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Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar comprises of a sequence of twelve powerful yoga poses. Apart from serving as an excellent form of cardiovascular workout, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar can also have an extremely positive impact on the mind and body of the practitioner. It is always a good idea to perform Surya Namaskar on a completely empty stomach during the early hours of the morning. Every round of the Sun Salutation yoga comprises of two sets consisting of the 12 yoga poses. While there are multiple versions of Sun Salutation that you can choose from for your personal practice, it is always a good idea to stick to a single version only and then practice it regularly to achieve the best results. Practicing Yoga Sun salutation has been proven to be extremely beneficial for the spiritual development of the individual.

Sun Salutation



Here is the Surya Namaskar steps that you need to follow.

Pranamasana or Prayer pose of Sun Salutation

  • Stand right around the edge of the mat;
  • Make sure to keep your feet perfectly together and then equally balance your weight on both your feet;
  • Relax your shoulders and expand your chest;
  • As you keep on breathing in, gently lift both the arms up from your sides. As you exhale, gently bring both your palms together right in front of your chest in a prayer position.

Hastauttanasana or raised arms pose of Sun Salutation

  • Breathe in gently and lift your arms right up and back, thereby keeping your biceps very close to your ears. The purpose of this pose is to help you stretch your whole body from heels to tips of your fingers.

  • To deepen the Hastauttanasana yoga pose, you can push your pelvis just a little forward. Make sure that you are reaching up with your fingers instead of trying to actually bend backward.

Hastapadasana or standing forward bend pose of Sun Salutation

  • Breathe out and bend forward from your waist while keeping your spine erect. Bring your hands down to floor just beside your feet as you completely exhale.

  • To deepen Hastapadasana, you can bend your knees if you want to bring your palms down on the floor. Next, gently straighten the knees to achieve the maximum effect. You should also keep your hands fixed in that position and do not move your hands as long as you finish this sequence.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana or equestrian pose of Sun Salutation

  • Breathe in and push the right leg back. Bring your right knee to the ground level and then look up.
  • Deepen the yoga stretch by making sure that your left foot is placed exactly between your palms.

Dandasana or stick pose

  • Breathe in and take your left leg back to bring your whole body within one straight line.
  • Deepen this yoga by keeping your arms exactly perpendicular to the ground.

Ashtanga Namaskara or salute pose with 8 points or parts of Sun Salutation

  • Bring the knees down gently to the floor. Exhale and take your hips back slightly and then slide forward. Keep your chin and chest on the floor and then raise your posterior section a little bit.

  • Your two feet, two hands, two knees, chin and chest (i.e. 8 parts of your body) must touch the floor.

Bhujangasana or cobra pose of Sun Salutation

  • Raise your chest up and slide forward into cobra pose. While doing this, you can keep the elbows bent with the shoulders placed away from your ears. Make sure that you look up or gaze at the ceiling.

  • If you want to deepen the Bhujangasana yoga stretch, make an effort to gently push your chest forward as you inhale. Push your navel down as you exhale. Tuck your toes under and make sure that you stretch as far as possible without forcing your body.

Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward-facing dog pose

  • It is important to master the breathing techniques as you perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana pose. While breathing out, gently lift your hips and tailbone up for bringing your body into the inverted ‘V’ pose.

  • Try to keep your heels placed on the ground if possible and gently lift your tailbone up, thus going deeper into this stretch.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose

  • Breathe in and as you do so, bring your right foot forward and place it in between two hands. Your left knee should go down the floor. Gently press your hips down and then look up.

  • Keep your right foot just between two hands and your right calf exactly perpendicular to floor surface. As you are in this position, push your hips down gently towards the floor for deepening the stretch.

Hastapadasana or standing forward bend pose of Sun Salutation

Breathe out and bring your left foot forward. Place your palms right on the floor. If necessary, you may also bend your knees. Straighten your knees gently and try to touch the nose with the knees. Make sure that you keep breathing while doing so.

Hastauttanasana or raised arms pose

  • Breathe in and roll your spine up. Lift your hands up and gently bend a little backward, pushing your hips slightly outward.

  • Make sure that the biceps are placed just beside your ears. You should try and stretch up more instead of stretching backward.

Tadasana or mountain pose

Straighten the body first as you exhale and then bring your arms down. Once you do so, relax your body in this position. Observe the various sensations occurring in your body.

Sun Salutation benefits

Sun Salutation can offer a lot of distinct health benefits. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • It can greatly help in losing weight.
  • Sun Salutation enhances blood circulation of the body which can help in improving skin tone and texture. It also helps to remove skin blemishes and wrinkles, making sure that the practitioner has ageless glowing skin.

  • These exercises and poses can help in strengthening the joints and muscles.
  • Sun Salutation improves the functioning of the digestive system.
  • It improves functioning of nervous system and removes anxiety.
  • Sun Salutation can also bring down the blood sugar levels.

Sun Salutation precautions

While Sun Salutation can certainly offer a lot of distinct benefits, people suffering from coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, hernia, stroke and intestinal tuberculosis should not practice this form of yoga. Women who are at the start of their menstruation periods should refrain from Surya Namaskar as well.

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