Surya Namaskar – All You Need to Know

Surya Namaskar means giving salute to the sun and that’s why it is also known as Sun Salutation too. Surya Namaskar is the yoga practice comprising of around 12 yoga poses which are interlinked to each other.

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Surya Namaskar’s sequence basically includes Standing poses to Downward poses to again Standing pose. There are many variations made for these 12 asanas too.

12 yoga poses of Surya Namaskar

1. Pranayama (Prayer pose)

Pranayama is the 1st and 12th yoga of sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is the praying pose to the sun. Prayer pose has many variations. It is very beneficial for everyone.

It helps us with losing weight, improves blood circulation and digestion, relieves stress and energizes us for the whole day.

Prayer pose step

How to do Prayer Pose?

  1. Stand on a yoga mat and keep your feet together.
  2. Balance your weight on both legs equally.
  3. Now lift your both arms up as you inhale.
  4. Now join your palms together in front of your chest and keep your chest wide.
  5. Inhale and exhale deeply and hold this position for 3-5 minutes.
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2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Hasta Uttanasana is the 2nd and 11thyoga pose which stretches your abdomen and your arms. It is known for many health benefits like stretching and toning muscles of arms, expanding chest, improving digestion, and improving the respiratory system.

How to do Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)?

  1. Stand in Tadasana pose.
  2. Now bring your arms up and then back.
  3. Your biceps should be near your arms.
  4. Hold this position for few seconds then lower your arms to come back to the starting position.
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3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Hasta Padasana is the 3rd& 10thyoga of the sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is also known as standing forward bend pose as you need to bend your body forward in this pose. It is known to have many health benefits like stretching the back muscles of the body, making the spine supple, toning the abdomen, and improving the blood circulation of the body.

Hasta Padasana Steps

How to do Padasana (Hand to foot pose)?

  1. Stand erect; straight. Then bend forward from your hip joint.
  2. Keep your arms downwards and straight.
  3. Try and touch your feet if possible. Your knees should not be bent.
  4. Hold this position for few seconds as long as you’re comfortable.
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4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Also known as Equestrian pose, it is the 4th and 9th yoga pose of the sequence of Sun Salutation. Ashwa Sanchalanasana is a sitting yoga pose and it stretches your thorax. It has many health benefits like stretching of the spine, it opens up groin and hip area, tones liver and abdomen, strengthen chest muscles, and stimulate kidneys.

ashwa-sanchalanasana-steps

How to do Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)?

  1. Stand straight then lower your body(sit).
  2. Bend your left leg while keeping your right leg at back, on the floor.
  3. Keep your head tilted backward, and palms on the floor.
  4. Hold this position for few seconds.

This might too little tough to practice but it will get easier with time.

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana is the 5th and 8th yoga pose of the sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is also known as Downward facing dog pose. It stretches your hands, shoulders, and calves. The health benefits of Downward facing dog pose are it strengthens your whole body, tones your body, helps with weight loss, and improves blood circulation.

How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)?

  1. Lie down facing downwards.
  2. Then raise your lower back (hip joints) while exhaling.
  3. Keep your legs and back straight as such to make an inverted V shape.
  4. Hold this pose for few seconds.
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6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with 8 parts pose)

Ashtanga Namaskara is the 6th yoga pose of Surya Namaskar. It is also known as Ashtanga Dandavata Pranam and Eight limbed pose. It is considered a little difficult to do but with time it gets easier. The health benefits of Ashtanga Namaskara are it strengthens your back, makes your spine flexible and strong, improves sexual energy, and relaxes the lumbar region.

How to doAshtanga Namaskara (Salute with 8 parts pose)?

  1. Lie down in prone position.
  2. Keep your feet, knees, and palms touching the floor.
  3. Your palms should be near your shoulders like shown in the image.
  4. Slowly raise your lower back, hip joints off the floor, and keep your chest and chin on the floor.
  5. Your chest, chest, two knees, two legs(eight parts) should be on the floor.
  6. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds.
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7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Bhujangasana, also known as Cobra pose is the 7th yoga pose of Surya Namaskar. It is a reclining back-bending yoga pose. It stretches your shoulders, thorax, abdomen, and lungs. The Benefits of Bhujangasana are it relieves anxiety and stress, improves digestion, therapeutic for Sciatica, and reduces back pain.

bhujangasana-steps-benefits-precautions

How to do Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)?

  1. Lie down in prone position while keeping your arms beside your shoulders.
  2. Now start raising your upper back slowly until your arms are straight.
  3. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds and then lower your body to come back to the starting position.

Also Read: Yoga for back pain

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana is the 8th and 5thyoga pose of the sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is also known as Downward facing dog pose. It stretches your hands, shoulders, and calves. The health benefits of Downward facing dog pose are it strengthens your whole body, tones your body, helps with weight loss, and improves blood circulation.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Steps

How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)?

  1. Lie down facing downwards.
  2. Then raise your lower back (hip joints) while exhaling.
  3. Keep your legs and back straight as such to make an inverted V shape.
  4. Hold this pose for few seconds.
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9. Ashwa Sanchalasana (Equestrian pose)

Also known as Equestrian pose, it is the 4th and 9th yoga pose of the sequence of Sun Salutation. It is a sitting yoga pose and it stretches your thorax. It has many health benefits like stretching of the spine, it opens up groin and hip area, tones liver and abdomen, strengthen chest muscles, and stimulate kidneys.

ashwa-sanchalanasana-steps

How to do Ashwa Sanchalasana (Equestrian pose)?

  1. Stand straight then lower your body(sit).
  2. Bend your left leg while keeping your right leg at back, on the floor.
  3. Keep your head tilted backward, and palms on the floor.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds.
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10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Hasta Padasana is the 3rd & 10th yoga of sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is also known as Standing forward bend pose as you need to bend your body forward in this pose. It is known to have many health benefits like stretching the back muscles of the body, making the spine supple, toning the abdomen, and improving the blood circulation of the body.

Hasta Padasana Steps

How to doHasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)?

  1. Stand erect; straight. Then bend forward from your hip joint.
  2. Keep your arms downwards and straight.
  3. Try and touch your feet if possible. Your knees should not be bent.
  4. Hold this position for few seconds as long as you’re comfortable.

11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Hasta Uttanasana is the 2nd and 11th yoga pose that stretches your abdomen and your arms. It is known for many health benefits like stretching and toning muscles of arms, expanding chest, improving digestion, and improving the respiratory system.

How to doHasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)?

  1. Stand in Tadasana pose.
  2. Now bring your arms up and then back.
  3. Your biceps should be near your arms.
  4. Hold this position for few seconds then lower your arms to come back to the starting position.

12. Pranayama (Prayer pose)

Pranayama is also the last yoga of sequence of Surya Namaskar. It is the praying pose to the sun. Pranayama has many variations. It is very beneficial for everyone. It helps us with losing weight, improves blood circulation and digestion, relieves stress and energizes us for the whole day.

Prayer pose step

How to do Pranamyam (Prayer pose)?

  1. Stand on a yoga mat and keep your feet together.
  2. Balance your weight on both legs equally.
  3. Now lift your both arms up as you inhale.
  4. Now join your palms together in front of your chest and keep your chest wide.
  5. Inhale and exhale deeply and hold this position for 3-5 minutes.
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Benefits of Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar has been known for many health benefits for years. The benefits of Surya Namaskar are:

  • Surya Namaskar decreases stress & anxiety
  • Improves digestion
  • Strengthens your body
  • Stretches your body
  • Gives you glowing skin
  • Helps with healthy weight loss
  • Tones your body
  • Reduces mental stress and gives stress-free mind
  • Detoxifies your body
  • Gives you a good physique
  • Keeps your sugar level balanced
  • Increases your intuitiveness & creativity
  • Energizes your body

Things to keep in mind while doing Surya Namaskar

  • Use a yoga mat for your comfort
  • Practice Surya Namaskar early in the morning, at the time of sunrise, if possible
  • Do a little warmup before doing any yoga
  • Keep your breathing rhythmic
  • Practice it on empty stomach only
  • Do not over-push yourself doing it, you might hurt yourself
  • Take deep breaths
  • It is said that women who are menstruating should not do Surya Namaskar
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Surya Namaskar is very good for both your body and mind. Just practice it daily and you’ll see the results very easily. Surya Namaskar is practiced by all the people and from thousands of years.

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Author: Manisha Yadav

Hey all, my name is Manisha Yadav. I am a content writer at YogaHolism.com. I love to read, write, travel and click pictures. I write yoga and lifestyle blogs.
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