Suryanamaskara (Sun Salutation) is the best way to start any Yoga Asana session. It consist of 12 different spinal positions. It is known to be an excellent warm up exercise which also makes the limbs of our body flexible. The Sun Salutation is a great blessing to all, especially elderly, stiff people and beginner students. It helps the body in the fast gain of flexibility, while controling the breath and training the mind to be focused. In the beginning one should only learn the positions. When you know the positions syntonize them to a rhythmical breathing pattern.
Surya Namaskara should be practiced 6 to 12 times. To gain maximum benefits it should be done early in the morning facing the sun. Like this we bath our whole body in the rays. We thank the sun for giving light, life, joy and warmth to the entire world.
Note: In Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) you can choose to flaten or point your toes.
Suryanamaskara – Sun Salutation
Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
1. Stand firmly with the head, neck, and trunk in a straight line. Palms together in prayer position. Center yourself and concentrate on a devotional attitude.
Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
2. Inhale. Raise your arms up over your head and tilt them slightly back, until they are next to the ears. Keeping the legs straight, and the head between the arms, arch the spine and bend backwards as far as possible without straining.
Padahastasana (Hands to foot pose)
3. Exhale. Bend forward from the hips, keeping the back staright and the arms next to the ears. continue bending; place the palms next to the feet, aligning the fingers with the toes. This position is a symbol of thanking the Mother earth, where our feet are firmly planted.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
4. Keeping your hands down, Inhale and step your right foot behind you. Rest the right knee and the top of the right foot on the floor and extend the toes. The left foot remains between the hands, the hands remain firmly on the floor. Arch the back, look up and stretch the head back as far as possible.
Kumbhakasana (Plank pose)
5. Retain the Breath. Bring both legs back behind you and balance in the plank pose, as if you were about to lower yourself into a pushup. Push out at the heels for strength.
Ashtanga Namaskara (Knee-chest-chin pose)
6. Exhale. Bring your knees, chest, and chin (or forehead) to the floor. Keep your tailbone up off the ground. In this position, only the toes, knees, hands, chest and chin/forehead touch the floor. The nose should not touch the floor. Elbows should remain close to the body and the tips of the fingers are in line with the breasts.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
7. Inhale. Without moving the hands and chin/forehead, relax the legs and extend the feet so that the body rests flat on the floor (If you suffer from lower back pain, you might feel uncomfortable with the feet flat on the ground – then you can keep the toes pointed like in the video). Raise the head, shoulders and chest. In this posture, navel remains on the floor. Tilt the thorax, use the muscles of the back only. Do not use the arms and hands to push the body off the floor, but only to balance the body.
Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
8. Exhale. Don’t reposition the feet or hands, press the feet to the floor so that the toes point towards the hands, straighten the arms, pushing the buttocks high in the air. Bring the head between the arms and try to press the heels to the floor. Parvat asana (Mountain Pose).
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
9. Inhale. bend the right knee and place the right foot between the hands. Rest the left knee and top of the left foot on the floor and extend the toes. Arch the back, stretch the head back, look up and bend back as far as possible.
Padahastasana (Hands to feet pose)
10. Exhale. place the left foot beside the right, keeping the palms on the floor. Straighten the legs and bring the head to the knees.
Hasta uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
12. Inhale. raise the body, stretching the arms up and back. Bend back as far as possible without straining. Remember to keep the arms close to the ears and the legs straight.
Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
13. Exhale. Return to an erect standing position, as you bring your hands back into the prayer position, standing in Pranamasana.
The twelve positions of surya namaskara are practised twice to complete one round. For the second half-round, bring your left leg back first to create a balance.
Incredible benefits of Sun Salutation
- Strengthens the entire body
- Improves flexibility
- Helps lose weight
- Strengthens muscles and joints
- Gives a glow to the skin
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Improves mental and physical balance
- Helps with insomnia
- Ensures regular menstrual cycle
- Brings down blood sugar levels
- Helps with anxiety
- Helps detox
- Improves sexual functions of the body
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Lowers blood pressure and strengthens heart muscles
- Improves the capacity of the lungs
- Helps with back pain