Surya Namaskar steps - A complete guide

This article is all about Sun Salutaion or Surya Namaskar steps – A complete guide. Right from the correct breathing techniques, when to breathe in and when to breathe out. Proper postures used at each of the 12 surya namaskar steps can give you relief from certain health problems. Surya namaskar helps in building a strong body and a stress free mind and a spiritual connect with the nature.

Surya namaskar steps – A complete guide

Here is step by step description of Surya namaskar steps, also known as Sun salutation. Different yoga gurus have their own version, some follow the basic steps, and some introduce few more intense exercises to increase the intensity of the workout regime. There is as nothing hard and fast about the exercise and the time taken. Ideally speaking, 30 seconds in each of the 12 Surya namaskar step is more than enough.

Make sure that you follow the right breathing process. During all your backward bends, when your chest expands or when it is open, your lungs can expand to their maximum capacity, you have to inhale your breathe. In all the forward bends, when your chest contracts and your abdomen contract, you have to exhale your breathe.

Step 1 – Pranamasana, also known as the prayer pose.

First stand straight on the edge of your yoga mat. Keep both your feet together and balance yourself equally on both the feet. Next relax your shoulder and expand your chest, breathe in, join your palms, by bringing both your hands from the side to the center of your chest and exhale. This is called prayer position. This yoga pose helps you to relax and to calm your mind and body.

Step 2 – Hasta Uttanasana, or the raised arms pose

Inhaling in, lift your arms up and make an arch like position. Make sure that your biceps close to your ears. Stretch your entire body, right from heels to the tip of your fingers. To ensure maximum benefit of this pose, try to push your pelvis little bit forward and make sure that you are reaching with your fingers, rather than going backwards. This yoga asana helps you to stretch the chest and abdomen and lifts the energy up through the body.

Step 3- Hasta Padasana or the hand to foot pose

Start breathing out and bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine position straight and erect. . As you breathe out completely, bring down your hands to the floor besides your feet. Try not to bend your knees. Bend little bit if you find it difficult initially, to bring your palms down on the floor. Now slowly try to straighten your knees again staying in the same position. This asana massages the abdominal organs, increase the digestion power, stretches spine, improves blood flow to the brain and relieves female disorders.

 Step 4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana or the Equestrian pose

In this yoga asana, inhale air and push your right leg back, as far as possible you can. Now bend you left knee and place your arms next to your feet. Turn your gaze forward. Ensure that your left knee is exactly in between your palms. This asana helps in stretching the quadriceps, spine and iliopsoas muscles, increases mental power, and stimulates abdominal organs.

 Step 5 – Dandasana or the Stick pose

Inhale and take your left leg back, and bring your whole body in a straight line position. Try to keep your arms perpendicular to the floor. This yoga pose improves posture, strengthens spine and back muscles, and even stretches chest and shoulders.

 Step 6 – Asntanga Namaskara (salute with eight parts or points)

Gradually get your knees down on the floor and breathe out. Take your hips back slightly, then slide forward, now rest your chest and chin on the floor. You will notice that eight parts of your body are touching the floor, i.e. two hands, two legs, two knees, chin and chest. This asana helps in developing the chest and strengthens the legs and arms.

 Step 7 – Bhujangasna or the Cobra pose

Now slide forward and raise your chest and make a pose like cobra. You elbow must be slightly bent and your shoulder must be away from your ears. Turn your gaze upwards, means look up. Next inhale and gently push your chest forward. Slowly move your navel down. Also tuck your toes under. Don’t try to force yourself too much, stretch as much as you feel comfortable. This asana relieves tension in spine and back, stimulates and expands abdominal organs and chest.

 Step 8 – Adho Mukha Svanasana or Parvatasana (Downward facing dose pose or Mountain pose)

Exhale and lift your hips and tail bone up and push your chest downwards in such a position that you make yourself in an inverted V position. Make efforts to keep your heels on ground as much as possible and gently try to lift up the tailbone and stretching it some more further. This asana strengthens arms and legs, relieves varicose veins and helps in stretching spine and calf muscles

 Step 9 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana or the Equestrian pose

In this pose, inhale and bring your right foot forward in between your hands. Place your left knee down on the floor and press your hip downwards and look up. Try to place your exactly between your both hands and your right calf should be perpendicular to the floor. To get the most benefit from this yoga pose, try to push your hips down towards the floor as much as possible.

 Step 10 – Hasta Padasana or the hand to foot pose

In this pose, inhale and bring your left foot forward, keeping your palms on the floor. Gently bend your knees if required. Now try to straighten your knees again and make efforts to touch your nose to the knees. Keep your spine straight and erect. Exhale now.

 Step 11- Hasta Uttanasana, or the raised arms pose

In this asana, inhale and roll your spine up, lift your arms up and slightly behind your head and bend backwards. Push your hips slightly outwards. Make sure that your biceps are closer to your ears. This pose is done to make sure your stretch yourself right from your toe to the tip of your finger. You should try to stretch upwards more rather than stretching backwards.

 Step 12 – Pranamasana, also known as the prayer pose.

In this last step of surya namaskar, inhale and straighten your body and gradually bring your arms to the pranam position, keep it near your chest. Relax and put down your hands and stand steady by just monitoring the sensations of your body.

Follow these steps and enjoy the benefits of surya namaskar by having a calmed mind and strong body and having a mental, physical and spiritual enhances body. Click here to know about Health benefits of drinking water.

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