Surya Namaskar yoga is one of the most famous and fundamental yoga postures in the world. Yoga gurus prescribe to start the day and yoga sessions with sun salutation. The reason for this is the wholesome effects offered by Surya Namaskar through its 12 rewarding Asanas.
Surya Namaskar, also known as Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 yoga postures that make up to form one complete yoga practice. As the name suggests, the purpose of this yoga asana is to offer one’s gratitude and respect to the sun in return for its energetic and life blessing energy.
When to do Surya Namaskar Yoga
As the name suggests, and as the spiritual meaning of this posture suggests, Surya Namaskar should be performed early in the morning before the time of the sunrise. Surya Namaskar has several health and spiritual benefits such as the strengthening of human mind and body, increased physical and mental regulation, tranquility of the mind, composed energies, and internal serenity.
Surya Namaskar for Beginners
The name Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation can be a bit deceiving for beginners. The 12 Asanas involved in Surya Namaskar are not easy and require constant practice and development of physical and mental control. However, being a fundamental piece of the yoga routine for ages, several yoga gurus have developed a roadmap for beginners that seek to master Surya Namaskar. The roadmap includes three very important steps:
Concentrate on your Breathing
Practicing yoga is not about your physical capability to hold your body at one posture. Rather, it is the art of harnessing a uniform breathing pattern along with powerful movements. Keep your breath calm because a calm breath helps to gain physical and mental control.
Make Surya Namaskar your Routine Activity
The key to master Surya Namaskar is to train yourself to carry the physical and mental energy together. Constant practice of Surya Namaskar will help to achieve a better and focused version of yourself.
Balance is Vital
The key to Surya Namaskar and all other yoga postures is a strong balance. Any mistakes in balancing your body can lead to serious injuries. To master the 12 poses without losing balance concern a yoga guru or online lessons.
12 Asanas of Surya Namaskar Yoga
Surya Namaskar is a combination of 12 powerful and energetic Asanas. Each yoga asana has its own benefit and needs to be completed and mastered to achieve the ultimate benefit of Surya Namaskar. The 12 Asanas of Surya Namaskar yoga are:
- Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
- Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
- Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
- Dandasana (Stick Pose)
- Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts or Points)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
- Ashwa Sanchalasana (Equestrian Pose)
- Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
- Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
- Tadasana (Standing Pose)
Surya Namaskar Yoga Steps
Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
- Keep your feet together, keeping an equal amount of weight on each of them.
- As you breathe in, lift both your arms from the sides.
- Exhale and join your palms together like the prayer position and bring them in front of your chest.
Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale and lift your arms up and keep your arms near the ears.
Push the pelvis area forward.
Regulate the stretch of the whole body, from the heels up to the tips of the fingers.
Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
- Exhale and bend forward
- Keep your spine straight
- Try to touch the floor while you exhale without bending the knees
Ashwa Sanchalasana (Equestrian Pose)
- Inhale and move your right leg towards the back as much as you can
- Keep your right knee to the floor
- Left foot should be between the parms and perpendicular to the floor
- Both palms should touch the floor
Dandasana (Stick Pose)
- Keep both of your hands on the floor
- Move left leg backwards and then take the right leg backwards
- Keep your chest lifted above the ground with full arm length
Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts of Points)
- Bring your knees down to the floor
- Take the hips back and slide forward to the floor
- Keep your chest and chin on the floor
- Raise the posterior upwards
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Keep your abdomen to feet resting on the floor
- Lift the upper body and look upwards
- You can rest your elbows on the floor
Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
- Exhale and then bend till your hands touch the floor
- Keep your hips upwards and take support on toes
- Form a V-Pose
Rest of the steps are just repetitions of the earlier ones and should not be left without completing all 12 Asanas of Surya Namaskar yoga.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar Yoga
Surya Namaskar originated from Ancient India, however, the concept of praying to the sun has been around for centuries. Sun is the ultimate source of energy and supports the human life like no other entity ever can.
Surya Namaskar is a way of respecting the sun through a physical and mental offering through the 12 Surya Namaskar Yoga Asanas. It has several benefits some of which are:
- Increases instinctual abilities
- Physical fitness
- Mental wellbeing
- Improves the internal organs and their systems
- Toned muscles
- Flexible bone joints
- Improved blood flow and pulse rates
- Fights anxiety and stress
- Helps to lose weight and fat
- Controls diabetes