an average, which means some participants lost more and others lost less.
Now, I would agree this is not a significant amount of weight loss for most people. However, the participants in this study did not have much weight to lose because they were not overweight. In fact, before the study, the women weighed on average 118.6 pounds and the men weighed on average 136.5 pounds. Heavier people burn more calories than lighter people doing the same exercise, so if you weigh more than the participants, your results may vary. To achieve the most weight loss with Surya Namaskar, reduce the amount of calories you eat by making healthier food choices.