Surya namaskar means salutations to the sun. Surya is sun and Namaskar is salutations. The origin of the Surya Namaskar is found in the Vedas, one of the most ancient scriptures of India. In India, the sun is deeply revered and worshipped as a powerful manifestation of the Divine. Therefore, worshipping the sun translates into surrendering yourself to God.
It is said and believed that a capable and healthy person must practice Surya Namaskar every day and one who practices it every day will never fall ill in life. However, an incapable person with pain in the back or waist is advised not to practice Surya Namaskar, as it involves bending forward.
Surya Namaskar is a complete body workout that involves complete workout of the hands, legs, neck, shoulders, waist, back, spinal cord, abdomen and pelvic region. Basic Surya Namaskar consists of 12 different poses coupled with rhythmic breathing. You finish a complete round when you have performed two consecutive sets. Easy breathing is followed in surya namaskar. You have to exhale when you bend forward and inhale when you bend backwards.
Surya Namaskar is a spiritually uplifting exercise for everyone and is especially beneficial for women during postpartum period. It is a holistic exercise, performed slowly and gracefully. It gives mental and physical health benefits by relaxing your mind and improving your balance and flexibility of your muscles, bones and ligaments of your entire body.
In the video below, I am doing the basic Surya Namaskar. You can incorporate several other asanas/postures in order to enhance the benefits you get out of it.