Table of Contents
Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in the Indian sub-continent and has spread over the entire globe. It has gained popularity as a beginner-friendly form of exercise and can be practiced by people of all age groups. Yoga offers numerous health benefits such as physical strength, flexibility, weight loss, and mobility, and is found to boost mental health. Usually, beginners start their journey into different yoga poses through Surya Namaskar.
Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation is a fundamental sequence of yoga poses that is very beginner-friendly. Surya Namaskar for beginners helps them to warm up before other Yoga poses and also serves as a progression exercise that they can use to help analyze their progress from time to time.
Traditionally, doing 108 Suryanamaskars continuously is a goal that requires discipline and consistent practice to gain the required physical fitness and stamina. With daily practice, it is very easy to reach up to 108 Suryanamaskar and notice increased energy levels, strength, mobility, and flexibility.
Everything about SURYA NAMASKAR
Origin of Surya Namaskar
Suryanamaskar (Sanskrit; ‘Surya’- Sun, ‘Namaskaram’- Salutation) is a series of 12 steps of Vedic yoga poses done in succession with controlled breathing and in a focused state. The precise origins of the Sun Salutation are uncertain, but the sequence was made popular in the early 20th century by Bhawanrao Shriniwasrao Pant Pratinidhi, the Rajah of Aundh, and adopted into yoga by Krishnamacharya in the Mysore Palace, where the Sun Salutation classes, were held next door to his yoga sala. It is said to be up to 5000 years old with the first mention of it being found in Rig Ved. It was popularized due to the numerous physical spiritual and mental benefits of Suryanamaskar’s steps.
At the physical level, the practice of Suryanamaskar stimulates metabolism. It also benefits the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems. More and more people are taking up Surya Namaskar for weight loss, depression, and mood-uplifting benefits.
How to do Surya Namaskar
Traditionally, the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar are done dynamically and in a flow-like manner. A brief guide on how to do Suryanamaskar step-by-step and the Suryanamaskar pose name is given below:
12 poses of Surya Namaskar & How to do
Suryanamskar Poses 1: Prayer Status (Pranamasana)
Start the practice of Surya Namaskar with Pranamasana pose (Pranamasana). Stand upright on a yoga mat or the floor with your feet straight together. Take a deep breath, enlarge your chest, and relax your shoulders and back. As you breathe out, raise your arms and as you exhale, bring your hands closer to the prayer area in front of your heart. It is the first mask to face the sun.
Suryanamskar Poses 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
As you take a deep breath in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears. Try to stretch the whole body up from the heels and to the tips of the fingers while stretching your back and glutes.
To further stretch try, pushing the pelvis forward a little bit. Ensure that you are reaching up with your fingers rather than trying to bend backward.
Surya Namaskar Pose 3: Hasta Padasana
Exhale and bend forward and down to your knees. Keep your spine straight as you do so. Place your hands on the floor with only your fingers contacting the surface. Bend your knees enough for your chest so that it can rest against your thighs. And your head to rest on your knee. Maintain this position for a couple of seconds. It is one of the highly beneficial 12 poses of surya namaskar.
Suryanamskar Pose 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Breathing in, bring your right leg back up as far as comfortable. Bring your right knee to the floor and look up for some time. The left foot should be in between the palms. While the neck is forward.
Surya Namaskar Pose 5: Dandasana/Phalakasana (Plank Pose)
As you inhale, take the left leg backward and bring the whole body in a straight line. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor. Focus on your core while maintaining a planking position. It is one of the highly beneficial 12 poses of surya namaskar.
Suryanamaskar Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Points Salute)
Gently bring your knees down to the floor & breathe out. Take the hips back slightly as in a child’s pose, then slide forward, and rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior slightly. The 2 hands, 2 knees, 2 feet, and chest and chin should touch the floor. The abdomen should not be in touch with the floor.
Surya Namaskar Pose 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Now slowly slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture.
Keep your neck straight and look up, and you, as you breathe in, try and push the chest forward. As you exhale, push the navel down. Keep the toes flat on the floor.
Surya Namaskar Pose 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Breathing out, lift the hips and the tailbone, chest downwards in an ‘inverted V’ If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone, going deeper into the stretch.
Suryanamaskar Pose 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhaling, bring the right foot forward in between the 2 hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down, & look upwards to the sky.
Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor. In this position, make a gentle effort to push the hips downside toward the floor. It deepens the stretch.
Surya Namaskar Pose 10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
bring your left foot forward while taking in a deep breath. Keep your palms on the floor. Gently make the knees straight & if you can, try & touch your nose to the knees. Keep breathing throughout the movement.
Surya Namaskar Pose 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Ayour Pose)
Breathing in, roll up the shoulder blades, hands go up, and bend backward a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward. Try to bring elbows as near to your ears as possible. The stretch should be upwards and not backward.
Suryanamaskar Pose 12: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
For this step, straighten your body and bring the arms down while exhaling. Relax in this position, and observe the sensations in your body.
Read Also | Top 20 yoga centers in India
Regularly practicing Suryanamaskar benefits those looking to be aesthetically pleasing by toning the abdomen, muscles of thighs, and legs. Many people find that they are benefitted from Surya Namaskar for weight loss when done alongside other exercises. It helps in increasing the range of motion of the neck and spine and therefore improves posture. It is also good for disorders such as indigestion, constipation, and sciatica.
Practicing Surya Namaskar daily is said to calm the mind. It strengthens the nerves and muscles of the shoulders, arms, back, and chest. Suryanamaskar enhances the flexibility of the back and spine. It establishes a state of humility, gratitude, concentration, and calmness and relaxes the nervous system. Doing Surya Namaskar in the morning helps the mental and spiritual well-being of an individual.
Practicing these poses daily stretches arm, back, and abdominal muscles. It also helps in curing certain problems of the spinal column and cord. It increases blood flow to the brain and head region and is beneficial for all major organs such as the liver, kidney, stomach, and intestines. So, it has lots of benefits if you do suryanamaskar properly on daily basis.
Also Read| 16 Best Yoga Accessories for a home that you must have in 2022 for better health and a better life
Surya Namaskar benefits people suffering from depression by enhancing mood, motivation, and focus. In addition, practicing Surya Namaskar diligently helps develop gratitude. Surya Namaskar, when done in the morning facing the sun, is found to be helpful for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Surya Namaskar can be done outdoors or indoors and should be preferably done in the morning.
The best time to do Suryanamaskar is considered to be in the early morning. Doing Surya Namaskar at sunrise has several benefits such as circadian rhythm.
Memorizing Suryanamaskar will take some time for most people. Usually, within a month of practicing Suryanamaskar, people can learn all the steps of Suryanamaskar.
You can begin practicing Suryanamaskar under the supervision of a teacher or guru, or by yourself, after referring to a guide. Be mindful of posture and breathing while performing this exercise.
Below are the list of 12 poses of suryanamaskar:
Pranamasana, Prayer Pose
Hasta Uttanasana, Raised Arms Pose
Pada Hastasana, Standing Forward Bend Pose
Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Lunge Pose
Dandasana, Plank Pose
Astanga Namaskara, Eight Limbed Pose
Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Dog Pose
Ashwa Sanchalanasana, High Lunge Pose
Pada Hastasana, Standing Forward Bend
Uttana Hastasana, Raised Arms pose
Pranamasana, Prayer Pose
Suryanamaskar can be done in 3-speed variation: slow, medium or fast pace.