Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a full-body activity with 12 yoga steps intertwined with rhythmic breathing and mantras for gaining real vitality. It is a dedicated technique to lay respect to the Sun and draw positive energy from the Earth’s ultimate source of life. It is usually practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach. It improves the immune system, is a strong cardiovascular exercise, stimulates the nervous system, gives strength, and keeps the body fit.
12 Surya Namaskar Steps
1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Spread the yoga mat and stand at its edge. Keep your feet together and your arms on either side. Take a deep breath and bring your shoulders to a relaxed position while expanding your chest. While inhaling, stretch your arms from the sides and, when exhaling, the Namaskar Mudra in front of your chest. Keep your focus around the chest.
2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)
In this yoga pose, you have to raise your hands and stretch the arms over the head while inhaling. Look up, bend your body backward and push the pelvis forward to form a curve. The arms should be shoulder-width apart, and the biceps should be touching the ears.
3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
Exhale and bend downwards from the waist but keep your spine erect. The palms should rest on either side of your feet while touching the floor. Try to keep your head and knees as close as possible and let your chest rest against your thighs.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Here, the yoga-practitioner has to inhale first. They need to push their right leg back so that the foot is as far away as possible. The right knee is rested on the floor, and the head is tilted backward so that the chin looks up easily.
5. Dandasana (Stick pose)
Stretch the left leg backward alongside the right leg and inhale. Curl your toes in and place your arms perpendicular to the body in a straight line. Try to balance your body on your toes and hands.
6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts)
Try to bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Push your hips backward, slide your chest forward, and place your chin and chest on the floor. The two hands, two knees, two feet, chest, and chin should touch the ground, and your hips portion should be a bit high.
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Inhale and lower the hips to return to the normal lying position. Relax the toes and slide the chest forward. Raise your chest up a bit to come into the Cobra pose. Keep your shoulders away from the ears and elbows bent for ease. Look straight up to the sky.
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
Straighten the bent leg from the Bhujangasana pose to start Adho Mukha Svanasana. The right and left foot should be together while you exhale. The buttocks should be raised with your arms resting on the floor. Keep your head between the arms, such as to form a triangle. Let your arms balance your body weight during the exercise.
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
The equestrian pose starts with inhalation and bringing the right foot forward in between the hands. Place the left knee touching the floor. The hips are exerted downwards, and the face is lifted by the yoga-practitioner.
10.Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
Exhale and return to the normal standing position by bringing the left leg forward. Place your arms on the floor and your head in between the elbows. You can bend your knees if required for ease.
11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
Keep your posture straight, and hands raised high. Inhale and bend backward slightly while stretching your hands too. The hips are pushed outward while the face sees the ceiling.
12. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Exhale and straighten your body with your arms down the leg side. Relax your body and soul. Close your eyes and fill in your body with the sensations.
Related: Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Thinking about our mind, body, and soul to keep it in excellent working condition has become a vital necessity for our day-to-day lifestyle. In Indian culture, they have always acknowledged the power of yoga and meditation as a fuel that revitalizes our brain and body tremendously. People across countries are now applauding the positive energy and outlook that our body gets through yoga. When a person first dives into the magical world of yoga, they are introduced to Surya Namaskar as the first baby step of this elaborated domain.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should we hold each pose in Surya Namaskar?
The practitioner should hold a pose as long as they can hold the breath easily.
How many poses are there in Surya Namaskar?
There are 12 poses in Surya Namaskar.
How many types of Surya Namaskar are there?
The three different types of Surya Namaskar based on yogic practices are- Ashtanga Surya Namaskar, Hatha Surya Namaskar, and Iyengar Surya Namaskar practiced by yoga lovers.
What is the best time for Surya Namaskar?
Surya Namaskar should be done on an empty stomach, usually during sunrise in the morning.
How many times should Surya Namaskar be done in a day?
A person should do a minimum of 12 sets for the best results. They can increase the score with time.