Surya Namaskara, like most yogasanas must be performed only on an empty stomach. Therefore there must be a gap of at least two hours after eating and before performing the namaskara.
The physical base of the practice links together twelve asanas in a dynamically performed series. These asanas are ordered so that they alternately stretch the spine backwards and forwards. When performed in the usual way, each asana is moved into with alternate inhalation and exhalation (except for the sixth asana where the breath is held in external suspension). A full round of Surya namaskara is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses with a change in the second set to moving the opposite leg first through the series.
It is a full body and mind workout. It improves posture, flexibility, also balance and stabilise the mind. Enhances concentration and intuition. Burns excess calories and tones the body. Regulates endocrinal system leading to better metabolism and absorption of nutrition. Helps look young through better cell rejuvenation. Excellent alternative to caffeine and other stimulants. Calms the mind and helps get better sleep. Enhances concentration and intuition.
Ideally 12 Surya Namaskaras are performed at one practice. If starting this practice for the first time, it is generally started with fewer (3 to 6) Namaskaras per day, and then gradually increased to 12 Namaskaras per session by the time a week is over.