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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 410-418

A review of the physiological effects of Suryanamaskar in children

MGM School of Physiotherapy, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to be University), Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bela M Agarwal
MGM School of Physiotherapy, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to be University), Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410209, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_106_22

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Increasing physical inactivity in children necessitates the exploration of physical activities that can confer health benefits. The purpose of this study was to review the literature regarding the physiological benefits of Suryanamaskar, a composite yogasana on physical fitness in children. Primary source articles in English, published between 1980 and 2020, in peer-reviewed journals were included. A literature review was carried out using PubMed, Cochrane-Library, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases. Keywords used were “Suryanamaskar,” “physical fitness,” “sun-salutation,” “physiological effects,” “physical activity,” “health promotion,” “yoga,” and “children.” The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. The effect of Suryanamaskar training on physical fitness components, namely flexibility, muscle strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, and cognition, was reviewed. Seven studies matched the inclusion criteria. All seven studies were randomized controlled trials. The level of evidence was of fair quality with a high risk of bias. Following Suryanamaskar intervention, improvement in musculoskeletal function—muscle strength and endurance, and the flexibility of hip joint, wrist joint, hamstrings, and dorso-lumbar fascia were reported. Improvements in cardiorespiratory variables such as peak expiratory flow rate forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, vital capacity, and reduction in blood pressure and heart rate are reported in children. Improvements in cognition were also observed following Suryanamaskar’s intervention. Suryanamaskar training confers health benefits and improves physical fitness components such as muscle strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance, and cognition. Suryanamaskar can emerge as a useful tool to increase physical fitness, deter physical inactivity, and promote healthy behavior (sanskar) in school-going children. High-quality longitudinal randomized control trials need to be undertaken to confirm the same.

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