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Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar prepares the whole body for Yoga Asanas. It is a continuous exercise and a sequence of twelve Yoga postures. Sun Salutation stretches the body in a particular way. It expands and contracts the chest in order to regulate the breathing. In Surya Namaskar, each position counter acts the one done before. The daily practice of Surya Namaskar ensures added flexibility to the spine and joints and trims the waist.

One round of Surya Namaskar has two sequences – one for the right side of the body and the other for the left side.

The 12 sequences are:

  • 1. Mountain
  • 2. Hands Up
  • 3. Head to Knees
  • 4. Lunge
  • 5. Plank
  • 6. Stick
  • 7. Upward Dog
  • 8. Downward Dog
  • 9. Lunge
  • 10. Head to Knees
  • 11. Hands Up
  • 12. Mountain



Stand in Mountain Pose with feet hip width apart. Keep the hands in prayer position and have several deep breaths.


Hands Up

On the next inhalation rise the arms overhead up in a sweeping movement and then arch back to the maximum in comfort.


Head to Knees

Bend forward (if needed, bend the knees) while exhaling and keep the hands in rest beside the feet.



Inhale and step the right leg back.



Exhale and place the left leg back in plank position. Then hold that position and inhale


Exhale and lower to the state of only hands and feet touching the ground.


Upward Dog

Inhale, stretch forward up with waist bent and use the arms to lift the torso. Lift the legs up in a way that only the tops of the feet touch the floor while the hands too touch the floor. In this process the arms may be bent at the elbows.


Downward Dog

Exhale and lift from the hips while pushing back up.



Inhale and then place the right foot forward.


Head to Knees

Exhale and take forward the left foot and be in head-to-knee position.


Hands Up

Inhale and rise slowly with arms extended.



Exhale and lower the arms slowly. Bring the hands into prayer position as a finishing act. Repeat the sequence with left leg steps.

There are many variations in Sun Salutation. The steps enumerated here are incorporated in many variations.

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