The Sun or Surya plays an important role in our lives. Without the sun, life on earth is impossible. Surya Namaskar is also called “Sun Salutation”. This is a technique that has been used since ancient times to express respect or appreciation for the sun, which makes all life forms on our planet possible.
The sun is the source of energy, so this yoga pose is a powerful and effective way to awaken our body and mind. We are often very busy in life and hardly have time for exercise or meditation. Although our lifestyle requires physical strength, taking care of your mental health and spending time each day focusing on calming your mind is more important than ever.
Surya Namaskar Asanas helps to balance the three important parts of our body: Kapha, Pitta and Vata.
- The Kapha Dosha is composed of water and earth elements.
- The Pitta Dosha of fire and water.
- The Vata Dosha of space and air.
It is important to strike a proper balance between these elements.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar Asanas
Surya Namaskar Yoga is believed to activate every part of the body, which means that this powerful yoga pose has a great influence on our body’s heart, intestines, stomach, liver, throat, chest, legs and muscles.
Sun salutation has many other benefits to the body, such as:
- Improves muscle strength and endurance
- Helps strengthen the upper body
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Strengthens the nervous system
- Improves flexibility for men and women
- Improves immunity
- Improves overall health
The solar plexus is the central point of the human body, located behind the belly button and connected to the sun. This is the main reason why many yoga teachers recommend practicing Surya Namaskar in the morning. This helps in increasing vitality, self-confidence, originality, instinct and mental abilities.
12 Asanas of Surya Namaskar
Here is a list of twelve asanas you need to perform in order to complete one round of Surya Namaskar.
Step 1: Pranamasana or The Prayer Pose
Standing in front of the mat, stand upright with your legs, shoulders straight, arms at your sides, and relax. Now breathe in, put your hands together, and breathe out, immerse yourself in the Namaskar Mudra.
Step 2: Hashtauttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
Now lift your arms up and back from the prayer position. In this pose, the body should stretch from the toes to the tips of the toes. Make sure to stretch your back properly. When stretching, your biceps should be close to your ears.
Step 3: Hastapadasana or Arm-to-Leg Posture
Start with the arms raised, bend down from the waist, and try to touch the ground with the palms of both hands. The back should be straight. If you are a beginner, you can bend your knees and place your palms on the floor. Try to straighten your knees so that your knees rest on your head. This requires frequent practice. In this position, try to keep your palms in one position and don’t move them.
Step 4: Ashva Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose
Now inhale and pull the left leg as far back as possible. Your right knee should be between your palms. The left knee should touch the floor with the bent foot. And stop. Now straighten your legs and put your toes on the floor. Continue to look up.
Step 5: Dandasna or Stick Pose
Pull your right leg back and balance your upper body with the palms of your hands. Your body should be as straight as a stick. Your toes should be on the mat. Make sure your arms are perpendicular to the floor.
Step 6: Ashtanaga Namaskar or Eight Limbed Pose
Now gently place your knees on the floor, slide your hips back and forward, and place your chin and chest on the floor. Stay in this position. Now, eight parts of the body-palms, feet, knees, chest and chin-are touching the floor. This is called the eight-point greeting (Ashtanga Namaskar).
Step 7: Bhujangasana or Cobra Style
Move gently forward, place your legs and abdomen on the floor, press your palms on your chest when you inhale, press down and slowly raise your torso to touch the pelvic area on the floor. Lift your knees, remove your shoulders from your ears, and look straight ahead. The head and torso should resemble a cobra with a hood. Stretching the shoulders, back, chest and spine. It helps in improving flexibility and mood.
Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana or Face Down Dog
Lie on your chest with your back facing the ceiling, exhale and gently lift your hips to form an inverted V shape. Straighten your elbows and knees and try to maintain your posture. High heels are on the floor. Stretch deeper each time you exhale and inhale. Look at your belly button. The dog face down. It calms nerves and improves blood circulation. Also relieves tension and strengthens arms and legs. For women, this yoga pose can relieve menopausal symptoms.
Step 9: Ashva Sanchalanasana or High Lunge
When you come back from Adho Mukha Svanasana, straighten your right leg forward, keep your left leg straight back, put your foot on the mat, then look forward slowly, gently. Press your hips against the floor to increase stretch. Ashvasanchalanasana stretches better this time than you did this step before. Benefits of Ashva Sanchalanasana are strengthen the spine and increase lung capacity. Relieve indigestion and constipation.
Step 10: Hasta Padasana or Standing Forward Bend
When standing, do a Padasana forward bend pose while inhaling, with your left foot forward, and then bend your torso while maintaining the position of your arms. Exhale slowly and touch the floor with your fingers. Stand forward and bend. Benefits of Hasta Padasana: Stretch your hamstrings and open your legs. Helps with insomnia, osteoporosis, headaches, anxiety and stress.
Step 11: Hashtauttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
Now stand up, keep your body straight, and stretch from toe to toe. Although stretching is more than just sitting, make sure to stretch properly. Close to the ear.
Step 12: Pranamasana or the Prayer Pose
When exhaling, straighten your body first, then lower your arms. Relax in this position and observe how your body feels.
This completes the Surya Namaskar series. Repeat the above steps to complete the round. Only this time, first retract the left leg back in step 4, and retract the right foot forward in step 10. I have completed a round of Surya Namaskar.