Is it Ok to practice Sun Salutation in the evening?

sun salutation yoga surya namaskar poseSun Salutation is a dynamic sequence of yoga poses, asanas, in Sanskrit.  

It was not considered part of traditional hatha yoga practice at first, but was later added to the original asana group.  It is very effective in energising and warming the whole body to prepare for other asanas or for the day ahead. 

After a busy day, you look forward to an evening practice of just slowing down, easing your tensions away, and preparing for a good night sleep.  If these are the benefits you look for in your evening practice, is Sun Salutation still good for you then?


A little background information first:  

According to one of the great yoga masters, Swami Satyanada Saraswati (1923 – 2009), the ideal time to practice Sun Salutation, Surya Namaskar, is at sunrise, the most peaceful time of the day (and whenever possible, practice in the open air, facing the rising sun).  The Sanskrit name, Surya refers to the sun and Namaskar means to bow or to show respect.  

However, the yoga master goes on to say that Surya Namaskar may be practiced at any time of the day provided that the stomach is empty, confirming that Sun Salutation can be a versatile practice!

How could you make Sun Salutation more suitable for your evening practice?

The practice of Sun Salutation loosens, stretches, massages, and tones all the joints, muscles and internal organs of the body.   By practicing Sun Salutation in a gentler way, it will relax and recharge the body instead of raising energy.  You can add more restorative simple asanas, such as a lying down spinal twist and a child pose after Sun Salutation.   After practicing all these asanas, also you can practice a gentle Pranayama, such as Nadi Shodana, alternate nostril breathing, a breath control technique that harmonises the nervous system, as well as guided deep relaxation and/or meditation to make the evening session complete and relaxing.  

A well-balanced 15 minute to 30 minute evening practice could help you get a better night sleep, and be more rested for the next day.

* If you have any health concerns, consult with a doctor or other healthcare professionals before commencing any yoga practice.


Are You Jitsu Sho or Kyo Sho?? … and does it matter? – No. 2 of the series

Forme SantŽ

Jitsu Sho or Kyo Sho of the Intestines

It is important to understand the concept of a person’s overall conformation described by Jitsu Sho, Kyo Sho, or Chuyo, taking on board Dr. Tei’s ideas on the merits and demerits of various dieting methods.  A person’s conformation or Sho is also an important part of the essence of Kampo medicine.

First of all, Jitsu Sho means strong, full or excess; Kyo Sho means weak, empty or deficient; and Chuyo is in between the two.  The state of Chuyo is considered ideal in Kampo medicine, a balanced state.

The characteristics of Jitsu Sho?

If you are typical Jitsu sho, you have good physical strength, are highly motivated to take action, and are able to put a strong fight against illness.  You can work through the night without too much impact on you and also be very active on your days off.  For example, if you catch a cold, you may develop a high fever, but recover from it quickly.  However, you may not notice any signs and symptoms of illness or disease developing in you, and then end up with the disease far advanced by the time you see a doctor.  You both work and play hard, which could lead to a ‘short’ life. 

If you are Jitsu sho, you can drink and eat more than others, maybe enjoying a full course French meal including both fish and meat all in one go.

The characteristics of Kyo Sho?

If you are Kyo Sho, you are generally less strong physically and have a less energetic attitude towards action, and tend to tire easily.  If you start having a runny nose, you often run to a doctor without a delay.  There probably is no way you work through the night without the need of a total rest on the following day.  You tend to catch infectious diseases, such as colds and flus more often.  However, because you look after yourself well and avoid taxing your body, you could live a ‘longer’ life.

If you are Kyo Sho, you prefer to drink just a little, and usually at home.  Also, you would find a four course meal too much to enjoy and prefer if possible to eat fish on one day and meat on the next. 

Classifying these conformations is rather intuitive, and never fixed and definite.  The overall conformations can move and change depending on your physical conditions on a particular day or even the time of the day.  You have a tendency to belong to one or the other, and staying in the middle all the time is less likely.  

Here is a quick test to self-diagnose your own conformation.  (click here)

Here is an interesting insight: while you are overall Jitsu Sho, your intestines can be found to be Kyo Sho.  It means that you look strong, work hard, eat a lot and so on.  However at the same time, your intestines are weak with no muscular strength.  This is a big problem in today’s world.  Jitsu Sho or Kyo Sho of the intestines do not match up with your overall conformation.  Kyo Sho of the intestines could have an association with overweight & poor health.  

Here is another quick test to self-diagnose your intestinal conformation.  (click here)

So are you Jitsu Sho, Kyo Sho or Chuyo? ….and how about your intestines?

Reference: Dr. Munetetsu Tei: “Train Your Intestines To Lose Weight And Become Healthy!“. Shufunotomo-sha, 2011.

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