The Benefits of Sun Salutations
• Heat is generated in the body, raising the core temperature and causing the blood vessels on the body surface to dilate.
• Blood vessel dilation combines with sweating to dissipate the heat and regulate the core temperature of the body. Sweating also releases toxins from the body.
• The increased heat raises blood flow to the muscles and makes the tendons and ligaments more pliable.
• Synovial fluid circulates in the joints, carrying nutrients to the articular cartilage and removing debris from the joint space.
• The Sun Salutations alternately contract & relax groups of muscles. This creates a “pumping” action in the veins & improves return of blood to the heart. The chambers of the heart fill to an optimal level and cardiac output increases. More blood circulates to the vital organs, including the liver and kidneys. Sweating increases as well, aiding to detoxify the blood.
Sun Salutations help set muscle lengths in the brain. The brain creates “set lengths” for muscles based on regular activity. Sitting in a chair or riding a bicycle on a regular basis signals the brain to set the length of the muscles about the hips for flexion.
• Consistent yoga practice lengthens the muscles, improving range motion throughout the body. This creates new “set lengths” in the brain. Muscles tend to shorten when we sleep, accounting for “stiffness” in the morning.
• The Sun Salutations are a variation of ballistic stretching. Use this type of stretch to take the muscle back out to the length that was set in the brain during your previous practice.