International Yoga Day 2022 Sun Salutation What is Surya Namaskar Poses Surya Namaskar Steps Performed

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is the regular practice of 12 yoga poses that people perform early in the morning under the soft eastern sunlight. Each cycle of Surya Namaskar consists of two series and each series includes 12 yogic postures. It is believed that yoga originated in India during the Vedic period. While Surya Namaskar is considered a disciplined way to improve health, Hindus have traditionally performed it as well to express their gratitude to the Sun God for sustaining life on planet Earth.

Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps an individual achieve good health by improving blood circulation and functioning of the heart and lungs. It also strengthens the arm and waist muscles. Surya Namaskar may be beneficial for reducing fat around the abdomen and is also believed to improve digestion and concentration.

Surya Namaskar in 12 steps

Step 1: Pranamasana (prayer pose)

Keep both legs together and balance your weight on both legs equally. Now bring your palms in front of your chest and stand in a prayer position by joining the palms together. Relax your body and breathe calmly. Raise your arms to the sides while inhaling and bring your palm in front of the chest as you exhale.

Step 2: Hastauttanasana (raised arms pose)

Raise both your hands and bend your body backwards. Stretch your whole body as far back as possible while breathing gently. This pose basically focuses on stretching the entire body from head to heels.

Step 3: Hastapadasana (standing forward bend)

Stand up straight and bend forward from the waist towards your feet, keeping your lower half of your body still. Now bring your hands forward and keep your hands on the floor beside your feet.

Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Horse Pose)

Inhale, bend your left leg from the knee and stretch your right leg behind. Both of your hands should stay where they were, on either side of the left leg. Now try to stretch your body, then slowly exhale.

Step 5: Dandasana (staff pose)

Now stretch your left leg backwards as well, putting your body weight on both hands and bring your face down. Straighten your whole body, then inhale and exhale gently.

Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or dots)

In this pose, all eight parts of your body – two knees, two hands, two feet, chin and chest should touch the floor. To achieve the correct posture, keep both legs back and hands facing forward and facing the floor. Now gently lift your hip upwards, keeping both hands on the floor next to the chest. Your chin should always touch the floor.

Step 7: Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Stretch both of your legs backwards and lift your body upwards into cobra pose. Now keep your hands on the floor next to the chest and look up at the ceiling. Then inhale and exhale slowly.

Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)

This pose is also called the inverted V pose. To achieve the correct posture, keep both legs back, hands forward, and face down. Now lift your hip upwards to bring your body into the inverted V pose.

Now is the time to repeat the first four steps again in the reverse sequence – Step 4 to Step 1 – to complete one round of Surya Namaskar. Therefore, step 9 will be similar to step 4 and step 11 will be the same as step 1.

Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Horse Pose)

Inhale and bring your right leg forward, bent from the knee, while the left leg remains stretched behind the back. Your hands will stay where they were. Stretch your body and then slowly exhale.

Step 10: Hastapadasana (standing forward bend)

Now bring your left leg forward and straighten slowly. The lower part of the body will remain still.

Step 11: Hastauttanasana (raised arms pose)

Raise both your hands and bend your body backwards. Stretch your whole body back as far as possible and breathe slowly.

Step 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Return to a standing position, keeping both legs together and balancing your weight on them. Now inhale and lift your arms out to the sides and bring your palms in front of your chest, joining them in the “namaskar” pose. Stand in prayer position, relax your body and breathe calmly.

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