12 Poses Of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) And Its Benefits

by Bipin Baloni,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder

We are sure there is not one person who hasn’t heard of Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation sequence.

It is a sequence of 12 yoga poses that have so much power to have such positive impacts on your life, that you wouldn’t even believe it in one go.

If you are looking to work up and get the perfectly-fit body for next summer, but you do not have enough time to invest into that, then Surya Namaskar is here for your rescue.

It is a relatively brief drill of 12 dynamic yoga asanas that are performed as a dedication or homage to the sun, which according to the Yogic philosophy is believed to be the source of life on Earth. 

It is suggested that you do this early in the morning, during the time of sunrise and on an empty stomach. One round of the salutations consists of two sets and each of these sets has the 12 yoga poses. There can be various versions of it, however, you should aim to pick one and follow that religiously to see the best results.

Here are the 12 sequences of Surya Namaskar and the myriad of benefits that it has to offer you.

Pranamasana

Pranamasana or the Prayer Pose is the first step of Surya Namaskar. Begin by standing upright on your mat and place your feet closely next to each other. Relax your shoulders and breathe in. As you exhale, raise your arms and bring your palms together in the namaskara position. Keep your legs and spine activated.

Hastauttanasana

Now go on to transition from the previous pose to the Raised Arms Pose. Breathe in and lift your arms up in a way that your biceps are placed next to your ears. Once you’re done with that, try stretching your entire body, starting from your heels up to your finger-tips.

Hasta Padasana

Breathe out and bend forward from the waist. Try to touch the ground as you go down while simultaneously ensuring that your spine is erect. Keep doing this as you push out all the air that you had inhaled.

AshwaSanchalanasana

To do this Equestrian pose, extend your legs behind you. Then fold your right knee and bring it close to your chest. Place your hands on the floor, take your neck backwards and position your gaze upwards.

Dandasana

Bring your right leg behind you and so that your body is in a straight line. Keep it parallel to the floor.

AshtangaNamaskar

Slowly bring your knees towards the floor as you exhale. Rest your chin on the floor along with your hands. Keep your hips elevated and make sure that only your hands, knees, chin and chest are in contact with the floor.

Bhujangasana

To do the cobra pose, you need to align your chest and your torso to the ground while keeping your legs and mid-section on the floor. Use your hands to support your body but make sure that you don’t put all your weight on them.

Parvatasana

Raise your mid-section while keeping your palms and feet where they were. Exhale and transition into this pose.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Bring yourself to this pose as you did in the 4th step but the only difference would be that now you will bring your right foot forward while keeping your left foot at its original position.

Hasta Padasana

Bring your left foot forward and place it next to your right foot. Try to lift yourself up with the help of your hands as you exhale.

Hastauttanasana

Inhale and raise your hands upwards. Then bend a little backwards and keep your hips slightly outward.

Pranamasana

As you begin to transition into the last step, exhale and stand in a relaxed manner. Bring your palms together and feel the rush of positive energy rushing within you. This step completes one repetition of Surya Namaskar.

Effective benefits of Surya Namaskar

Doing this sequence is a great way to burn those extra calories and avoid the accumulation of any unnecessary/unhealthy fat.

Surya Namaskara is usually the first thing you do as you wake up, so it helps you maintain proper concentration and focus for the rest of the day. It helps in the energizing and rejuvenation of your brain and spine.

As the sequence involves a lot of stretching and flexing as well as rapidly transitioning into different asana it helps in toning and tightening your muscles while also making them strong enough and have high endurance.

Practicing a refreshing exercise first thing in the morning energizes your body completely. As you perform the sequences, it is ensured that the flow of the blood in your body becomes smooth and efficient. It allows the circulation rich and oxygenated blood to reach all organs so that they function effectively for the rest of the day.

As it energizes all the organs and makes them efficient at their work, Surya Namaskar helps in making your body fight all kinds of diseases that might come your way. It makes your immune system strong enough to fight away all the vulnerabilities.

On an overall level, the 12 poses ensure that your body is healthy, relaxed and your mind too is at peace. This sequence is a great way to ensure a better physical and mental health.

The twelve poses if performed with dedication and on a regular basis can bring in a lot of benefits, both physically and mentally. So, start your practice and witness the changes.

About the Author: Bipin Baloni is a yoga teacher from India and his core specialization is in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. He organizes 200 hour yoga teacher training in Goa and Panchakarma treatment in India He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and Health.

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