Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation


Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a sequence of 12 powerful yoga poses. The set of 12 asanas is dedicated to the Hindu God Surya who has 12 different names. In some Indian traditions, the positions are each associated with a different mantra.

  1. Mitra: Om Mitraya Namaha – salutations to the friend of all

Step 1: Prayer pose – Pranamasana or Namaskarasana

Stand with your feet together and hands joined in front of the chest in the traditional namaskar position.

  1. Ravi: Om Ravaye Namaha – salutations to the shining one

Step 2: Raised arms pose – Hastauttanasana

Inhale and stretch your hands up straight, above your head. Stretch your neck and look upwards. Bend slightly backwards to make an arch of the upper body.

  1. Surya: Om Suryaya Namaha – salutations to the one who induces activity

Step 3: Hand to foot pose – Padahastasana

Exhale and bend from the waist to touch your fingers to the floor. After regular practice, you will be able to touch your forehead to the knees and rest the palms flat on the ground.

  1. Bhanu: Om Bhanave Namaha – salutations to the one who illumines

Step 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Resting both hands firmly on the ground, inhale and take the right leg behind and stretch it out on the floor, lunge down. Bend the left knee and keep the foot in line with your hands. Stretch your neck up and gaze skywards. [In the next round, start with stretching your left leg behind first].

  1. Khaga: Om Khagaya Namaha – salutations to the one who moves quickly in the sky

Step 5: Plank Pose – Kumbhakasana or Phalakasana

While exhaling, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. Make sure that your gaze is on the floor and your elbows are not bent.

  1. Pushan: Om Pushne Namaha – salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment

Step 6: Salute with eight parts or points – Ashtanga Namaskara

Slowly bring your knees to rest on the floor, take the hips back slightly, slide forward, then your chest, followed by the chin. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body) should touch the floor.

  1. Hiranyagarba: Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha – salutations to the golden cosmic.

Step 7: Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra pose. You may keep your elbows bent in this pose with the shoulders away from the ears. Resting your palms on the ground. Your gaze should be straight ahead

  1. Maricha: Om Marichaye Namaha – salutations to the bringer of the dawn

 Step 8: Downward Facing Dog Pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale, lift the hips and the tailbone up to bring the body into an inverted ‘V’ position. Keeping your knees and elbows straight; rest the soles and palms flat on the floor and allow the head to hang down freely.

  1. Aditya: Om Adityaya Namaha – salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic mother.

Step 9: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Inhale, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands. The left knee goes down on the floor. Press the hips down and look up.

  1. Savitra: Om Savitre Namaha – salutations to the stimulating power of the sun.

Step 10: Hand to foot pose – Padahastasana

Exhale, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor.

  1. Arka: Om Arkaya Namaha – salutations to the one who is fit to be praised.

Step 11: Raised Arms Pose- Hastauttanasana

Inhale deeply and get back to the standing position. Stand on your feet together, and stretch out your hands above the head, keeping the elbows straight. Bend slightly backwards to make an arch of the upper body.

  1. Bhaskara: Om Bhaskaraya Namaha – salutations to the one who leads to enlightenment.

Step 12: Standing Mountain pose – Tadasana

Join the hands together in front of the chest in the namaskar position. Spend a few moments absorbing the energy of the sun and prepare your mind for the next round. Relax and stretch your hands out by your side. This completes one round of Surya Namaskar.


Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  1. It keeps all internal organs, stomach, intestines, pancreas, spleen, heart and lungs, healthy and strong. Also, the muscles of external body parts such as chest, shoulders, hands, thighs, legs become healthy and strong.
  2.  It makes spine and waist flexible by removing disorders. It improves blood circulation in the body which removes skin diseases.
  3.  It keeps the digestive system perfect. Mental and physical energy levels are balanced. It provides power to our soul and body, maintains mental peace, memory, power, strength.
  4. Reduces ageing of the body, hair fall and graying, keeps diseases away.
  5. It is also very useful for women to maintain beauty, keeping the body in shape by reducing extra fat and flat abdomen. Also, helps to cure menstrual irregularity and easy child birth.


  1. Pregnant women should not practice Surya Namaskar.
  2. Those suffering from high blood pressure and hernia should not practice Surya Namaskar.
  3. During menses, women should avoid Surya Namaskar.
  4. The beginner and those suffering from back pain must be practiced under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.


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