Surya Namaskar which primarily means Sun salutation is the combination of powerful sequences of 12 yoga poses. The existence of life on the earth wouldn’t be possible if there were no sun. Plants need sunlight for processing their own food through a process called photosynthesis, which is impossible without the sun. In turn, we humans directly depend on plants as a source of food and energy. Surya Namaskar has been practiced in India since ancient times as a way to pay tribute or respect to the Sun which gives us life and energy to all the living beings on the planet.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
One can get the full benefits of Surya Namaskar if practices regularly especially in the early morning with an empty stomach. Surya Namaskar is considered to be the best yoga posture which provides immense health benefits to each and every part of our body. It has a great impact on our heart, stomach, lungs, intestine, throat, chest, legs, and activates every tiny muscle of our body.
Some of the benefits of Surya Namaskar one can get are as follows:-
- Surya Namaskar is the best Cardiovascular workout one can perform.
- It has a great positive impact on our body and mind.
- Helps improve the immunity of your body.
- It helps in improving the muscle strength of the body.
- Practicing Surya Namaskar on regular basis helps improves the flexibility of the body.
- Helps in maintaining body weight.
- It helps in maintaining the digestives systems of our body.
- Practicing Surya Namaskar consistently can help in improving memory power and concentration.
- It is the best way to control our anger.
Let’s find out the 12 Yoga poses of Surya namaskar
Before you start doing Surya Namaskar make sure you’re free from stress and must be able to focus on your mind.
Step 1 of Surya Namaskar – Pranamasana (Prayer)
Pranamasana is the first step of Surya Namaskar and you can start by standing upright on your yoga mat while balancing the body weight equally on your feet. Now take a deep breath and expand your chest and relax your shoulders. While inhaling in, raise your hands from the sides, and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of your chest in the prayer position. This is the Pranamasana position.
Step 2 of Surya Namaskar – Hasta Uttanasana (Raise arm pose)
Now, take a deep breath and lift your arms up keeping both of your palms together while slightly bending backward. Always keep your biceps close to your ears and stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers. You can slightly push your pelvis forward while performing this pose for a better result.
Benefits of Hasta Uttanasana
This yoga pose helps to warm up and strengthen the spine. It helps in increasing the oxygen flow of our body.
Step 3 of Surya Namaskar – Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend pose)
Just breathe out slowly and bend your waist forward and try to touch your toes with your fingers. You may bend your knees if necessary during your initial days, but try to keep it straight. Keep your spine upright while performing this pose. Neck and shoulders should be in relaxed mode. Then, try to touch the floor with your fingers and press into your heels softly, and hold for a while. Inhale slowly when you come back to the original position.
Step 4 of Surya Namaskar – Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Inhale slowly and bend your knees by looking forward and keeping your palms on the floor in line with your feet. Now, exhale and stretch your right leg back as far as possible with the ball of the foot on the floor. At the same time, you need to bend the left knee by keeping the left foot on the floor with the thigh parallel to the floor. Always Keep the arms straight. Your bodyweight should be supported on both hands, the left foot, right knee, and toes of the right foot. Your head should be tilted backward.
Step 5 of Surya Namaskar – Dandasana or Stick Pose
Take a deep breath in and stretch your left leg backward by keeping your hands perpendicular to the floor. While doing this 5th pose of Surya Namaskar, your whole body should be in a straight line.
Step 6 of Surya Namaskar – ASHTANGA NAMASKAR (Salute with Eight Points or Parts)
In this yoga pose, exhale slowly and bring your knees down so that they touch the floor. Now, bring your hip slightly backward and slide forward while making your chest and chin rest on the floor. In this particular pose of Surya Namaskar make sure your two hands, feet, knees, chest, and chin should touch the floor. This is the reason why ASHTANGA NAMASKAR is known as Salute with Eight Points or Parts pose.
Step 7 of Surya Namaskar – Bhujangasana Or Cobra Pose
Now Exhale slowly and slide forward to make a cobra pose by raising your chest upward. You can make your elbows bent and your shoulders should be away from the ears. Try to stretch your body as much as you can, but don’t force your body to do so.
Step 8 of Surya Namaskar – ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA or Downward Facing Dog Pose
Exhale slowly and now lift the hips upward making the body in the pose of inverted ‘V’. You can try to keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the hip and tailbone up, for a better result.
Step 9 of Surya Namaskar – ASHWA SANCHALASANA (Equestrian pose)
This pose is the ninth pose of Surya Namaskar and to start doing this pose inhale slowly. Now step out your right foot forward and make sure your foot is between the two hands. Your right calf should be perpendicular to the floor while the left knee goes on the floor. Now, look up your face and press the hips down.
Step 10 of Sun Salutation – PADAHASTASANA (Standing Forward Pose)
To start this pose from the previous step, bring your left foot forward and bend down while exhaling slowly. Make sure you placed your toes aligned to each other. Try to touch your toes with your finger. You may bend your knees if necessary. Now try to touch your nose to the knees and keep breathing for the best result.
Step 11 – HASTAUTTASANA (Raised Arm Pose)
Now inhale and roll back your spine slowly while raising your hands up and bending backward. Make sure your biceps are closed to the ears. Push your hip lightly outward to experience the best result.
Step 12 of Sun Salutation – TADASANA (The Mountain Pose)
This yoga pose is the last step of Surya Namaskar. Now bring your hands down slowly and stand straight keeping your feet together. Your body weight must be equally distributed to both feet. This yoga pose is basically for making the correct posture of your body. Relax and breathe easily.
There are various benefits to practicing yoga every day. Since time immemorial yoga has been practiced in India. We can achieve a lot of benefits if we practice yoga consistently and in a systematic way. Combining yoga with some diet restrictions can help in maintaining body weight. However, it is advised to start yoga under a supervisor and it can’t replace any medicines owing to its health benefits.
Anyone can start these 12 steps of Surya Namaskar not only to keep the body healthy but will also to help to reach peace of mind. Surya Namaskar is very beneficial to those who are busy but don’t have enough time to perform several yoga asanas. One can easily do Surya Namaskar within 30 minutes which will help keep the mind and body fresh the whole day.