Suryanamaskar is a Sanskrit word meaning salutations to the sun. It is a form of Yogic exercise. Every Indian child learns it in school. It consists of 12 postures to be done continuously. You repeat each such set 12 times.
I learnt it in the Yoga class, my father used to take me daily at 5.30 am in the morning. I used to find it a punishment then. But now, I see that it is among the most holistic exercises.
All 3 major requirements of an exercise are covered in Suryanamaskar – flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. You can change the pace of the exercise to suit your style. Do it quickly and it becomes a cardio workout. Do it slowly and it stretches and strengthens your muscles. Its postures combines 12 different yogasanas and hence gives the benefits of all of them.
But the actual benefit is internal. It massages the internal organs and keeps them healthy. It also improves balance in the body – both physical and mental. And it hardly takes any time – 15 minutes is all you need daily.
Doing it in front of the sun is ideal, but only if it isn’t bright. How do you define bright? It should be orange in color. But what if you don’t get up so early? No matter – you don’t really need the sun to do this exercise. But still, this exercise should preferably be done during equilibrium times i.e. either morning or evening.