Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation | How To Do It and Its Various Advantages

Surya Namaskar or the sun salutation is an ancient yoga practice. This practice is a technique of paying respect to the sun and expressing gratitude. Our primary source of energy is sun and Hindus have believed from ancient times that the sun is the physical and spiritual heart of the world. Surya Namaskar has been said that the ancient rishi’s believed that different parts of the body are governed by different devas. And the solar plexus which is the central energy point in the body is connected to the sun. And this is why the ancient rishi’s recommended the practice of Surya Namaskar because this will enhances the solar plexus.

The practice of Surya Namaskar is great for the cardiovascular system and adds an immensely positive impact on the body and the mind. It is best done in the morning with an empty stomach. There 12 poses of 2 sets in one round. There are many versions of sun salutation but it is best to stick to one and practice it religiously every day.

How To Do The Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar consists of 12 steps/poses of 2 sets which make one Surya Namaskar practice. Below the 12 poses are described in there working order and how to do them correctly.

Step 1: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose (Initiation of Surya Namaskar)

Pranamasana for surya namaskar

Start by standing on the front edge of your mat. Keep your feet together in a v-shape and balance your weight equally on both the feet. Relax your shoulders and expand your chest. Now take a deep breath and lift your hands towards your chest. Breathe out and bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.

Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raising Arms)

Hasta-Uttanasana for surya namaskar

For this step again breath in and lift your arms up straight and back and stretch your body towards your back. Keep your biceps close to your ears. The effort is in stretching the whole body up from your heels to the tips of your fingers. To increase the intensity you can push your pelvis a little forward. But make sure to reach up with your fingers and not try bending backward.

Step 3: Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Surya namaskar Hasta-Padasana
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Now breathe out and bend forward from your waist and keep your spine erect. While you exhale completely bring your hands and try to place them down beside the feet. Here, you may bend your knees to place your hands firmly on the ground and then gently try to straighten the knees. And keep the hands in the same position without moving them.

Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Ashwa-Sanchalanasana surya namaskar

Breath in and push back your right leg back, as far as possible. Place the right knee on the ground and bend the left leg in 90 degrees and look up straight. Keep the left leg in between both the palms and keep it straight. This will deepen the yoga stretch more.

Step 5: Dandasana (Stick Pose)

Dandasana for surya namaskar

Now breathe in again and take the left leg back. Keep your whole body in a straight line, in a plank position. Try to keep the hands perpendicular to the floor and balance your weight on the hands and toe. This will deepen the stretch and make it difficult. Stay here for 3-4 seconds and move to the next step.

Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or joints)

Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Rest your chest and chin on the floor but keep the hips back slightly and slide forward. Raise your hips a littlebit up the floor. The eight parts of the body (two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and the chin) should touch the floor.

Step 7: Bhujangasan for Surya Namaskar (Cobra Pose)


For this pose slide forward, let your whole body touch the floor and from there raise the chest up into the cobra pose as you inhale. You can keep your elbows bend and keep your shoulders away from the ears. Look up at the ceiling and imagine pulling your upper torso upwards. To deepen the stretch, when you inhale, gently push the chest forward, and when you exhale gently push your navel down. Tuck your toes under but ensure you’re stretching only as much you can and not overdoing it.

Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)


Exhale from the Bhujangasana and lift your hips and tailbone upwards and bring the body into an inverted ‘V’ pose. To deepen this position, try to keep the heels on the ground. And make a gentle effort to lift your tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.

Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Breathe in and bring your right foot forward and in between the two hands. The left knee goes down on the floor and placed straight with the hips pressed and look up straight. To deepen up the pose, place the right foot exactly in between the two hands and right calve perpendicular to the floor. Gently try to push down the hips to deepen the stretch.

Step 10: Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Breathing out bring the left foot together with the right foot. Keep the palms on the ground and you may bend your knees. And gently try to straighten them later on. Or try to touch your nose to the knees.

Step 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Pose)

Breathe in and roll the spine up. Raise your hands up and bend backward a little bit and push hips slightly forwards. Ensure your biceps are beside your ears. Stretch more than bending.

Step 12: Tadasana or Mountain Pose (End of Surya Namaskar)


Finally, exhale and straighten the body. Bring your arms back down and relax. At this position be still and observe the sensations in your body.

This completes one set of sun salutation hence Surya Namaskar.

Top Five Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  • It improves the blood circulation of the body and detoxifies your body.
  • This is your mantra to weight loss. Doing Surya Namaskar daily can bring very effective weight loss.
  • Promotes a regular menstrual cycle
  • Beneficial for your skin and hair
  • Surya Namaskar is an anti-anxiety remedy and has great calming properties. The best exercise to relieve all your stress.

Not only these but there are a whole lot of other advantages of Surya Namaskar. And not only these asanas but there are a whole lot of other asanas are there in the world of Yoga. The world of Yoga is very huge and nobody can get through it at once. But with time, anyone who comes into this world gets the knowledge as well as its immense advantages. Some of the other Yoga asanas which you may like are-

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