surya namaskara how to perform - Shivam Yoga Centre

Surya Namaskara – How to Perform

Yoga an ancient art that originated in India almost six thousand years ago is now considered one of the most effective ways towards a healthy lifestyle. It creates a balance between body mind and soul. It is the best possible way to connect to nature. Surya Namaskara is a practice in Yoga that consists of a sequence of 12 asanas. Surya is a pure word with lots of power and strength. In Sanskrit, Surya is the other name of the Sun. In Hinduism, Solar Deity is also signified by Surya. There are nine heavenly houses in the zodiac system of Hindu Astrology. Surya is one of those nine houses. Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskara is an ancient method of paying respect to the Sun or greeting the Sun, which is the source of life on earth with respect.

Surya Namaskara is a complete body workout. As proclaimed by many yoga experts- our different body parts are being controlled by different divine and holy impulses of light or “Devas.” Surya Namaskar fills us with positivity, thus removing the clouds of negativity around us.

Surya Namaskara is very powerful, and, as suggested by experts, should be practised daily, and it is more effective than walking. 288 yoga poses equals 12 sets of Surya Namaskara. One set of Surya Namaskara helps in burning almost 13.90 calories.

There are 12 asanas of Surya Namaskara:

  • Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)- Join your hands like you do while praying to God. With your both feet closely aligned, stand upright. Expand your chest and inhale deeply. In the process do not forget to relax your shoulders. Now exhale slowly.
  • Hastottanasana (Raised Arms Pose)- From the Pranamasana posture keeping your arms in the prayer position lift your arms upwards and then bend backwards slightly. This posture loosens up your body.
  • Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)- Slowly bend down and try to touch the ground by keeping your spine erect. While bending down exhale out.
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)-  Breathe in and at the same time stretch your body parallel to the ground. Bring your right knee towards the right part of the chest, and your hands should be on the side. Stretch your left leg behind and look up.
  • Dandasana (Staff Pose)- From the Equestrian pose try to take your right leg also to the back, thus aligning your entire body parallelly to the ground. During the process, inhale in.
  • Ashtanga Namaskar (Salute with eight parts) – Now slowly rest your knees on the floor and exhale. Keep your hips elevated. Chin and chest should rest on the floor.
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)- Aligning your chest and torso 900 to the ground while keeping your legs and mid-section flat on the ground. Use the hands for support without transferring the entire weight.
  • Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)- While keeping your hands and feet where they are, slowly raise your midsection. Exhale out as you enter Parvatasana.
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)-  Now from Parvatasana, return to the ashwa sanchalanasana. But this time, we do the opposite of what we did in the 4th step. Bring your right foot forward, while resting the left foot behind, at its original position.
  • Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)- Slowly bend down and try to touch the ground by keeping your spine erect. While bending down exhale out.
  • Hastauttanasana Now while inhaling, hands should be raised upward, and by bending backwards, one enters Ardha Chakra Asana.
  • Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose)- Finally exhale and stand in a relaxed manner in the Namaskara Mudra.

Benefits of Surya Namaskara

  • Depending on the pace at which Surya Namaskara is practised, it has two benefits. If done at a faster pace, it is a good cardiovascular workout. If done at a slower pace it is an effective way of meditating.
  • It has a powerful impact on our liver, stomach, heart, intestine, chest, throat and legs.
  • Improves overall blood circulation
  • Proper functioning of the bowels and nerve centres 
  • Controls blood sugar level
  • Regularises the menstrual cycle.
  • Helps to recover from insomnia
  • Helps in body detoxification

What to remember while doing Surya Namaskara?

  • It should be practised in empty stomach
  • The postures in Surya Namaskar should be done in sequence and they should be stopped immediately if one faces any difficulty.
  • The postures if not done properly might hurt the spinal cord or the lower back.
  • Before starting a new set, do some warm-up.
  • Breathing right in every posture is very essential. Synchronization is very important between breath and poses.
  • Do not rush through the postures. Hold your position for a while and try to feel it.
  • It should be done facing the sun for added benefits.

Surya Namaskara helps us to avoid the negativities around us and makes us feel more positive, relaxed, energetic and healthy.

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somya taneja

What an informative and detailed post. Everything is very well mentioned in the article, every small thing. I was amazed to see things like breathing process and such. Also really great benefits mentioned.

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