Without the sun, there will be no life on earth. Surya Namaskar or ‘Sun Salutation’ is a very ancient technique of paying respect or expressing gratitude to the sun that is the source of all forms of life on the planet. Symbolically, the sun becomes our source of energy as well.
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Step 1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet. Expand your chest and relax your shoulder pain. As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides, and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.
Step 2. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the bicep femoris close to the ears. In this pose, the effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heel to the tips of the fingers.
Step 3. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
Breathing out, bend forward from the waist keeping the cervical spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor beside the feet.
Step 4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and look up.
Step 5. Dandasana (Stick pose)
As you intake air, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line.
Step 6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points)
Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide straight word, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posture a little bit. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body) should touch the tile of the floor.
Step 7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
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. Look up at the ceiling.
Step 8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
Breathing out, lift the hips and the tailbone up to bring the body into an inverted ‘V’ pose.
Step 9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Breathing in bring the right foot forward in between the two hands. The left knee goes down on the floor. Press the hips down and lookup.
Step 10. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary.
Step 11. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
Breathing in, roll the cervical spine upwards. Raise the hands up and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.
Step 12. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position and observe the sensations in your body.
This completes one set of Surya Namaskar. Complete the round by repeating the steps. Only this time, start with taking the left foot behind in step number 4 and bringing the right foot forward in step number 10. Once done, you would’ve completed one round of Surya Namaskar.
- Suryanamaskar should always be done slowly. The slower the practice, the deeper the practice. Hold the positions for as long as you can.
- Breath is THE KEY to doing this exercise. Hold your breath when you need to, inhale deeply, and exhale freely.
- Pregnant women, people with severe back or knee injuries should refrain from this exercise.
- Suryanamaskar is best done with the rising sun, but it also revitalizes the body and mind in the afternoons and evenings. It has a deep effect on the maintenance and proper function of the organs.