Sun salutation to burn fat and bring a glow

By Atul Vyas

Sun salutation is one of the best yoga sequences. The other is the moon salutation, as important as the sun salutation. I will first write about the popular traditional form of sun salutation and then will take up the simpler ones, as done in power yoga for quick weight reduction and fitness.

It was the winter of 1982 when I had gone to Dhanuskoti near the famous pilgrimage Rameshwaram in South India from where God Ram is said to have built a bridge over the sea to cross to Sri Lanka and defeat demon king Ravana. It is a sacred place. There was nothing there except a vast beach where three water bodies met: the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea.

There was also a small makeshift temple of Lord Hanuman where we worshiped. It was here that my mother asked me to recite, “Aditya hridaya strotam”, a prayer to Sun god in Sanskrit that God Ram said before leaving for Lanka for victory over the formidable foe Ravana. She asked me to perform two rounds of the traditional sun salutation that she had taught me.

The difference between the now popular sun salutation and the traditional one as taught to me is that the popular one has 12 cycles while the traditional one has 16, which is difficult but effective and powerful. It burns fat quickly and induces extraordinary ‘Tejas ojas’ and power in you.

I got carried away by the perfect settings of the ambiance and overlooked her order of doing just two rounds and went on. Result – I started to sweat profusely. My mother saw me from a distance and rushed towards me with a worried expression on her generally calm face and asked how many rounds I had done? As I replied, she got nervous and asked the driver for a woolen blanket. She then did so many different massages on me; my head, back, chest, liver above eyes, and forehead. She asked me to do cooling exercises and quick rounds of ‘Chandra namaskar’.

In the evening when I felt better, she told me, “You had almost risked your life and health”. She asked, “Now do you understand why saints have kept 12 cycles of Surya-namaskar?” “Yes,” I replied sheepishly.

For doing powerful traditional sun salutation one needs to condition one’s body a lot. Saints can live in the Himalayan snow without any warm clothing because of this asana. So, even when you do a simple sun salutation of 12 cycles, please do not go beyond your capacity and learn other kriyas to cool the body, thus bringing a balance in your body. The first pose of a simple 12 cycle sun salutation is pranam asana (prayer pose, or salutation pose).


  • Stand erect with feet together facing the direction of the sun
  • Bend the hands from the elbows and bring the palms together in front of the chest in namaste
  • Close your eyes with feet and heels together, pray to the Sun God and recite the first mantra OM MITRAYA NAMH
  • Concentrate on your chest chakra inhaling deeply and then exhale, do not hold breath


  • Increase flexibility, Calms the mind, and Improve focus
  • Develops power of concentration
  • Relieves stress.
  • Provides flexibility in the wrists and arm joints
  • Stimulates the anahata chakra.
  • Stimulates and activates ajna chakra.
  • Connects the hemispheres of the brain and optimizes brain functions and coordination

(Atul Vyas calls himself, a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained many top Hollywood n Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many top Yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga Guru of India.)

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