Date of Award


Degree Type



Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

First Advisor

Little, Kathleen

Subject Headings

Yoga -- Health aspects, Exercise -- Health aspects, Physical fitness, Yoga, Sun salutation, Surya Namaskara, Flexibility, Upper body strength, Hamstring flexibility, Perceived well-being


Surya Namaskara (SN) is a yoga practice(routine) that consists of a series of 12 physical postures made up of a variety of forward and backward bends. The series of movements stretch the spinal column and massage, tone and stimulate vital organs through alternately flexing the body forwards and backwards. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a twice daily SN yoga practice on resting heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), flexibility, upper body muscle endurance, and perceived well-being in low to moderately active adult males and females. Methods: Participants (24 females, 6 males mean age 34 years) were randomly assigned to a yoga or control group using the fishbowl technique of random assignment with replacement. After a 3 hour introduction to proper SN techniques, the subjects were directed to perform two SN routines daily for 10 minutes each followed by a 5 minute relaxation period, 5 times per week for a period of 6 weeks. Pre and post measurements were conducted for HR, BP, hamstring flexibility, upper body muscle endurance, and perceived well-being. Inferential statistics with repeated measures (2-way ANOVA) was used to analyze the data. Results: A significant increase was found in flexibility with an improvement of 2.9 inches (p=.000) and 4.4 push-ups (p=.003) after yoga the training program, with little or no change in the control group. Conclusion: It can be concluded that SN is effective in increasing hamstring flexibility and improving upper body muscle endurance