Ananya Panday’s fitness trainer is ‘so, so proud’; find out why

It needs no retelling that many Bollywood celebrities swear by yoga when it comes to their holistic well-being. Ananya Panday does, too, and she recently set massive fitness goals as she shared a selfie after doing 108 Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations. Taking to Instagram, the Liger actor shared the picture — in which she flaunted her toned midriff — that she captioned: “Post 108 Surya namaskars.”

If you are also motivated to kickstart your fitness journey but don’t know what to start with, Surya Namaskar is what you should give a try. To help you, below is a guide to performing Surya Namaskar correctly, along with its many benefits.

Ananya Panday is inclined towards yoga. (Photo: Ananya Panday/ Instagram)

The Surya Namaskar is known to be a complete workout, “as it exercises/stretches us from the top of our head, even our eyes, all the way down to the toes!” Nikhil Kapur, co-founder and director, Atmantan Wellness Center told indianexpress.com. The expert suggested breathing easy and aligning your mind to the practice. “Since this asana is repeated in sets of 4, 6, or 12s, one must learn from a guru/certified coach as even the smallest misalignment can lead to injury. If you are pregnant or have any back pain/injury, it is best you consult a doctor before doing this,” warned Nikhil.

Suryanamaskar is a type of exercise that combines asanas with bandhas in a sequential way. As movements become comfortable, one should try to focus on the breathing rhythm ie puraka (inhalation), kumbhaka (retention of breath), and rechaka (exhalation) — which are also referred to as the three phases of yogic respiration. Hence, one of the objectives of this practice is to synchronize the breathwork with the bending and stretching movements. This brings optimum benefits.

According to Yogapedia, the 12 asanas which comprise Surya Namaskar are:

1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose or Low Lunge)
5. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)
6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Limbed Salute)
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose or Low Lunge)
10. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
11. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

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Speaking about the benefits of Surya Namaskar, Nikhil said that this practice conspicuously improves concentration and also enhances personal meditation. “Enhancing meditation implies that the mind reaches an elevated state, where it goes into a state of vastness and silence,” he added.

The top benefits of the Suryanamaskar are:

*Improves metabolism
*Provides you with a full body workout in less time
*Improves musculoskeletal strength – as it involves isometric movements
*Improves digestion as the abdominal organs are stretched out and compressed alternatively
*Improves body alignment and physique parameters

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