12-Minute Body Toning Workout


The Sun Salutation is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Sun Salutation is considered a complete body workout. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. Inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract. The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility. Yoga experts say that doing 12 sets of Surya Namaskar translates into doing 288 powerful yoga poses in a span of 12 to 15 minutes. However, the flow presented below covers the core steps used in most styles.

Why is Surya Namaskar for ‘super busy’ people?

Facing a time crunch? Want to feel fit but don’t know how? Welcome to the world of Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar comprises a sequence of 12 yoga postures. The best part about Sun Salutation is that it works well for those ‘super busy’ people who often complain about not being able to do yoga because of a time crunch. Doing at least 12 sets of Sun Salutation, preferably at sunrise, at a fast pace provides a good cardiovascular workout. If done at a slower pace, these postures help tone the muscles and can be relaxing and meditative. You can then do a few rounds of Sun Salutation to help increase body flexibility and also prepare the body to stretch more during the intense yoga posture sequence.
Moreover, it allows you to enjoy the stretch and makes the body more flexible.

7 Benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  • Tones muscles and improves flexibility
  • Great cardio training and hormonal balance
  • Improves digestion and promotes weight loss
  • Increases energy and awareness levels
  • Enables Better Absorption of Nutrients
  • Reduces moods swings and brings more emotional stability
  • Improves Your Skin’s Glow

How Many Calories Are You Burning In Your 30 Minute Workout?

  • Weight lifting = 199 calories
  • Tennis = 232 calories
  • Basketball = 265 calories
  • Beach volleyball = 265 calories
  • Football = 298 calories
  • Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) = 331 calories
  • Rock climbing = 364 calories
  • Running (7.5mph) = 414 calories
  • Surya Namaskar = 417 calories

Guide to Sun Salutations:

Step #1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet. Expand your chest and relax your shoulders. As you breathe in, lift both your arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in a prayer position.

Step #2: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears. In this pose, the effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers. You may push the pelvis forward a little bit. Ensure you’re reaching up with the fingers rather than trying to bend backward.

Step #3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, beside the feet. You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Now make a gentle effort to straighten the knees. It’s a good idea to keep the hands fixed in this position and not move them until you finish the sequence.

Step #4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and lookup. Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.

Step #5: Dandasana (Stick pose)

As you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line.  Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.

Step #6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points)

Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest, and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor).

Step #7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture. You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up. As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle effort to push the navel down. Tuck the toes under. Ensure you’re stretching just as much as you can; do not force your body.

Step #8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Breathing out, lift the hips, and the tail bone up, chest downwards in an ‘inverted V’ (/) posture. If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.

Step #9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down, and lookup. Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor. In this position, make a gentle effort to push the hips down towards the floor, to deepen the stretch.

Step #10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary. Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees. Keep breathing.

Step #11: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backward a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward. Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretch backward.

Step #12: Tadasana

As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position, observe the sensations in your body.
Recommendation: You can slowly increase the number of rounds of Surya namaskar to 108. By the time you reach this number, you will become more toned and fitter.

Please leave a comment if you are “Super Busy”, and on how you like the series 12-Minute Body Toning Workout – Surya Namaskar.

Wrote – Biljana Nikolic Yoga Therapy Teacher 500 RYT

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Text translation Ana Manasijević Kosher

DISCLAIMER Before beginning any new exercise program or recipe this yoga-blog contains information that is intended to help the readers be better-informed consumers of health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs.



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